WATCH McKEEGAN'S GAME WINNER (Courtesy Big West TV)
DAVIS, Calif. -- Senior Mandy McKeegan came up "golden" for the UC Davis women's soccer team on Friday morning, bending home a free kick in the 104th minute to help lift the host Aggies to a, 2-1, double overtime victory against San Francisco at the Aggie Soccer Field.
The win was the first of the year for UC Davis, which improved to 1-4 overall on the season thanks, in part, to McKeegan's three-point day. The Dons, who tied the match with a score midway through the second half, fell to 2-2-1 overall.
"We've had a really tough stretch of games and, probably, a couple that we thought we should have won, so there was a little bit of a monkey on a back, so to speak," Head Coach Twila Kaufman said. "This is a team that really understands that they're a really good squad, they're a young squad that has a lot to work out, we think our best days are still to come, and we keep saying, 'if we keep doing the right things, it's going to come.' "
After three straight corner kicks to start the second overtime, sophomore Olivia Jones found some space down the right side and was hauled down just outside the box, setting up a free kick from about 19 yards away. McKeegan stepped to the ball and unleashed a low left-footed shot that bent around the wall, glanced off the gloves of goalkeeper Olivia Camera, and into the side netting for the game-winner.
The score was the second of the year -- and the second of her career -- for McKeegan, who tallied the Aggies' first goal of the season on the road against No. 3 USC in the season opener.
"Mandy is playing out of her mind right now and the rest of us will catch up," Kaufman said. "That was a total team effort today. Olivia did well to try and get into the box and I'm glad we were able to capitalize on the set piece that came of it. If she doesn't make that run, that free kick doesn't happen."
Following a scoreless first half, UC Davis was the first on the scoreboard in the 50th minute into the second period as McKeegan sent a long free kick from near midfield to the top of the box, where a waiting Mahlah Catline was able to get a heel on it, flicking it past a charging Camera for her first career goal and the 1-0 lead.
"I am so happy to see Mahlah score her first goal," Kaufman said. "It was industrious to say the least, but it had a bit of flair with the back heel and it was well earned. We knew that their goalkeeper would come off her line quite a bit and if we could play a higher, lofted ball, maybe she could get on the end of it."
It stayed that way until the 69th minute when San Francisco was able to answer. Samantha Jehnings sent a short ball to teammate Sonja Giraud, who turned her defender at the top of the box and fired to the right side for her third of the season and bring the Dons level.
Despite a 14-3 shot advantage in the second half, San Francisco was unable to find the back of net, as the Aggies' defense withstood the barrage. Junior goalkeeper Alexis Smith made seven of her nine saves in the second period to hold the Dons at bay, including back-to-back stops at point-blank range in the 65th minute on two attempts by Izzie Lueken, who led all players with five shots (four on goal) for the day.
McKeegan, Monet Kunz, and Lauren Bouvia, each finished with a pair of shots for UC Davis.
The Aggies close out a four-match homestand on Sunday (Sept. 3) at 1 p.m., hosting UNLV in a soccer doubleheader at Aggie Soccer Field. The match will be followed by the UC Davis men's team, which hosts CSU Bakersfield at 4 p.m.
San Francisco (2-2-1 Overall) vs. UC Davis (1-4 Overall)
Date: Sep 01, 2017 Attendance: 154
Weather: 84 degrees, slight breeze from the north, hazy
Goals by period 1 2 OT O2 Tot
San Francisco................... 0 1 0 0 - 1
UC Davis.......................... 0 1 0 1 - 2
1. 49:37 UCD Catline, Mahlah (1) (McKeegan, Mandy) - long free kick, back heel into the goal
2. 68:49 USF GIRAUD, Sonja (3) (JEHNINGS, Samantha) - short pass, turned at top of box, fired to right side
3. 103:26 UCD McKeegan, Mandy (2) (unassisted) - free kick off yellow, tips off GK hands, tucks inside left post
Shots: San Francisco 21, UC Davis 10
Saves: San Francisco 2 (CAMERA, Olivia 2), UC Davis 9 (Smith, Alexis 9)