Teams: UC Davis vs. UC Irvine
Records: Aggies, 11-6-1 (4-3-1); Anteaters, 13-3-2 (6-1-1)
Where: Crawford Field, Irvine
When: Today at 7 p.m.
Who to watch: Sophomore Ashley Edwards has found her niche in the Aggie offense. She has been huge for the team in recent games, including their last home game when she scored to help UC Davis earn a conference win over UC Santa Barbara.
The Concord, Calif. native has started six of 18 games this year, playing a total of 855 minutes. In that time she has accrued three goals and two assists.
Did you know? UC Davis women’s soccer joined the Big West Conference in 2007 and this is their first time placing top four and making it to the Championship Tournament.
The Aggies are facing the defending champion Anteaters who finished last season with an overall record of 19-3-2 and went a perfect 8-8 in conference.
Preview: It is the chance this squad has been fighting for all season.
UC Davis will take the pitch at 7 p.m. today in what might be the last game of its season.
This team finished 2-5-1 in conference last year and they wanted to do better.
Coach MaryClaire Robinson credits the senior leadership on the squad for the rapid turn-around.
“This leadership didn’t start in August. It started last November when we finished conference. We had seniors like AishaLott and Lisa Kemp who just took control. They’ve got the younger players to really buy into the system.”
The hard work has paid off for the Aggies who have produced their first winning season since joining the Big West.
UC Irvine will not be an easy opponent but this year’s squad is not afraid of a fight.
The Aggies tied the Anteaters 2-2 earlier this year and they hope to come out on top this Thursday.
Should UC Davis win today, it will face the winner of Long Beach State and Cal State Northridge in the championship game.
If the Aggies lose this today they can walk away with their heads held high knowing that they have achieved their season goal — they made the conference tournament.
The Aggies can look forward to another competitive season next year thanks to the plethora of young talent on the team. Players like Edwards, Kiele Argente and Allison Kelly will be at the helm of a young, but incredibly gifted squad next season.
However, this year it was all about the seniors — and they have one more shot to show to what they can do before they hand over the reins.
— Kim Carr