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Davis

Davis, California

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Field hockey season preview

Coach Vianney Campos believes the sky is the limit for this year’s field hockey team.

“We want to win [the NorPac Conference],” Campos said. “We don’t have a superstar player, but we have a lot of weapons. We want to win NorPac and we’re going to do it as a team.”

After going 3-15 during their first year as a program in 2009, the Aggies made a great deal of progress last season. During the 2010 campaign UC Davis improved to 7-10 and tallied the first three NorPac Conference victories in school history.

One reason for optimism this year is that the Aggies have a new level of experience. For the first time in its short history, UC Davis will have multiple upperclassmen on the team.

With the 12 players from the team’s initial recruiting class entering their junior year, Campos thinks that extra year of experience could make a world of difference.

“It’s a tremendous boost,” she said. “It means we can do a lot less coaching, because we’ll have players who can lead on the field. We have a lot of players who have played together for two years, and we expect them to lead us this year.”

Not only will the upperclassmen provide leadership on the field, they will also help the team down the stretch in close games.

Last season the Aggies dropped a pair of overtime contests to NorPac opponents California and Stanford. This year could be a different story.

“In crucial games where it’s tied or time management comes into play, we’ll have the experience to do the right things,” Campos said. “We’ll be able to come out on top in tight games this year.”

However, it is not only the upperclassmen who will benefit from another season of action. The Aggie sophomores will profit as well.

Chief among UC Davis’ class of second-year players is Cloey LemMon. The Morgan Hill, Calif. native finished last season tied for second on the team in goals scored and won NorPac West Division Rookie of the Week three times.

“This year she has a lot more confidence,” Campos said. “She is extremely athletic and she has a great head on her shoulders. She wants to take it to the next level and I have no doubt she will come out with a bang this year.”

UC Davis will kick their season off with three exhibition contests beginning on Aug. 14. With the Aggies opening their regular season schedule with a league game against Pacific, Campos knows how vital these preseason contests are.

“[This schedule] puts pressure on us to work really hard over the summer, because we’re getting thrown into [NorPac play] right away,” she said. “What we do in these scrimmages is a building phase for us to start our conference season.”

TREVOR CRAMER can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.

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