Teams: UC Davis vs. Pacific
Records: Aggies, 14-12; Tigers 9-11
Where: Kjeldsen Pool Complex – Stockton, Calif.
When: Saturday at noon
Who to watch: Sophomore Carey Faber possesses a valuable talent – she’s a lefty.
The southpaw had 10 goals and four assists over the Aggies’ five spring break games.
“It’s great for a team to have a strong lefty in the pool,” said coach Jamey Wright. “She’s been getting more playing time recently due to her productivity.”
Did you know? UC Davis has defeated Pacific the last 15 times they’ve met.
Preview: One could say the Aggies’ real season is just beginning.
UC Davis begins a stretch of five Big West Conference games that could determine a berth in the NCAA National Tournament.
“I like to call the start of Big West play the start of our second season,” Wright said. “I’m excited to see where we’re at.”
The Aggies meet a familiar foe in Pacific for their first conference match. UC Davis defeated the Tigers 10-9 in extra time in the first game of the season.
“Pacific is a really good team,” Wright said. “This might be the best team they’ve ever fielded.”
Wright, who earned his 300th career varsity win this past Sunday in the UC Davis’ 10-6 win over Brown, praised Pacific’s ability to capitalize on 6-on-5 situations.
“When we played them before, they killed us on 6-on-5’s,” Wright said. “We need to work on minimizing ejections on defense.”
Wright added the key to a UC Davis victory will be its ability to play good defense and have a strong counterattack.
“If we keep it an up-tempo kind of match, we have a really good shot of winning,” Wright said.
Along with being their first Big West game of the season, it will also be the Aggies’ first weekend in which they play only one game. For their past tournaments, the Aggies average three or four games per weekend. Wright believes this could play to UC Davis’ advantage.
“In the multi-game tournaments, we tend to sub a lot and get everyone involved,” Wright said. “For single games, the rotations tend to be tighter and we don’t sub as often.”
Wright said there could also be a disadvantage to the single-match weekends in that the team won’t have any games to warm up.
“We’re jumping right into a tough game,” he said. “We’re going to have to come out focused and ready to go right out of the gates.”
– Jason Alpert