UC Davis LAX heads back to Fresno State

April 10, 2018

DAVIS, Calif. - Mere days after picking up a 15-9 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation victory at San Diego State, UC Davis women’s lacrosse returns to action for back-to-back matchups with Fresno State, the first of which takes place at the FSU Soccer & Lacrosse Field on Wednesday. First draw is 5 p.m.

The Aggies won a wild conference opener that saw a 4-0 lead transform into a 6-6 halftime tie, which in turn became a brief 9-8 deficit after the Aztecs scored consecutive goals in the span of 20 seconds midway through the second half. However, freshman midfielder Mar Alvear scored back-to-back tallies within a span of 35 seconds, with Taylor Cuenin and Amanda Outcalt added two more goals apiece in what became a 7-0 run to close out the game. 

“It was a game of momentum and a game of streaks,” said head coach Suzanne Isidor, who began her first MPSF season with that victory. “We just played well, even when San Diego State made runs, we stayed focus and kept answering back. It was a matter of which team would answer at the end, and luckily, it was us.”

Alvear went on to earn MPSF Rookie of the Week distinction, while junior goalkeeper Grace Richards captured Defensive Player of the Week, mostly for the performances in that game. Alvear also won two draw controls and notched a caused turnover and a ground ball in the contest. Richards totaled a career-best 13 saves to go with a steal and a pair of ground balls against SDSU.

“Mar’s goals were huge. She had two goals all season and then she scores two in a crucial moment. That definitely fired everybody up. It definitely pushed us over the edge,” said Isidor. 

And while Richards’ name is on the official award, Isidor commends the entire defensive backfield for its play in the win over the Aztecs. “I wish we could just nominate the entire defense as a unit,” she said. “Ally Deremer is such a good defender but she doesn’t get stats. The defense did a great job at forcing shots that Grace should save, then Grace saved everything she should have. She came up big, and it was the whole group working as a unit.”

Another key factor in Sunday’s victory was the play around the draw circle. UC Davis won 19 of the game’s 26 draws, with Kelsey DeJesus and Shannon Geary claiming seven apiece. Geary brought her season total to a team-leading 34, which raised her career sum to 130. The latter figure moved her ahead of Katie McMahon (2004-06, 2008) for fifth in school history.

Cuenin and Outcalt lead the Aggies offensively with 30 and 21 goals, respectively, with sophomore Sorana Larson close behind with 20 tallies. Senior Kate Fellner leads the team and the conference with 19 assists.

This leads UC Davis into its non-MPSF matchup with Fresno State on Wednesday. The Aggies and Bulldogs meet up for a “home-and-home” series in 2018, although it will be the April 21 that counts toward the league standings. Nonetheless, Isidor sees her team gearing up for the road meeting regardless of its MPSF status. “Whether or not there are conference ramifications on the line, Fresno and Davis will be a battle no matter what. Both teams will play hard, without thinking of the next game. Fresno is a strong team that is coming off a big win against Cal. It’s a good rivalry.”

Fresno State has come a long way from its three initial winless seasons from 2009 through 2011. The Bulldogs set a school record of nine wins last year, but has already tied that mark with this year’s 9-5 ledger so far. Junior attacker Sarah Bloise – coincidentally, a Davis High product – leads the MPSF in goals (37) and total points (52). Sophomore Marina Mayo netted a career-high five goals in Friday’s 14-13 win at Cal.

Wednesday’s game is available as a video stream at Flo Sports.

With only three teams in the MPSF, the conference tourney consists of a single semifinal on April 27, with the regular season “champion” earning a bye into Sunday’s final... The two remaining league games are Sunday’s Fresno State-San Diego State meeting followed by the UC Davis-FSU game on Picnic Day... Wedneday will be the Aggies’ second trip to the San Joaquin Valley this year, as the team previously faced Albany at FSU’s Soccer & Lacrosse Field back on March 15... Junior Taylor Cuenin enters this week with 95 career goals, putting her within striking range of becoming the 10th Aggie to hit the century mark... The last to reach it was Elizabeth Landry, who surpassed the milestone late in her junior year of 2014.

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. 6-ranked public university in the nation according to the Wall Street Journal, 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.

DON’T MISS OUT!: Season and single-game tickets for all UC Davis spring sports, plus renewals for Aggie football, are now on sale by contacting the Athletics Ticket Office at (530) 752-AGS1 or by visiting us online at UCDavisAggies.com.