By earning its first victory over a ranked opponent, and its inaugural win against Stanford since the program returned to action in 2009, UC Davis will enter the back-half of its home-and-home series against the Cardinal with a 3-7 overall record and a 1-0 NorPac mark. With the loss, Stanford falls to 8-3 overall with a 2-1 league record.
The league loss was Stanford's second in the last four seasons.
"The girls gutted this one out," said UC Davis head coach Austin Pile following the game. "All week I told them that it's not necessarily about the best team or the team that is the highest ranked, but the team that comes out with the most grit. It's all about the team that wants it the most; tonight, we were that team."
Of the four goals scored by Garcia throughout her sophomore season, none was as memorable as the one that brought a sudden end to Sunday's overtime game, the Aggies second of the year. Originating from one of two UC Davis penalty corners earned throughout the evening, Garcia blasted a shot that bounced just inside the near post and eluded the outstretched arms of Davies to bring an abrupt end to the game.
"My team was depending on me, I had to (score) for them," said Garcia regarding her game-winning opportunity.
"We were on our game tonight, when we took the ball down to our end (of the field) in overtime, I knew that something positive was going to happen," added Garcia.
In overtime, seven members from each team battle one another for two 15-minute periods in a golden goal situation — the first team to score, wins the game. If the contest is still tied after an additional 30 minutes of action, a shootout takes place until a victor is determined.
Cloey LemMon eliminated all need for a shootout, or a second overtime session for that matter, when she pushed the ball towards Hannah Drawbridge who was stationed across from Garcia. Once Drawbridge squeezed the ball to a perfect stop with her stick, Garcia took full advantage of the extra space in front of the net now afforded to her due to the reduced number of players on the field, and ended the game.
Garcia's game-winning situation would not have happened, however, without the efforts of Stephie Sabraw in the 65th minute.
After Stanford scored consecutive goals to take its first lead of the game in the 55th minute, Sabraw evened the game at two apiece with a highlight-quality play.
Originally flicked towards Davies by Megan Reardon, Sabraw sprinted towards the cage when she realized that her teammate's shot was heading out-of-bounds. Entering the play from the opposite side of the field, Sabraw fully extended herself, reached out with her stick and dove to the ground in an effort to redirect Reardon's shot before the ball crossed the end line.
If Sabraw dove to the ground one second later, she would have missed the ball entirely and ended up covered in clay pellets from Aggie Stadium's turf. By timing everything correctly, she still had to brush herself off when she reached her feet, but she was also able to celebrate with her teammates after scoring her third goal of the year.
Stanford's Shannon Herald took the first shot by either team in overtime, an attempt that was eventually blocked and redirected to safety outside the penalty arc. Unsuccessful in what became the Cardinal's only overtime scoring opportunity, Stanford would not see the ball return to its half of the field once the Aggies generated their inaugural scoring opportunity.
Before Garcia's goal, Sophia Lisaius, Drawbridge, and LemMon each nearly ended the game with shots of their own which were saved, blocked and rolled wide of goal respectively.
LemMon was the only player from either team to score in the first half when her tip-in beat Davies far post, with just over five minutes remaining until halftime.
"The ball was on my reverse side, I did not know if I should reverse chip it, or switch to my strong side. My shot bounced over the 'keeper and the defenders' sticks, it was just meant to go it," said LemMon describing her first-half scoring opportunity.
"At halftime I told my team not to let up. Stanford is ranked No. 6 for a reason ... we had to keep working," said Pile.
Even though UC Davis entered the break with a 1-0 lead, that advantage quickly disappeared when Stanford scored in the second minute of the second half; when the Cardinal scored again at the 55 minute mark, what was once a 1-0 Aggie lead turned into a 2-1 deficit.
UC Davis goalkeeper Danielle Herrington ended her night with eight saves, one more than her Stanford counterpart.