With two minutes left, coach Elaine Jones felt it. With 30 seconds left, she knew it.
“Near the end of the game, I turned to [assistant coach] Kristen Waagbo and said, ‘We were going to win,'” Jones said.
For the first time under Jones’ tenure, the Aggies beat fellow Mountain Pacific Sports Federation member California, 12-10. With the win, UC Davis (1-0, 1-0) sits atop the conference.
“It was a tremendous conference win,” Jones said. “It’s important to get that first victory, especially when it comes against Berkeley.”
With this victory and the win over Denver in the MPSF playoffs last season, Jones feels the Aggies have proven to be a legitimate contender in the conference.
“This win proves last year’s win over Denver was not a fluke,” Jones said. “This has to be one of the top wins for the program.”
The victory was not only big for the program, but also for the team’s confidence.
“We worked hard all pre-season for games like this,” Jones said. “It was not unexpected for us to win this game.”
The Aggies jumped out to an early 3-1 lead behind senior Molly Lapolla’s first-half goal and assist.
The Golden Bears fought back to tie it up with under a minute left in the first half, but senior Britt Farquharson broke the tie with a buzzer beater to give UC Davis the 4-3 halftime lead.
The Aggies capitalized off 24 fouls and six penalties by Cal in the second half to secure the victory. UC Davis led by as much as five en route to the historic win.
“We did very well capitalizing off Cal’s mistakes and turnovers,” Jones said.
Junior Christina Corsa had a strong performance with three assists and a goal. Eight Aggies scored, with Farquharson, Hannah Mirza, Gina Hoffmire and Anna Geissbuhler each netting two goals.
Sophomore Vannessa Jamison led a tough UC Davis defense with four ground balls and two steals. Jones said the defense was the key to victory.
Jones was also proud of the contribution from the entire team, especially the underclassmen.
“Our freshmen played very well,” Jones said. “We had a good mix of upperclassmen and underclassmen contributing.”
UC Davis returns to action on Feb. 27 for an MPSF home battle with Saint Mary’s.
JASON ALPERT can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.