Event: UC Davis Aggie Shootout
Where: Schaal Aquatics Center – Davis, Calif.
When: Saturday and Sunday, all day
Who to watch: Scoring is only half the story in winning games – the other half is a strong goalie. That is where senior Casey Hines comes in.
The Danville, Calif. native has been an intimidating presence in the goal all season. Hines recorded 29 saves at last weekend’s UC Irvine Anteater Invitational.
Did you know? All nine of the Aggies’ losses this season have come against teams ranked higher than them. The last time UC Davis defeated a team with a higher ranking was in 2008 when the No. 11 Aggies beat the No. 7 San Jose State Spartans.
Preview: The Aggies are coming home for the first time this season.
UC Davis will host the annual Aggie Shootout invitational at Schaal Aquatic Center this weekend. Coach Jamey Wright isn’t putting a huge emphasis on the home field advantage, however.
“I think being at home will make a difference in the first quarter as the girls will come out more fired up,” Wright said. “But eventually it will balance out and come down to the fundamentals.”
UC Davis (7-9) is set to play Sonoma State, Cal State Bakersfield and No. 1 Stanford. The Aggies have already played and beaten Sonoma State and Cal State Bakersfield this season, 14-3 and 20-7 respectively.
Despite the lopsided scores against the two teams, Wright wants to make sure his team takes them seriously.
“These games can be scary if we take them lightly,” Wright said. “We have to be mindful of their strengths.”
The Aggies biggest test will come in their final game of the weekend against the top team in the nation.
The Cardinal (12-1) have blown teams out this year, averaging 13 goals per game.
“It’s cool to play the number one team in the nation at our home pool,” Wright said.
UC Davis is familiar with Stanford as many of the Aggies play on club teams with the Cardinal.
Stanford’s leading scorer, Melissa Seidemann, is the younger sister of Aggie senior Lauren Seidemann, further showing the connections between the two teams.
“We know their players, coaches and what they do,” Wright said. “The problem is, they do everything well.”
Wright said that if his team is going to pull off the upset, it will need to focus on ball control and take smart, conservative shots.
– Jason Alpert