Sep 1, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. - First-half goals by senior midfielders Ashley Edwards and Kiele Argente helped UC Davis build an early two-goal cushion, and freshman midfielder Andrea Damian added another goal with 17 minutes left in the second half to help UC Davis defeat the Drake Bulldogs, 3-2, in Sunday's non-conference matchup at Aggie Soccer Stadium.
With the win, UC Davis will now commence its nine-match road swing with a 2-1-0 record; Drake ends its weekend in Northern California with a 0-3-1 mark.
For their efforts throughout the weekend against Iowa and Drake, Edwards and senior Mary Beth Mazurek were named to Pacific Classic's All-Tournament Team. Organized by Pacific, this weekend event culminated with Sunday's Drake-UC Davis and Iowa-Pacific matchups.
"We snuck one in early, dominated most of the first half and were feeling good with the chances we created," said UC Davis head coach Maryclaire Robinson following the match. "We were playing some really good soccer,"
Just three minutes into the match, the Aggies scored a goal on their first attempt to jump out to an early 1-0 lead.
What started with a run along the far sideline, and continued with a cross from Lexi Poppoff, ended with Edwards blasting a shot off a header from Argente that easily beat Drake goalkeeper Andrea Swanson to her right.
The goal was Edwards' first of the season, each of her teammates also earned their inaugural points of the year on the play.
With just under 15 minutes left until halftime, Argente doubled the Aggies' advantage with a delicate touch shot that curled around the outstretched arms of Swanson before coming to a stop inside the goal right behind the right post.
When play resumed after the break, the Aggies kept the action on Drake's half of the field and continued to fire shot after shot in an attempt to further increase their lead.
Including its 10 in the second half, UC Davis outshot Drake 17-10.
Five of the Aggies' eight corners also took place after halftime; Drake's lone corner took place in the first half.
By stopping a UC Davis penalty shot with 20 minutes remaining, Swanson was able to keep her team's deficit within a manageable margin.
Twelve minutes later, a heads-up play by Damian led to her first goal as an Aggie, one that soon became the deciding shot in the match.
By stepping into the lane and intercepting a pass from one Drake defender to another on the opposite half the field, Damian created a one-on-one scoring situation.
"I was just thinking, `don't miss.' I knew it had to go in. I was excited once I realized I scored my first goal," said Damian.
She led all Aggies with four shots.
Less than 90 seconds later, Drake was able to generate its first dangerous scoring chance of the day -- one that unfolded in a similar manner to Damian's opportunity.
After a UC Davis defender lost her footing near midfield, Drake forward Paige Dusek pounced on the loose ball to score the Bulldogs' first goal.
Three minutes later, Dusek recorded her team's second goal within a four-minute timespan, an opportunity that was created off another Aggie turnover.
Including Sunday's action, the Bulldogs have scored on four occasions throughout their first four games of the season. Dusek is responsible for all four goals.
"Towards the end of the game, we were a little sloppy in back and Drake took advantage of those situations," said Robinson.
Even though they pulled within one in the final minutes of the match, the Bulldogs would not enter the Aggies' half of the field again.
When all was said and done, UC Davis' 83 minutes of stellar soccer negated Drake's late-game, four-minute flurry to give the Aggies' their second home victory in as many occasions.
"Moving forward, we have a laundry list of things that we want to address," added Robinson.
"However, the energy, the intensity, coaching and commitment are there -- that's what makes this team fun to watch."
Starting Friday, Sept. 6, in the University of San Francisco Tournament against the host Dons, UC Davis will play its next nine straight matches on the road.