UC Davis’ seniors went out with a bang.
After a win over Cal State Bakersfield on Thursday, the Aggies posted a 2-0 victory over UC Santa Barbara in their last home match of the season.
With the wins, UC Davis moved to second in the Big West Conference with a league record of 4-1-1 – 11-4-1 overall.
Thursday – UC Davis 4, Cal State Bakersfield 3
UC Davis found itself on top early.
Junior Allison Kelly struck 29 minutes into the match, scoring off an assist from freshman Rogan Dolan to put the Aggies up 1-0.
A minute later the Roadrunners tied it up when CSU Bakersfield’s Taylor French found the back of the net from 35 yards out.
The game was tied 1-1 at half but senior Lisa Kemp wasted no time getting the lead back, scoring her sixth goal of the season off an assist from sophomore Kiele Argente to put the Aggies up 2-1 in the 46th minute.
The Aggie offense kept at it and five minutes later Argente scored a goal of her own off an assist from fellow sophomore Hannah Hicks.
CSU Bakersfield kept the shootout going, scoring twice in the next ten minutes to tie it up at 3-3 in the 67th minute.
The Aggies rebounded four minutes later when Kelly scored the game-winning goal off an assist from sophomore Ashley Edwards. The goal was Kelly’s eighth of the season and it gave UC Davis a 4-3 advantage with 29 minutes left.
The Roadrunners had a chance to tie it up and push the game to overtime but senior goalkeeper Maria Magana blocked it, picking up her fourth save of the game.
Coach MaryClaire Robinson was proud that her team stayed focused through all the back-and-forth of the game.
“I feel like we got a little out of sync at first but we pushed though it. Once we started scoring goals we calmed down and got back in it.”
Sunday – UC Davis 2, UC Santa Barbara 0
Aggie Soccer Field was packed for the team’s last home game of the season. Emotions were running high after the pre-game senior ceremonies but UC Davis managed to channel the intensity into its play.
Magana was the story for the first 83 minutes of the match, tallying four saves and producing yet another shutout – the sixth for the Aggies this year.
“I transferred here as a junior and it’s been the best experience I could ever think of,” Magana said. “We have an excellent team, excellent coaches … and having that defense to rely on – it just gives me that extra boost of confidence.
Magana called the victory the best gift she could have given the team. She also accredited the shutout to a special pre-game ritual.
“Before every game I kick both posts and ask them to help me out. Then Kemp will come over and tell me to get a shutout. Every time she’s done that we’ve won with a shutout,” Magana said.
While Magana was blocking shots, the Aggie offense was chipping away at the Gaucho defense.
UC Davis finally found the back of the net when Edwards scored off an assist from Argente, heading in a beauty to put the Aggies up 1-0.
Six minutes later the UC Davis bench exploded as senior Rachel Kahn scored her first goal of the season off another assist from Argente.
“The game could have ended right there and we would have rushed her [Kahn],” Robinson said. “Kahn is one of the hardest workers on this team … she’s tiny but she’s a fighter and she’s inspired a lot of our younger players to reach a higher standard.”
Robinson praised her team after the game saying it’s all about patience, discipline and focus.
KIM CARR can be reached at email@example.com.