DAVIS, Calif. -- The UC Davis offense pressed the attack with three golden chances for an early lead, but the Aggies weren't able to convert as visiting Samford scored the match's lone goal in the 60th minute on Friday en route to a 1-0 victory at the Aggie Soccer Field.
Suffering its seventh one-goal defeat and its eighth result decided by a single goal, UC Davis fell to 1-8 overall on the year, dropping its fourth consecutive contest. The Bulldogs improved to 3-5-1 overall on the year, outshooting the Aggies, 13-6 for the match.
"This is a game, I felt, we deserved to win today for ourselves," Head Coach Twila Kaufman said. "As far as the play, I do think we're still getting better and I'm excited about that. I don't know if it was our best game, but I definitely think if we finish our chances, we're all walking out feeling that it was a 'rockstar' of a game."
Freshman Lauren Bouvia and sophomore Olivia Jones each had breakaway attempts snuffed out in the first seven minutes of the match, the former taking a right-footed shot from about eight yards out that was turned away by goalkeeper Anna Maddox, and the latter running on to a pass from teammate Ari Zamora through traffic and taking a shot from 12 yards that was smothered for a save.
Eleven minutes later, Zuzu Romano found herself all alone on a breakaway in the 18th minute, scooting a low shot on frame that was gobbled up by Maddox to preserve the scoreless tie. Senior Mandy McKeegan put another on frame in the 33rd minute, sending a long looping shot from distance that was knocked away by Maddox.
"You saw three opportunities as perfect as they come, and we happened not to finish them but, hey, we're creating those opportunities," Kaufman said. "What I want to see us work on in our time off is, we don't have to be perfect, but how do we create more of those perfect opportunities so we can get a win."
Making her second consecutive start in net in the place of the injured Alexis Smith, freshman keeper Jessica Lima was also up to the task in a scoreless first half, making a stop on a header by Korrie Sauder in the 11th minute, and punching away a free kick by Jermaine Seoposenwe in the 39th.
Just before the halftime horn, Lima made another save, diving to stop a header through traffic from Grace Sommi at the left post to keep the match scoreless.
A pair of blocked shots in the second half preceded the lone goal of the match as Virginia McNeill settled a rebound off a shot by Leigh Haynes, and put home her first goal of the year to the left post for the 1-0 advantage.
Lima was able to make two more stops in the second half to finish with a career-high five saves on the day and keep her side in the match, but the Aggies were unable to find the back of the net, finishing with only two attempts after halftime.
Bouvia led UC Davis with two of the team's six shot attempts on the day, as the Aggies put four of their six attempts on frame. Seoposenwe led all players with three for the Bulldogs, while Maddox made four saves en route to the shutout.
UC Davis continues its five-match homestand on Saturday (Sept. 23) at 1 p.m., welcoming Saint Mary's to the Aggie Soccer Field for its final non-conference match of the season.
NCAA Soccer Game Summary (Final)
Samford (3-5-1 Overall) vs. UC Davis (1-8 Overall)
Date: Sep 15, 2017 Attendance: 207
Weather: 84 degrees, puffy white clouds, clear
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Samford............. 0 1 - 1
UC Davis............ 0 0 - 0
1. 59:53 SAM Virginia McNeill (1) (unassisted) - on the rebound off blocked shot to left post
Shots: Samford 13, UC Davis 6
Saves: Samford 4 (Anna Maddox 4), UC Davis 5 (Lima, Jessica 5)