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DAVIS, Calif. - The UC Davis women's lacrosse team's four-game continues to march along, this time with a Sunday 1 p.m. matinee against Quinnipiac at Aggie Stadium. The Aggies (2-4) look to rebound after their 11-7 loss to Coastal Carolina on Monday.
Freshman midfielder Kate Graham led a trio of UC Davis scorers with her first collegiate hat trick and two assists. Junior Kelsey DeJesus and sophomore Shannon Cross also netted a pair of scores. Sophomore middie Taylor Cuenin was held scoreless for the first time this year, but she still contributed with team bests of three caused turnovers, four draw controls and four ground balls.
In fact, Cuenin moved up one notch to No. 3 on the national leaderboard: her average of 3.50 steals per game puts her only behind Presbyterian's Maura Talvacchia (4.33) and George Mason's Hannah Warpinski (5.50). Senior goalkeeper Lauren Ali also had arguably her best game to date, posting 10 saves with four ground balls.
Graham's hat trick continued the trend of UC Davis' younger players contributing heavily on both ends of the field. Her 6-foot frame -- she also starred in water polo and basketball at Marin Catholic High -- provides another tall presence alongside 6-foot-2 senior Melissa Kellan, particularly in the "X" area. On the attacking end, sophomores Cuenin and Cross are first and third on the team with 14 and 10 goals, respectively, with Kellan's 11 ranking second.
Defensively, freshman Anna Belenis and sophomore Natalie Garces have provided stopping power alongside seniors Tess Kevorkian and Pauline Kaplan. The young tandem has combined for nine steals and 21 ground balls in the first six games.
First draw for Sunday's game is 1 p.m. Admission for all Aggie LAX games is free. Live stats are available via StatBroadcast while live video will be streamed via Facebook Live (see above for links).
QUICK STICKS: As mentioned above, Taylor Cuenin's 3.50 CTs per game ranks third nationally... Of course, she also ranks top the MPSF in that category, along being 1st in ground balls (3.83), nine in points (3.33), ninth in goals (2.33), 10th in assists (1.00) and seventh in draw controls (3.17)... With the start of spring football on Tuesday, it's worth mentioning the connection between the two programs that share the Aggie Stadium turf: new head football coach Dan Hawkins was a teammate of Cuenin's father Rob and a co-coach with Anna Belenis' father Jim... Coach Hawk was a fullback when Rob Cuenin was a receiver, then served as an assistant with Jim Belenis under Jim Sochor, for whom the Aggie Stadium field is named.
ABOUT THE OPPONENT: QUINNIPIAC (1-3) has lost three straight since edging Central Connecticut State in its home opener, mostly recently an 9-8 overtime setback to Army... Sophomore attacker and 2016 MAAC All-Rookie honoree Allison Kuhn scored two goals with four GBs, two thefts and 3 DCs... Danielle La Rocca had a goal and assist (her first of each this year) in the last five minutes to force the extra frame... Junior attacker Loren Antonacci leads the Bobcats with a 6-6-12 offensive chart through four games... QU has faced UC Davis twice before: a 9-7 home win back in 2006, and a 16-14 loss at Aggie Stadium almost exactly nine years prior (Mar. 10, 2008).