Teams: No. 17 UC Davis vs. No. 19 Pacific
Records: Aggies, 17-10 (1-3); Tigers, 17-11 (1-3)
Where: Schaal Aquatics Center
When: Saturday at noon
Who to watch: Though she did not have a standout performance last weekend, junior Alicia Began has quietly become a reliable threat for the Aggies.
The last time UC Davis played Pacific, Began netted three goals and has been improving since. The Camarillo, Calif. native has led the team in scoring in six games, including a pair of hat tricks at the Aggie Shootout earlier this season.
Did you know? All six of the teams in the Big West Conference are ranked nationally in the top-20.
Preview: Despite topping the Tigers earlier in the year, coach Jamey Wright knows not to underestimate the Aggies’ opponents.
“[The Tigers] have been getting better this past month,” he said. “They’re a different team than they were back then.”
If UC Davis wants to close out conference play strong, Wright believes his team will need to utilize its speed to slow down Pacific.
“We have a very fit and fast team,” Wright said. “Most teams like Pacific have a couple kids who score most of their goals, so if we shut them down, we’ll be in good shape.”
The Aggies want to set the tone early in order to take full advantage of their deep roster.
“We want to go fast paced to wear them out and keep the intensity up,” Wright said. “We need to be smart and not force shots to keep pressure on them.”
To wear down the Tigers, the Aggies will look to sophomore Carmen Eggert and her outside shot. Last weekend, Eggert took advantage of open water and scored seven of the team’s 16 goals.
Pacific will be UC Davis’ final conference opponent before the league tournament. Despite the Aggies’ sub-.500 Big West record, Wright believes his team is better than the current 1-3 record would indicate.
“It’s a dogfight conference. Nobody is easy,” Wright said. “On any given day, anyone can beat anyone. We have to come in focused.
– Matthew Yuen