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Monday, April 15, 2024

UC Davis women’s soccer loses home opener to Pacific Tigers 

After two wins on the road, the Aggies fall 1-0 against the University of the Pacific


By MARLON ROLON — sports@theaggie.org


Despite stringing together two wins on the road, including a program first win against the nationally ranked No. 5 Santa Clara Broncos, the Aggies lost a close contest against the University of the Pacific (UOP) in their first campaign on their home turf at Aggie Soccer Field on Thursday, August 25. 

Going into the match, UC Davis was looking to collect their third straight win but the Tigers’ dominant midfield game spoiled the Aggies’ plan. 

The first half consisted of a lot of back and forth, the Tigers pressing the ball down the pitch while the home team played the counter-attack tactic. 

Trouble spelled for UC Davis in the 20th minute of action when UOP fourth-year forward Lauren Frohan came close to scoring off of a shot just outside the box.

In the 22nd minute of play, UCD’s Sarah Canavan, a redshirt first year, responded with a stellar shot that was destined to touch the back of the net; however, Tigers’ goalkeeper, fourth-year Brenna Crump, managed to get a hand on the ball to stop the Aggies from scoring. 

For the majority of the first half, Pacific played beautiful soccer, controlling the pace at the midfield while the players shared the ball with one another via quick passes. Meanwhile, UC Davis attacked with speed. The first half came to a close with Pacific having five shots while the Aggies had just three. 

The Tigers came out hot in the second half; fourth-year striker Jade Enalen ran through the defense to get a shot off coming up just short in the first minute since the break. The momentum was in the Tigers’ favor at this point.

UC Davis had trouble keeping possession of the ball due to Pacific’s defensive pressure. On offense, the Tigers turned up the tempo, forcing the Aggies to drop back on defense while Pacific put the pressure on. 

The pivotal point of the match came after a corner kick from the visiting team. The lone goal came in the 58th minute of the second half off a corner kick inside the crowded box. The Tigers celebrated fourth-year striker Melani Medina’s goal as she put the team up 1-0. 

Davis’s head coach Tracy Hamm decided to make a change on the pitch in an attempt to swing the momentum in the Aggies’ favor. In the 65th minute, second-year striker Devyn Simmons was subbed into the match. The switch helped the flow of the offense with Simmons taking a great shot five minutes later that was blocked in dramatic fashion near the top right corner of the net. The play drew loud cheers from the home crowd. 

Simmons’ energy helped the Aggies take control of the game. The pace changed and the Tigers were forced to switch to their defensive scheme. Simmons once again tried her luck blasting the ball from outside the box; however, the goalkeeper blocked the shot. This was the last major play of the game for UC Davis — Pacific held onto the win with just one goal. 

Despite the loss, redshirt second-year goalkeeper Caeley Goldstein continues to be a bright spot for the Aggies. After leading UC Davis to shutouts in the first two games of the season, Goldstein was named the Big West Conference Defensive Player of the Week. Against Pacific, she had six saves, two of which were featured in highlights. In three games to start the campaign, Goldstein has only allowed one goal. 

Another player that deserves credit is Simmons, who came onto the pitch as a late substitution. Her presence in the game sparked some life into the Aggies and she had two shots in 25 minutes of play.

With the loss, the Aggies drop to 2-1 in non-conference play and they will look to rebound in their next fixture against San Francisco State on Sunday afternoon at Aggie Soccer Field.


A look ahead

UC Davis will travel across the Causeway on Sept. 1 to play rivals Sacramento State. Then, they will be back at home on Sept. 4 and Sept. 8 to play Oregon State and Boise State. On Sept. 15, they will play their first conference game in Hawaii, and on Sept. 18, they will travel to Arizona. The remaining games are conference opponents; on Sept. 22 and Sept. 25 UC Davis will host UC Irvine and CSU Northridge. They will go on the road on Oct. 2, Oct. 6 and Oct. 9 to play UC San Diego, Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara. The last home stretch of the season will be on Oct. 13, Oct. 20 and Oct. 23 against CSU Bakersfield, Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside. The season will end in Long Beach on Oct. 27.


Written by: Marlon Rolon — sports@theaggie.org