UC Davis headed down to UC Riverside with a lot to prove.
Fresh off a 3-1 loss to Cal State Northridge, the Aggies took the pitch against the Highlanders, a team they had never beaten.
Ninety minutes later UC Davis emerged victorious, earning its first win over UC Riverside and its first Big West Conference win of the season.
Senior goalie Maria Magana wasted no time in shutting down the Highlander offense. Twenty minutes into the first half she had back-to-back saves, blocking two UC Riverside shots in the span of a minute.
Shortly after Magana’s blocking spree, senior captain Aisha Lott stole the ball from a Highlander at midfield and took off toward the goal. Her shot connected from 20 yards out and the Aggies were up 1-0.
A little over 20 minutes later it was the offense’s turn. Senior Lisa Kemp powered in a shot off a pass from freshman Rogan Dolan in the 43rd and the Aggies entered the half with a 2-0 lead.
UC Davis continued to pour it on in the second half and senior Lisa Kemp scored another goal from 20 yards out in the 63rd minute.
Not to be outdone, fellow Aggie freshman Allison Kelly scored one of her own seven minutes later to put the Aggies up 4-0. Kelly and Kemp are the Aggies’ leading scorers this season, leaving Riverside with five apiece.
The Highlanders finally managed to find the net with just seconds remaining in the game. Senior Vanessa Ybarra snuck one in right before the whistle sounded to give UC Riverside its lone goal of the game.
With the 4-1 win, Coach MaryClaire Robinson was pleased with her team’s performance.
“It was a high energy night for us and we had a great team mentality,” she said, “It was a night where we were hitting on all cylinders.”
Overall the Aggies out shot the Highlanders 15-13 with both teams having eight shots on goal.
UC Davis saw half of their on-goal attempts find the back of the net but UC Riverside had a hard time finding a way around Magana, who tallied seven saves.
The victory moves UC Davis to 7-4-1 this season, 1-1-1 in Big West action.
The Aggies will look to carry this momentum into their match-ups against Pacific and Cal Poly this week.
KIM CARR can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.