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Sunday, September 26, 2021

UC Santa Barbara defeats UC Davis despite valiant effort

BRIAN LANDRY / AGGIE
BRIAN LANDRY / AGGIE

Defensive game trumped by aggressive play

The UC Davis women’s soccer team played a predominantly defensive game against the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos on Oct. 18, though they held their own throughout most of the match.

A great play early on by junior midfielder Andi Damian resulted in a quick goal and lead for the Aggies. Starting the first half of the match with strong defensive aggression, possession of the ball was even, though UC Davis took more shots on the goal than the Gauchos. UC Santa Barbara tied up the game 1-1 with a goal by Sara Feder in the 35th minute, as the clock ticked down to the half.

Damian’s point for the Aggies was taken from 30 yards out on a play where it looked like UC Santa Barbara was about to counterattack. Damian was able to intercept a pass and caught Gaucho goalkeeper Beth Ritter off-guard by putting the shot to the lower right hand corner of the net. The Gauchos responded with a goal off of a turnover from seven yards out.

BRIAN LANDRY / AGGIE
BRIAN LANDRY / AGGIE

The game brought out the aggression in the Gauchos as they looked for a way to score and take the lead. Injuries sustained by junior forward Rachel Smith and redshirt freshman Kristie Braken-Guelke removed them from the field, which caused a shift in the momentum as the Gauchos continued their attack on the goal with renewed vigor.

The game remained tied until the 87th minute when UC Santa Barbara’s Mallory Hromatko scored a goal that lifted the Gauchos 2-1 over the Aggies with less than four minutes to play in regulation. Attempts by UC Davis to gain possession of the ball and take a game-tying shot were denied, and the match ended with UC Santa Barbara taking the win.

The Aggies recorded seven shots and two on the goal, with Smith taking four of the seven. The Gauchos performed more aggressively and had eight shots with three on the goal. Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Alexis Smith recorded one save, as did the Gaucho goalkeeper.

Despite the loss and injuries on the field, Head Coach Twila Kaufman remains positive for future matches.

“We play every game individually based on what our strengths are, based on healthy personnel and what we see in the other team,” Kaufman said. “We’re ready and will move right past this and be ready for a great practice Tuesday.”

UC Davis now has a 8-6-2 overall record, and are 1-3-1 in the Big West conference as they go into their final home match of the season on Thursday against Hawai’i.

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