One minute, UC Davis had the game in hand – a 2-0 lead over No. 14 California in what would be the biggest victory in the field hockey program history.
A minute later – absolute heartbreak.
The Golden Bears found the cage twice in the final minute of regulation to force overtime.
After a short break, the deflated UC Davis team took the field.
The Aggies fought hard, but in the end it was Cal that found the game-winning score in overtime.
Sunday’s match against Cal marked UC Davis’ second loss of the week, as the Aggies fell to Stanford 5-0 on Friday.
With the losses, UC Davis moved to 3-11 on the season, 1-4 in NorPac Conference play.
Friday – Stanford 5, UC Davis 0
UC Davis found itself trailing early at Stanford when the Cardinal scored in the 10th minute.
The onslaught continued from there as Stanford tallied 21 shots in the game and found the cage five times.
By contrast the Aggies managed just two shots – both in the first half.
Junior goalkeeper Conley Craven tallied 11 saves for the Aggies.
Sunday – California 3, UC Davis 2 (OT)
Sunday’s game was a very different story.
UC Davis was on top early, as junior forward Emily Mecke scored twice in the first half to give the Aggies a 2-0 halftime lead.
The UC Davis defense held firm for the first 34 minutes of the second frame, but Cal got on the board with just 58 seconds remaining to cut the lead to one.
Less than 30 seconds later the Bears found the back of the cage off a penalty corner, and forced overtime at 2-2.
“Cal is a very disciplined and smart team and they showed that today,” said coach Vianney Campos. “They’re going to take advantage of any opportunity and they’re going to make something out of nothing, and they did that today.”
The extra period was back and forth with both teams having chances, but Cal broke through in the 80th minute hand the UC Davis the heart-breaking defeat.
“I really don’t know what we could have done,” Campos said. “We were really composed and we did a good job of slowing the game down. It was a good effort.”
Craven tallied nine saves in the match.
UC Davis will face Pacific in its final NorPac game of the season Saturday in Stockton.
TREVOR CRAMER can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.