UC Davis wanted to enter the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships on a hot streak.
While they lost their final regular season game, the Aggies might have gained something more important than a win – confidence.
“It’s important to enter the MPSF tournament with a win,” said coach Elaine Jones. “It’s also very important to enter the tournament with some confidence.”
With the weekend split against MPSF opponents, the Aggies finished the regular season at 10-5 and 3-3 in conference play. UC Davis will enter the MPSF championships as the 5th seed and face Oregon in the opening round.
Junior Gina Hoffmire finished the regular season as the Aggies’ leading scorer, netting 44 goals over the 15 games.
Friday – UC Davis 17, Fresno State 1
From the opening to closing whistles, this one was all Aggies.
UC Davis held Fresno State scoreless in the first half, jumping out to a commanding 10-0 lead in the opening period.
The Bulldogs finally tallied a goal in the opening minutes of the second half, but were unable to mount a comeback. Seven more Aggie scores in the second half sealed the deal for UC Davis.
“Everyone played well in this one,” Jones said. “We were able to play a lot of different people and they all contributed.”
Junior Christina Corsa and freshmen Hannah Mirza were two of the 10 Aggies that scored, as both netted three.
Sunday – No. 14 Stanford 17, UC Davis 14
For Jones, winning is everything – most of the time.
UC Davis was three goals away from upsetting MPSF rival Stanford, but despite the loss, Jones was proud of the way her team played.
“We did a great job executing the game plan in the second half,” Jones said. “I’m proud of the way the team fought back and persevered.”
This was a game of two opposite halves, one dominated by the Cardinal, the other by the Aggies.
Stanford jumped out to a commanding 7-0 lead after the opening whistle. Senior Britt Farquharson netted the Aggies’ first goal, 15 minutes into the match. UC Davis and Stanford traded goals to close out the half 13-5 in favor of the Cardinal.
The second half, on the other hand, belonged to the Aggies. With the Stanford lead at eight and only 10 minutes left in the game, the Aggies went on a five-goal run. Unfortunately, time wasn’t in UC Davis’ favor as it was unable to complete the comeback.
Farquharson led the Aggies with six goals. Senior Molly Lapolla and Hoffmire each netted three as well.
“Stanford looked very beatable,” Jones said. “If we had just a couple more minutes and a couple more shots bounce our way, I’m sure we could have beaten them.”
Jones was proud of the way the team persevered, something she thinks will only help them at next weekend’s MPSF championships.
“This was a good confidence boost for the team,” Jones said. “To put on the performance we did against a top program like Stanford was a good job.”
JASON ALPERT can be reached at email@example.com.