DAVIS, Calif. —
Senior materials science and engineering major Alexis Smith
finished with seven saves to help lead a stout UC Davis defense and the host Aggies battled Big West-leading UC Irvine to a scoreless draw on a blustery Sunday afternoon at Aggie Soccer Field.
The performance marked the fourth shutout of the year for UC Davis, which moved to 5-7-3 overall and 2-2-1 in league play, wrapping up an unbeaten weekend following its 2-1 victory over Cal State Fullerton on Thursday.
Irvine moved to 7-5-3 overall and remained unbeaten in league play at 3-0-2, competed in its fifth consecutive double overtime contest and out-shot the Aggies, 13-9, for the match, but could not put one past Smith and the rest of the UC Davis defense.
"We've been talking all this week about squeezing the most out of our minutes together and this Irvine team has been pretty good at that," Head Coach Twila Kaufman
said. "I'm really proud of this team for batting and fighting through fatigue. I think we definitely did enough to earn our result today, but I think there were certainly moments when we could have flipped this tie into a win."
Battling high winds in upwards of 20 miles per hour all afternoon, the Aggies tested the waters early from distance with the wind at their backs as sophomore international relations major Mahlah Catline
put one toward Anteater keeper Maddie Newsom that was gobbled up in the first two minutes of the match, and junior communication major Janae Gonzalez
had another attempt that sailed high in the 11th minute.
Three of Smith's seven stops came in the second half, including a crucial sequence with less than two minutes to play in regulation as she denied Shelby Lee on the doorstep with 1:41 to go and forced Kelsee Pottorff to put the rebound high, sending the two teams to overtime.
Freshman Margot Ridgeway
had the best chance for UC Davis in the first overtime period, getting her head on the end of a Janae Gonzalez
corner inside the six at the back post in the 96th minute, but it just chipped over the crossbar, while Smith turned away both Lee and Lili Andino in the second overtime period to preserve the shutout.
"Centerback and goalkeeper are probably two of the hardest positions to start at as a freshman, and (Margot) doesn't behave like a freshman," Kaufman said. "She's is really good on set pieces at both ends of the field and, more important, draws a lot of attention on set pieces offensively which leaves us room to put little wrinkles in our sets."
Senior biological sciences major Ari Zamora
along with Gonzalez finished with three shots apiece to pace the Aggies, while Lee finished with six of her team's 13 shots to lead all players. The performance in net marked the fifth time this season that Smith has finished with six-or-more saves, while Newsom stopped all three UC Davis attempts put on frame.
The Aggies have a little bit of a break until next Sunday (Oct. 21), when they head to Southern California to take on CSUN in a 1 p.m. kick off in Northridge, Calif., for their only match of the week.
ABOUT UC DAVIS
Providing a small-town community feel while providing a world-class academic experience, UC Davis is home to more than 37,000 students and centrally located between San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and the Napa Valley. The No. 5-ranked public university in the nation according to the Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education, and among the top 10 public universities nationwide according to U.S. News and World Report, UC Davis offers nearly 100 graduate programs and more than 100 academic majors across four colleges and six professional schools, ranking among the world and nation's best in numerous disciplines, including veterinary science, agriculture, and plant and animal programs.
Launched in 2017-18, the Aggie EVO System is UC Davis Athletics' investment in the primary mission of preparing student-athletes for a successful "launch" after graduation. Thanks to a collaboration of alumni, university resources, corporate partners, coaches and Student-Athlete Outcomes staff, all Aggies are guided over four years to acquire the skills, knowledge, opportunities and tools to better know and navigate the "World of Work" after graduating from UC Davis. Follow the Aggie EVO system on Twitter and Instagram at @AggieEVO.