Teams: UC Davis at Villanova; at Temple; at Manhattan
Records: Aggies, 2-0; Wildcats, 2-0; Owls, 1-1; Jaspers, 0-2
Where: Villanova Stadium – Villanova, Penn.; Geasey Field – Ambler, Penn.; Gaelic Park – Riverdale, N.Y.
When: Thursday at 2:30 p.m., Saturday at 10 a.m., Monday at 7 a.m.
Who to watch: Coach Elaine Jones knew she had one of the deepest freshmen classes of her tenure. Freshman Hannah Mirza is no exception.
The Mill Valley, Calif. native scored four goals in the Aggies 21-11 victory over Mountain Pacific Sports Federation foe St. Mary’s. It was Mirza’s second game in college.
“It felt fantastic to score four goals,” Mirza said. “I feel like I can definitely build off this performance.”
Did you know? For most of the team, the long road trip will take them away from home. For redshirted freshman Meghan Olmstead, the trip will be a homecoming. Olmstead hails from New Brunswick, N.J., roughly an hour from all three schools.
Preview: UC Davis is in store for its biggest test yet.
The Aggies (2-0, MPSF 2-0) first road trip will be their longest as they embark on a five-day, three-game swing to the east coast. Jones still expects the same intensity and strength from her team as if it was playing at Aggie Stadium.
“I don’t make excuses for them on the road,” Jones said. “All competitors play their best regardless of where the game is held.”
UC Davis enters the trip undefeated with its two wins coming against California on Feb. 20 and St. Mary’s last weekend.
Jones believes the key to the team’s successes so far this season has been its mental toughness.
“This is probably the most mentally tough team I’ve ever coached,” Jones said. “I’m excited to see what they can do against some very competitive East Coast teams.”
Jones thinks another main reason the Aggies are still undefeated is their team chemistry. She attributes this to the collective leadership on the squad.
“With there being no team captains, there is no finger-pointing on the field,” Jones said. “This allows everyone, including our freshmen, to speak up and have a voice on the team.”
– Jason Alpert