Teams: UC Davis at Fresno State; Stanford
Records: Aggies, 9-4 (2-2); Bulldogs, 0-11, (0-4); Cardinal, 10-5, (4-1)
Where: Bulldog Stadium – Fresno, Calif.; Cagan Stadium – Palo Alto, Calif.
When: Friday at 3 p.m.; Sunday at 1 p.m.
Who to watch: Junior Gina Hoffmire [cq] has been an offensive force all season.
The Corte Madera, Calif. native leads the team in goals with 41 and shooting percentage at .612. The midfielder is ranked 13th nationally in goals per game with 3.15.
Did you know? Fresno State, in just its second year with a lacrosse program, has yet to win a game. To date, the Bulldogs have gone 0-25.
Preview: The UC Davis offense ranks tenth in the nation in goals per game at 14.31, so scoring has not been a problem for the Aggies.
Turnovers, on the other hand, have been an issue.
In UC Davis’ two Mountain Pacific Sports Federation losses to Denver and Oregon, the Aggies had 37 combined giveaways. Coach Elaine Jones [cq] feels that protecting the ball will be key for UC Davis down the stretch.
“Turnovers really hurt us against Oregon and Denver,” Jones said. “I think they’re caused by lack of communication and poor decision making.”
Jones attributes this to a lengthy season. With a pivotal MPSF battle this weekend against Stanford, Jones needs to ensure her team stays mentally tough down the stretch.
UC Davis enters this weekend’s games in fourth place in the conference. Depending on how it plays and how Oregon fairs against Denver, the Aggies could enter the MPSF tournament as a No. 3 seed.
“We’ve never been in a situation to play for a third seed,” Jones said. “The players tend to tighten up in these situations as they play with higher expectations.”
Jones said the team will not look past the winless Bulldogs, but knows the real challenge will come against the Cardinal.
“Stanford is a very tough team,” Jones said. “We need to execute both offensively and defensively and not allow their offense to run the tempo in our zone.”
– Jason Alpert