Coach Jamey Wright repeated throughout the season that the Big West Conference title was up for grabs.
Despite bringing a number five seed into the tournament, Wright knows his team has the talent of a top rate team and a determination beyond any ranking’s value.
The Aggies defeated Cal State Northridge to finish with a 20-12 overall record and third place at the Big West Tournament.
Still, knowing the capability of his team, Wright said the team was a little bummed out with the third place finish.
Friday – No. 18 UC Davis 8, No. 17 Pacific 4
UC Davis brought a strong presence into its first round game against a familiar foe.
The Aggies never trailed in the game, limiting Pacific to one goal per quarter while slowly drowning the Tigers with a steady stream of goals each period.
Junior Dakotah Mohr scored the first goal of the game a minute after the whistle and tacked on two more before the Tigers even got on the board. Mohr matched the entire Tigers team’s goals when she scored again in the third quarter to bring her tally to four.
“[Goalie Riane Woods’] 15 saves and our stellar defense really shut them down and set up scoring opportunities,” Wright said. “Dakotah’s fast start was incredible, but should also be credited to the team defense.”
The game boosted the Aggies’ confidence levels for the upcoming match against first seeded UC Irvine.
“We gained confidence we know we should have. We know we can keep anyone on their heels if we execute what we practice,” Wright said.
Saturday – No. 10 UC Irvine 15, UC Davis 9
The Aggies knew they would be tested in Sunday’s second round match-up against the top seeded Anteaters.
In Saturday’s second round game, the two squads were neck-and-neck in the first half. UC Irvine utilized a pair of extra-man opportunities to jump out to a quick 5-1 lead after 11 minutes.
The Aggies battled back, however, with a strong showing in the second quarter. Sophomore Carmen Eggert had a hat trick in the period to bring UC Davis to within a goal at the break.
UC Irvine showed why it was the top seed in the third period, outscoring UC Davis 5-1. The Aggies never closed the gap by less than four goals in the final 12 minutes of play.
Eggert was UC Davis’ leading scorer with three. Juniors Alicia Began and Carey Faber each netted two goals for UC Davis. Danielle Warde and Jessy Cardey who scored five and four, respectively, led UC Irvine.
Sunday – UC Davis 9, No. 15 Cal State Northridge 7
Saturday’s loss moved the Aggies to the consolation game for third place on Sunday and UC Davis would take advantage of the extra game.
Behind Eggert and sophomore Jessica Dunn, the Aggies topped the second seeded Matadors to take third place in the conference.
The two sides traded goals in the first period before a Cal State Northridge power play gave the Matadors a one-goal advantage.
UC Davis bounced back with a vengeance, however. The Aggies outscored the Matadors 4-1 in the second quarter to give themselves a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Freshman Becca Smith and Faber added scores in the third period to cushion the Aggie advantage. The UC Davis defense stepped up big in the final frame, holding Cal State Northridge scoreless on three extra-man advantages.
With the win, UC Davis reached the 20-win plateau for the 12th time in its 14-year varsity history.
MATTHEW YUEN can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.