This year’s women’s soccer squad has battled through a season of hard-fought victories and tough losses, but Sunday’s game against UC Riverside gave them one final chance to come together and win.
The Aggies closed out the rough season on a high note with the victory over the Highlanders.
Friday — Cal State Fullerton 2, UC Davis 1
The Aggies started the weekend with a Friday afternoon kick-off against top-ranked Cal State Fullerton. The first half was a back and forth fight between offenses, but the Titans found the scoreboard first when sophomore Adriana Gjonovich snuck one past freshman goalkeeper Taylor Jern. The score came in the 42nd minute of the first half and it gave CSU Fullerton a 1-0 lead.
“We had one mistake [in the first half] and they snuck one in,” said head coach MaryClaire Robinson.
The Titans were quick to find the back of the net again, when senior JeAnna Mazeau earned her fourth score of the season from seven yards out.
The UC Davis offense managed to cut the lead in half in the 71st minute when sophomore Kiele Argente punched in a straightaway shot from 20 yards out.
The Aggies initiated a last-minute offensive assault near the end of the game but they were unable to connect on any of their opportunities.
“I thought in the second half we had much better energy and we went forward and took it to them a little bit,” Robinson said.
The loss to Fullerton was frustrating and was the Aggies’ eighth game of the season decided by a one goal difference.
However, the team walked away with plenty of positives. The offense does not struggle to create opportunities so it is simply a matter of converting those opportunities into goals.
“We had much more success, particularly in the last 25-30 minutes, in terms of going forward and creating opportunities,” Robinson said.
Sunday — UC Davis 2, UC Riverside 1
UC Davis took the pitch for the final game of the season on Sunday afternoon in a battle for pride. Both teams were not eligible for bids to the Big West Conference Championship but there were plenty of seniors looking to close their collegiate careers with a victory.
The Aggies also managed to put an end to a five-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory over the Highlanders.
UC Riverside started the action when junior Andrea Morales managed to put one past Jern and the Aggie defense.
UC Davis responded in the 64th minute of the game when sophomore Taylor Duffner managed to steal the ball and even the score at 1-1.
The Aggie offense continued to chip away at the Highlander defense and junior Ashley Edwards scored the game winner in the 83rd minute off a cross pass from fellow junior Kirstin Holmberg.
“The most important thing for us was playing as a team and physically and mentally going into every opportunity where we had the ball with intensity,” Robinson said.
UC Riverside had a late shot on goal but it was saved by Jern, who came in to finish the second half after senior goalkeeper Kathleen Brandl earned her first start of the year to close out her senior season.
The Aggies missed the conference championship this year but they can head into the offseason with plenty of pride. UC Davis’ squad was primarily composed of young players and Robinson lauded their maturity all season long.
KIM CARR can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.