When UC Davis kicked off the season, expectations were low.
This year’s squad earned a lowly eighth place ranking in the Big West Women’s Soccer Preseason Coaches Poll. They were not expected to be a threat and they certainly were not expected to make top four in conference.
However, this squad has played the role of underdog well. The Aggies tied top-ranked UC Irvine this year and they earned thrilling wins over Pacific and Cal Poly.
Despite losing to Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton this week, UC Davis finished their regular season with a league record of 4-3-1 and will be the fourth seed in the Big West tournament.
Friday — Long Beach State 2, UC Davis 0
The second place Aggies traveled down to Long Beach to play the third place 49ers on Friday.
Long Beach State exploded out of the gate, taking the first five shots of the game and tallying a total of nine attempts in the first half. UC Davis goalkeeper Maria Magana managed to save all three shots that were on goal to keep the 49ers scoreless in the first frame.
Meanwhile, the Aggie offense managed a total of five shots in the first half with two being on goal but Long Beach State goalkeeper Kaitlyn Gustaves managed to block them both.
UC Davis managed to generate some offensive momentum early on in the second frame. Senior Annacy Wilson attempted to head one in for the Aggies but Gustaves saved it.
A few minutes later sophomore Hannah Hicks tried to boot one in but Gustaves blocked it as well.
The 49er offense finally managed to break the Aggie defense on the next possession. Taylor Nelson headed one past Magana for CSU Long Beach’s first score of the day.
Nicole Sweetman scored the 49er’s second goal of the day just a few minutes later and that sealed CSU Long Beach’s 2-0 victory over UC Davis.
Sunday — Cal State Fullerton 4, UC Davis 1
Cal State Fullerton took just 11 minutes to score in Sunday’s match. They proceeded to tally three more goals on the day, defeating UC Davis 4-1 in the last game of the regular season.
The first half was full of action, with all five of the game’s scores coming in the first 45 minutes.
The Titans took 11 attempts in the first frame with five of them being on goal. CSU Fullerton scored on four of them while Magana managed to block the other one.
The Aggies managed seven attempts in the first half, four of which were on goal but only one went in for a score.
All four Titan goals came from different players and UC Davis’ lone score was from freshman Rogan Dolan who scored her second goal of the season off an assist from sophomore Kirsten Holmberg.
The first frame ended with CSU Fullerton leading 4-1.
Both teams remained scoreless in the second half.
The Aggies did not manage a shot in the second frame. The Titans had eight attempts but Magana managed to save the only two that were on goal.
Even with the losses, the Aggies can be pleased with the fact that they secured a spot in the conference playoffs.
Coach MaryClaire Robinson started this season saying, “I would love to see us in the championship tournament. We have to finish in the top four to make it happen and I think we can do that.”
The Aggies have achieved that goal and they can lay it all on the line against UC Irvine later this week.
KIM CARR can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.