Coach Elaine Jones strives for perfection.
Despite the Aggies going 2-1 on their first road trip of the season, Jones wanted her team to win all three.
“We were so close to staying perfect,” Jones said. “Everything is a little bit different on the road, and I think the team showed a different level of intensity.”
The Aggies (4-1, 2-0 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) continued their strong offensive play on the road swing, averaging 14.7 goals per game. Junior Gina Hoffmire led UC Davis with 11 total scores during the three games.
Thursday – Villanova 13, UC Davis 12
UC Davis was one goal away from a perfect road trip.
“I was bummed about the Villanova game,” Jones said. “This was a game we probably should’ve won.”
The Aggies came out of the gate slow as the Wildcats jumped out to a 9-4 first-half lead.
“We dug ourselves into a hole in the first half and we weren’t able to recover,” Jones said. “I really can’t explain why we came out of the gate so sluggish.”
The second half was a different story.
The Aggies started strong. Senior Britt Farquharson scored her third goal of the game with 1:46 remaining to come within a goal of Villanova. Junior Christina Corsa was able to fire off a shot with 90 seconds left, but Villanova goalie Amanda Hirschfeld [cq] was there for the save to secure the Wildcat victory.
Despite the slow first half, Jones was encouraged by the team’s play in the second period.
“I thought we would win despite the slow start,” Jones said. “We definitely got it together in the second half.”
Farquharson, senior Molly Lapolla and freshmen Hannah Mirza each had a hat trick to lead the Aggies.
Saturday – UC Davis 14, Temple 13 (3 OT)
Hoffmire had a career-high seven goals.
Her seventh was the most important.
Hoffmire scored with 37 seconds left in the third overtime to secure the Aggie victory over the Owls.
“Gina was amazing,” Jones said. “She was unstoppable.”
Jones said nobody on the Temple defense could stop Hoffmire, and Hoffmire knew that.
In a game dominated by turnovers, UC Davis came out on top largely due to the play of Hoffmire and the ability to capitalize off Owl turnovers.
“It was a thrilling game all around,” Jones said. “They made mistakes and we capitalized.”
Aside from Hoffmire’s seven, UC Davis had no other player with more than two goals, the first time all season the Aggies had one player carry the offense.
“As the season progresses and the players’ level of play increases, more of them will score,” Jones said. “The team isn’t afraid to take shots, and you can’t score unless you take shots.”
Monday – UC Davis 18, Manhattan 12
Scoring 15 goals is a strong output for an entire game.
Notching 15 for one half is remarkable.
That’s exactly what the Aggies did as their offense exploded after the break in their victory over Manhattan.
“I was proud of the team in the second half,” Jones said. “We got a lot of opportunities to score and we executed.”
Despite the strong second period, Jones was discouraged by the team’s poor first half play.
“The team’s play was unacceptable in the first half,” Jones said. “We were forcing it a bit on offense and just weren’t communicating.”
The Aggies outshot the Jaspers 33-18 and went 5-for-7 on 8-meter attempts. Farquharson led the Aggies with four goals on the day. Freshmen Anna Geissbuhler had three goals and two assists for a career high five points.
UC Davis heads home for a matchup against Detroit on Saturday in their last game before finals.
JASON ALPERT can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.