In a grueling game between UC Davis and Santa Clara, the Aggies controlled the match from the start.
UC Davis jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first quarter and ended the period with a 3-2 advantage.
“We jumped on them in the first quarter. Things were going really well,” said coach Jamey Wright.
The one-two punch of sophomores Carmen Eggert and Jessica Dunn carried the Aggies. The duo drained a third of UC Davis’ goals for the game.
Despite a tight score, UC Davis controlled the game all the way.
The Aggies turned up their game in the second quarter when they outscored the Broncos 5-3 – ending the half with the 8-4 advantage.
In her last regular season game as an Aggie, senior Michelle Hook scored a goal in the second quarter to supplement points by juniors Alicia Began and Lauren Sutterly. Freshman Becca Smith also added two of her own.
Although Santa Clara shut down the UC Davis shooters in the third period, senior Ashley Chandler dealt the final blow in the fourth quarter, giving the Aggies a comfortable four-point cushion.
Much of the team’s success can be attributed to the reserves. Wright said Began was one of the Aggies’ strongest bench performers.
“They had a center who was being extremely aggressive and pushing us back,” Wright said. “We put in [Began] and she did a fantastic job matching strength with strength and keeping [the Broncos] in check.”
Wright also recognized junior goalie Rachel Tatusko, who stepped up despite not playing much in the past couple games.
“It’s nice to know that we have depth even at the goalie position. I’m not worried in the slightest if we need to switch her with [sophomore Riane Woods],” Wright said.
This non-conference game had no effect on league standings, but was important for the Aggies mental preparation for next weekend’s Big West Conference Championship Tournament.
Wright pointed out that Santa Clara has a similar playing style to that of Pacific, who UC Davis will face in the first round of the tournament.
“We feel confident going into the game but we know we have to continue to execute,” Wright said. “I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
MATTHEW YUEN can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.