For thousands of students, coming back to UC Davis gives a great feeling.
The women’s soccer team can relate.
After playing six of seven games on the road, the Aggies hosted San Francisco and Montana last weekend and bested both teams to improve their record to 5-3-1.
UC Davis 1, San Francisco 0
The Aggies and Dons squared off in a highly contested battle on Friday. No team was able to establish dominance, as it was a struggle the entire match.
The Dons continued to put pressure on the Aggie defense in the first half, resulting in four corner kicks. But the women’s squad responded and cleared each one.
The Aggies capitalized on a San Francisco mistake as senior Samantha Faber scored on a penalty kick in the 38th minute. Faber’s point would turn out to be the decisive goal in the match.
“Sam’s shot is absolutely wicked,” said women’s coach Maryclaire Robinson. “We’re trying to get her back to being a mid-range trouble maker.”
The second period brought an offensive frenzy from the Aggies. UC Davis controlled the tempo and took 10 shots while limiting the Dons to just one shot on goal. Despite the 10 shots, however, the Aggies couldn’t break through with a goal.
“I am very proud of how we fought,” Robinson said. “This was not one of our better outings. The pace wasn’t what I hoped. [San Francisco] did a great job of pressing and that pushed us a little bit.”
UC Davis 3, Montana 0
On a hot day, the Grizzlies seemed to wilt away in the heat.
The Aggies seemed to be constantly on attack with their offense. It was an easy day on defense for UC Davis as it outshot its counterparts 29-3.
In the fourth minute, Lisa Kemp passed a ball to the right side of the field to Kiele Argente, who promptly buried the ball in the left corner of the net.
“Lisa is very deceptive,” Robinson said. “She creates a lot [of opportunities] and she’s very difficult to defend.”
Although the Aggies couldn’t convert on any more opportunities in the first half, they came out blazing in the second and blew the game wide open.
“In order for the game to open up we needed early ball movement [to take] good angles,” Robinson said. “We had great energy and a great work rate.”
Right off the bat, sophomore Allison Kelly sent a shot that nicked the crossbar and bounced in for her team leading fifth score of the year.
Outstanding footwork by Argente allowed her to hit an open Annacy Wilson, which led to Kemp’s second goal of the afternoon and gave the Aggies a commanding 3-0 lead.
The lopsided score allowed Robinson to develop some of her second string and rest some of her starters.
“[Our players] were coming in and off the bench,” Robinson said. “We maintained fresh legs and they raised the level of play. It was fantastic.”
These wins are the first two home wins for the Aggies. For Robinson, it was a great feeling to come back home and win.
“It’s great to be back,” Robinson said. “This was our first Sunday home game. Students are back, and campus is now repopulated. It’s a great place to be.”
The Aggies homestand will be short-lived however. UC Davis will travel to Southern California for its next three games. The Aggies play Cal State Northridge on Friday at 7 p.m.
MATT WANG can be reached at email@example.com.