Suzanne Isidor makes head coaching debut for UC Davis in 11-9 loss
A new era of UC Davis women’s lacrosse began on Friday evening at Aggie Stadium as head coach Suzanne Isidor made her debut as the leader of the Aggies. She is the third head coach of the program in the last six seasons.
On the field, it was a tightly contested, back-and-forth affair for the majority of the evening until visiting California rattled off five consecutive goals midway through the second half, leading to a 11-9 season-opening defeat for UC Davis.
“There were a lot of positives and we did a lot of great things,” Isidor said. “I think we had our opportunities and maybe didn’t capitalize on as many as we should have.”
The Aggies were led by junior midfielder Taylor Cuenin and sophomore attacker Amanda Outcalt, who combined to score all nine of the team’s goals.
“They did a great job,” Isidor said. “They weren’t being stopped, so they had the green light to keep going. Now we need a few more people to step up.”
The game got off to a very physical start, as both teams had a pair of free position attempts in the opening five minutes. The result was a goal for each side, including one from Cuenin, who received a pass in front of the net and quickly fired a shot in traffic to the bottom-right corner.
The Aggies grabbed their first and only lead of the night three minutes later when Outcalt scored on a breakaway to make it 2-1.
California scored two consecutive goals in a span of eight minutes to jump back in front, before Cuenin countered with her second score of the night to tie things up with just over 10 minutes remaining in the first half.
After the Golden Bears scored on a second-chance shot, Cuenin once again netted the equalizer on a quick look in front of the net.
It was an action-packed final minute of the first half, starting with a California goal on a free position shot and a UC Davis goal by Outcalt on the same exact play. The Golden Bears snatched the lead on a goal right as the buzzer sounded to signal the end of the half, stealing the momentum heading into the break.
Less than four minutes into the second half, Cuenin tied the score at 6-6 with an unassisted goal.
The Golden Bears went on a tear for the next 16 minutes, scoring five unanswered goals to take a commanding 11-6 lead with 10 minutes to go in regulation.
“They would score and gain the momentum, and then we would come down and get a shot, but not capitalize or turn the ball over,” Isidor said. “We couldn’t get that momentum back. Had we put one of those goals in, we would’ve stopped the run but we just couldn’t quite get it going.”
A desperate comeback effort by the Aggies in the final seven minutes came up short, despite a pair of goals from Outcalt and one from Cuenin to cut the deficit to two.
“We’re disappointed that we lost, but it’s over and we’re going to take what we can from it and get better,” Isidor said. “If we can keep getting better each game, then we’ll be successful.”
The Aggies will return to action on Friday afternoon in Eugene, Ore. to take on the Oregon Ducks.
Written by: Brendan Ogburn — firstname.lastname@example.org