UC Davis entered Saturday’s game against Stanford still looking for its first NorPac Conference win in program history.
They’ll have to wait a little longer.
For the second straight week the Aggies were defeated in overtime at home to a conference foe.
UC Davis got off to a hot start in the game, however.
Sophomore forward Nadia Namdari was able to get behind the Cardinal defense several times early in the game and was able to convert on an early breakaway to give the Aggies an early lead.
Getting past Stanford’s back line was part of UC Davis’ game plan.
“We knew our forward line was faster than their defense,” said Coach Vianney Campos. “They found out early that we could get past them on this surface.”
The Aggies couldn’t keep things going, however.
Following the early score Stanford took control of the game for the remainder of the first half and was able to tie the game at one.
“After the goal we came out flat,” Campos said. “It’s uncharacteristic of our team.”
In the second half UC Davis leaned on its defense.
The Aggies were unable to find the net in the second half, and despite constant pressure from the Cardinal, UC Davis did not concede another goal in regulation.
The Aggies know they can count on their defense to keep them in the game.
“Our defense is our backbone,” Campos said, “Not just physically, but mentally. They’re our strongest players and best communicators. They’re going to play aggressive against anyone that they play, whether it’s number one in the nation, or 16 or 100. It doesn’t matter to them, they’re going to play the same way. I think that’s why they’re successful against strong teams like Stanford.”
The Aggies couldn’t hold off the high-powered Stanford offense in the overtime period, however.
The Cardinal scored less than five minutes into overtime, defeating the Aggies 2-1.
Despite the two consecutive overtime defeats, UC Davis is keeping its head up.
“It’s not going to take a toll on us,” Campos said. “We just have to practice overtime situations.”
Still, the Aggies know it would have been nice to have the victory.
“We’re happy about the way we played,” Campos said, “but we want to come up on the winning side.”
TREVOR CRAMER can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.