DAVIS, Calif. - For 27 minutes, UC Davis and Northeastern engaged in a spirited battle in Friday's non-conference match at Aggie Field Hockey Facility, but two goals scored within a 2:14 timespan, in the latter moments of the first half, gave the Huskies the lead for good as the Aggies dropped their 2016 season opener by a 3-0 score.
UC Davis will head to Ohio University, the site of its next match and the first of five straight on the road, with a 0-1 record. Northeastern will now head to Cal with a 1-0 mark.
After the Huskies built a two-goal lead, the Aggies earned a penalty corner in the waning moments of the first half. Even though plays were made in front of the cage, Husky defenders were able to block two crosses inside the circle, and Northeastern's goalkeeper ultimately kicked the ball towards the center line to end the half and preserve their advantage.
From the moment the second half started, UC Davis was clearly the more aggressive team, and pushed the action in front of the Huskies' goal early. Even though the Aggies were outshot 6-5 in the final 35 minutes of play, Northeastern goalkeeper Becky Garner was forced to come up with two key saves to keep the host team off the scoreboard.
Agustina Singh led her team with four shots and two shots on goal; teammates Kate Young and Sara Janetzky each recorded an attempt on goal in their only swing. Kayla Wigney recorded UC Davis' seventh, and final shot of the match late in the second half.
As was the case before Northeastern's goals, both teams took turns sprinting from one side of the turf, to the other throughout the second half until the Huskies broke through, for the final time of the match, in the 55th minute.
Garner ended her day with four saves.
Friday's contest also marked the official debut for five Aggie freshmen who competed in their first collegiate game: Chelsea Bigelow, Farah Farjood, Lauren Gengarella, Janetzky and Kim van der Meulen. Bigelow, Gengarella and Janetzky earned a spot in field hockey's starting lineup, van der Meulen and Farjood played significant minutes off the bench.