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Friday, May 24, 2024

Aggies off to bumpy Big West start

The Aggies didn’t get a win, but the weekend was far from a failure.

UC Davis kicked off Big West Conference play by drawing 2-2 against league favorite No. 19 UC Irvine at Aggie Soccer Field. The Aggies then proceeded to lose 3-1 to Cal State Northridge.

Following the weekend, UC Davis fell to a record of 6-4-1 overall, 0-1-1 in Big West action.

Friday – UC Davis 2, UC Irvine 2 (2OT)

UC Irvine struck first on Friday with senior Lexi Kopf finding the back of the net in the 24th minute off a pass from teammate Zoya Farzaneh.

The Aggies bounced right back, however, scoring just four minutes later when sophomore Hannah Hicks assisted on junior Allison Kelly’s team-high fourth goal of the season.

Both defenses played strong after the initial setbacks but the Anteater offense broke through first when freshman Jenna Pelligrino headed in a pass from fellow Anteater Natalia Ledezma. Pelligrino’s goal put UC Irvine up 2-1 to end the first half.

The Aggies wasted no time getting started in the second frame. Senior Annacy Wilson scored less than two minutes in to tie the game at two.

After Wilson’s goal, the second half remained scoreless for both teams and regulation time ended in a 2-2 tie.

The Aggies had the only chance to win the game in overtime when senior Elise Winbrock had an attempt on goal but unfortunately for UC Davis, it did not connect.

“It was a great team effort,” coach MaryClaire Robinson said. “Today we played what everyone says is the best team in conference and we’re walking away wondering why [we] didn’t win it.”

The 2-2 draw against UC Irvine is a vast improvement from last season’s match-up where the Aggies suffered an 0-6 loss to the Anteaters.

Sunday – Cal State Northridge 3, UC Davis 1

UC Davis entered their second conference game looking to keep their momentum rolling after Friday’s draw.

The Aggie defense did not get off to a good start, though, letting in two scores in first 17 minutes of the game.

The Matadors scored another goal before the Aggies made it onto the board. Hicks scored in the 80th minute of the game off an assist from junior Allison Kelly. It was Hicks’ first goal for UC Davis but it was too little too late as the Aggies failed to find the net again and lost 3-1.

Cal State Northridge is always a tough opponent but Robinson was mostly disappointed with the play in the first half.

“Today was not our best day,” Robinson said. “But … the second half was a much better example of our play.”

KIMBERLY CARR can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.

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