Teams: UC Davis vs. Miami (OH); at No. 20 Stanford; at California
Records: Aggies, 0-0; Red Hawks 1-0; Cardinal 1-0, Bears 0-1
Where: Berkeley, Calif.; Stanford, Calif.; Berkeley, Calif.
When: Monday at 12 p.m.; Friday at 7 p.m.; Sunday at 1 p.m.
Who to watch: Sophomore Lydia Brambila was named to the NorPac All-Tournament Team last season, and will be expected to be a key part of the Aggies success in 2010.
The Fallbrook, Calif. native had an assist in UC Davis’ exhibition win against Pacific last week.
Did you know? UC Davis will begin their NorPac Conference schedule against No. 20 Stanford in just their second game of the season.
Last year the Cardinal finished first in the NorPac West Division with a conference record of 5-1. Stanford opened its season last week with a 6-0 win over Pacific.
Preview: 2010 is just the second season for field hockey at UC Davis, but the Aggies are planning to make a big jump from last year.
That jump begins in training.
“Our practices have been great,” said coach Vianney Campos. “The first week we came in with a chip on our shoulder. Our team was unsatisfied with last season, not because we played poorly but because we wanted more. We’ve even been able to cancel some practices because we’ve accomplished so much.”
Part of the reason the Aggies have been practicing so hard is that they now have a full year of college field hockey experience under their belts.
“There are two big differences between this year’s squad and last year’s,” Campos said. “Firstly, this year everyone is on the same page. Last year it was tough for a team of all freshmen to make the transition from high school to college. Secondly, we aren’t playing as individuals anymore. We’re returning our same core of starters and the experience they have together has helped our chemistry as a team.”
The Aggies are hoping that this experience will lead to more victories this season.
Their goals are to maintain their composure in the mental aspect of the game.
“This season we need to make sure we don’t lose games we should win,” Campos said. “We lost a lot of one-goal games last year and that stems from the mental part of the game.”
The Aggies are off to a good start. They controlled their first exhibition of the season, defeating division-rival Pacific 2-1 in Stockton.
“Against Pacific we played really well as a unit,” Campos said. “We set the tone early, and our players reacted perfectly to in-game adjustments.”
UC Davis will try to keep that momentum going as they enter the regular season this week, and they believe that they can play with anyone.
“We think that we should challenge every team we play,” said Campos. “We have a never say die attitude.”
– Trevor Cramer