56.1 F

Davis, California

Friday, April 12, 2024

Women’s soccer preview

Teams: UC Davis vs. UC Irvine; vs. Cal State Northridge

Records: Aggies, 6-3-0 (0-0); Anteaters, 7-2-1 (0-0); Matadors, 0-3-0 (0-0)

Where: Aggie Stadium

When: Friday at 3 p.m.; Sunday at 1 p.m.

Who to watch: Freshman forward Lexi Poppoff has been a key element of the Aggie offense this season.

The Tracy, Calif. native has started six of nine games this season. The freshman has wasted no time in making an impact, scoring a goal and leading the team with five assists.

Did you know? Senior goalie Maria Magana has 26 saves and only five goals allowed through the Aggies’ first nine games. Magana currently boasts an impressive .839 save percentage.

Preview: UC Davis is entering their first Big West Conference game with confidence.

After suffering back-to-back defeats in Oregon the Aggies rebounded well, earning a 1-0 victory over Nevada. UC Davis hopes to use that momentum to propel them to victory over No. 18 UC Irvine.

A win over the Anteaters would be a welcome change from last season’s match with the Anteaters – a game the Aggies lost 6-0. Coach MaryClaire Robinson believes UC Davis is an improved squad this year.

“In terms of our ability to play and compete, we’re at a place we haven’t been in a long time and I think we’re a more complete program,” she said.

The Anteaters are entering Friday’s match with a two-game win streak, composed of victories over No. 25 Portland and the University of San Diego.

It will be a tough game for the Aggies but they are confident that they can win. The offense and defense have been playing exceptionally well so far and if UC Davis can maintain that same level of intensity for the full 90 minutes they can walk away with a victory in hand.

Sunday’s match-up against the Cal State Northridge Matadors will also be a challenge.

The Matadors lost their game against No. 25 Portland last Sunday but they have an opportunity to rebound against Pacific on Friday evening before entering Sunday’s game against UC Davis.

The Aggies are entering this weekend with high expectations for themselves.

This year’s squad is determined to place higher in conference, ideally in the top four. In order to do so they have to avoid the one-goal losses that marred their season last year.

Robinson has voiced her desire to see the Aggies in the Big West Conference Championship Tournament at the end of the season and the team is ready to earn their berth this year.

The Aggies are hoping to open conference play against UC Irvine with a huge home crowd. Senior captain Aisha Lott emphasized the importance of a supportive crowd earlier this season and the Aggies are hoping to see lots of fans when they take the field this weekend.

– Kim Carr


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