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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Column: Quarter to remember

I can say without a doubt, this was my most memorable quarter at UC Davis.

If you’ve read just one of my columns this fall, it’s pretty obvious why it was a quarter to remember.

While magical events were taking place about 70 miles southwest, there were some memorable moments at UC Davis.

Here’s a rundown of the four best sporting events of the quarter.

4. Oct. 10 – Field Hockey: UC Davis 2, Pacific 1 (OT)

Entering its matchup against Pacific, the UC Davis field hockey team was winless in NorPac Conference play.

The Aggies finally tasted a conference win in their game against the Tigers.

Sophomore Nadia Namdari netted the game winner in overtime to give UC Davis its first conference win in its second year as a program.

This historic game was a nail-biter.

From the onset, you knew this could be a special game for UC Davis. The Aggies out-shot the Tigers 28-6 in the match, with just one of those shots finding the back of the cage.

Namdari, the Aggies’ offensive leader all season, was the one to score the golden goal to give UC Davis the historic victory.

3. Oct. 16 – Men’s Soccer: UC Davis 1, Cal State Northridge 0 (2OT)

You could call them the Cardiac Kids of Yolo County.

It was never easy for the men’s soccer squad, as six matches needed extra time.

For the match against the Matadors in front of over 1000 fans, it was all but guaranteed the match would go to overtime.

The Aggies would give the fans more than what they paid for as the game went into overtime at a 0-0 tie.

Apparently one overtime wasn’t enough.

Not until the second extra period did UC Davis score. Junior Ethan Shawlee found the back of the net on a diving header to send the Aggie fans home happy.

Not only was the game exciting, but the atmosphere was also electric. Goals come few and far between in soccer, so when one comes as late as it did in this game, you know it was a classic.

The season didn’t pan out as UC Davis wanted, but they will have this match to look back on as the highlight of the season.

2. Oct. 16 – Women’s Volleyball: UC Davis 3, UC Santa Barbara 2

Whenever a team comes back in the 11th hour, you know you just witnessed an instant classic.

That was the case in the Aggies Big West Conference match-up against the Gauchos.

UCSB jumped out to a quick two-set lead and were five points from a three-set sweep. The Aggies, however, had other plans.

UC Davis rallied from six points down in the third game to keep the match alive.

The Aggies dominated both the fourth and fifth sets en route to the statement win over UCSB.

As impressive as the comeback was, it was the young Aggies that led the way. Freshman setter Jenny Woolway and sophomore hitter Allison Whitson made key plays en route to the thrilling victory.

Women’s volleyball is one of the most exciting sports UC Davis has to offer and this match pretty much sums up why.

1. Football: Nov. 13 – UC Davis 22, Cal Poly 21; Nov. 20 – UC Davis 17, Sacramento State 16

It was impossible to pick just one of these classics as the game of the quarter, so I’ll pick both.

The rivalry matchups are always the most exciting and these two didn’t disappoint.

The Aggies followed a similar game plan in both matches: fall into an early, seemingly insurmountable hole and stage a thrilling late comeback.

Against the Mustangs, it was a Randy Wright pass to Sean Creadick with 35 seconds remaining in the game to give UC Davis the 22-21 win. The Aggies came back from a 21-point deficit to take the game.

UC Davis battled the elements in the Causeway Classic against Sac State. Kicker Sean Kelley nailed a 21-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter to give the Aggies a 17-16 lead it wouldn’t lose.

These two games had all the ingredients of an instant classic: an early deficit, a late comeback and a last second score to secure the win.

Oh yeah, and the good guys won.

JASON ALPERT will be a more vigilant sports editor in the winter – at least until Feb. 13 when pitchers and catchers report to Scottsdale, Ariz. for the beginning of spring training. In case you forgot, the San Francisco Giants are World Series Champions. To talk Giants baseball or UC Davis sports, e-mail him at sports@theaggie.org.

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