Event: Aggie Shootout
Teams: No. 17 UC Davis vs. Sonoma State; vs. Cal State East Bay; vs. Santa Clara; vs. Pacific
Records: Aggies, 5-5; Seawolves, 4-14; Pioneers, 8-6; Broncos, 7-9; Tigers, 8-5
Where: Schaal Aquatic Center
When: Saturday at 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m.; Sunday at 9:30 a.m., 1 p.m.
Who to watch: Though the Aggies split four games at the UCI Invitational this weekend, sophomore Carmen Eggert was consistent the entire weekend.
The native of San Rafael, Calif. scored at least one goal in each of the games. She also tallied 10 assists, nine steals and eight kick-outs over the weekend. She now leads the Aggies with 19 assists on the season.
Both of her parents were collegiate athletes and her older brother plays for the UC Davis men’s water polo squad.
Did you know? Goalie Rachel Tatusko made her first start in her collegiate career against Cal State Northridge last week.
Tatusko tallied five saves and three steals in just three quarters, showing defensive prowess in and around the cage.
Preview: Despite the name of this weekend’s event, hopefully it won’t be a shootout for the Aggies.
UC Davis has already seen its share of high scoring offenses, and will try to impose its will on defense at the Aggie Shootout.
In the four games where the Aggies have surrendered double-digit goals, they are winless. As good as its offense has been, UC Davis knows that every goal its opponent scores is one it has to get back.
“We want to continue to build [defensive] momentum,” Wright said. “We want to continue good defense. [Against Cal State Northridge at the UCI Invitational], our defense played a systematic defense and it was a collaborative team effort.”
As much as he wants to focus on defense, Wright hopes to improve his team’s 6-on-5 offense by getting key players back into their roles
“We may be becoming too predictable for teams,” Wright said. “A lot of the practices are going to be around getting [Heidi Kucera] and [Ashley Chandler] comfortable in our offenses again.”
Kucera and Chandler haven’t practiced much with the team due to their commitment to the swimming and diving team – who recently won the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championship last weekend.
UC Davis’ opponents aren’t going to make the Kucera and Chandler’s transition back to water polo easy, though.
Santa Clara has allowed less than seven goals in four of their last five games. In a similar fashion, Pacific – omitting blowout losses to Stanford and California – hasn’t allowed more than eight goals all season. Cal State East Bay is riding a four-game win streak coming into this week.
– Matt Wang