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Sunday, July 25, 2021

UC Davis sinks in final games before conference tournament

The Aggies wanted to enter the Big West Conference Tournament on a hot streak.

First place Cal State Northridge and second place UC Santa Barbara had other plans.

The Aggies fell to the rival Matadors and Gauchos in their final two regular season games. Despite the losses, coach Jamey Wright was encouraged by the team’s play.

“Our games this weekend will mirror what we’ll have to go through next weekend at the conference tournament,” Wright said. “We played tough throughout the weekend.”

With the losses, UC Davis falls to 15-16 on the season and 1-4 in conference play. The Aggies finish the conference season in fifth place and will enter the conference tournament as the fifth seed.

Friday – No. 10 Cal State Northridge 8, No. 17 UC Davis 7 (OT)

All streaks have to come to an end.

The Aggies entered Friday’s match on an eight-game winning streak against the visiting Matadors in an overtime thriller as Cal State Northridge scored the game-winning goal 96 seconds into the first sudden death period.

The Aggies never trailed in regulation, entering halftime in a 4-4 tie.

They jumped out to a third quarter lead behind freshman Jessica Dunn and senior Dana Nelson. Cal State Northridge added a goal in the closing minutes of the third to make it a one-goal game after three periods.

Sophomore Christina Miyabe added a goal to bring the Aggie lead back to two, but that would be UC Davis’ final goal of the day.

The Matadors on the other hand, tied it up with four minutes left in regulation to force overtime.

Neither team scored in the first two extra periods despite the fact that each squad had opportunities to score. The deciding goal came on a penalty shot that just sneaked past senior goalie Casey Hines and into the net.

Wright was very proud about how his team played against the top team in the conference.

“This was one of our best played games of the year,” Wright said. “It was a great effort against one of the top teams in the nation.

Sophomore Ariel Feeney added two goals of her own and Hines had another incredible game in-goal racking up 18 saves, including stopping some key Matador attempts.

“Casey [Hines] played incredible,” Wright said. “Her performance might have been one of the best ever.”

Saturday – No. 12 UC Santa Barbara 10, UC Davis 6

The Aggies were looking to finish the regular season on strong note. Instead, they ran into a strong Gaucho squad.

UC Santa Barbara topped UC Davis on both Picnic and Senior day in both teams’ final tune-up before the conference tournament.

The Gauchos jumped out to an early 2-0 lead before sophomore Carey Faber scored to bring the score to 3-1 after the first period.

Freshman Carmen Eggert added a goal early in the second to cut the deficit to one. The Gauchos then scored two unanswered goals to enter the break with a three-goal lead.

The third quarter was all UC Santa Barbara, as they out-scored UC Davis 3-1. The Gauchos gained a six-goal lead on the first possession of the fourth quarter, a lead they never gave up.

“This was another game where we faltered for three to four minutes and Santa Barbara capitalized,” Wright said. “We’re going to have to work on that before the conference tournament next weekend.”

Eggert and sophomores Alicia Began and Lyndsay Sutterley scored in the fourth quarter, but the Gaucho lead turned out to be insurmountable.

UC Davis travels down to Long Beach next weekend for the Big West Conference Tournament.

JASON ALPERT can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.

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