Oct. 24, 2013
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - UC Riverside may have scored first in Thursday's Big West women's soccer match in Riverside, Calif., but UC Davis lit up the scoreboard when it mattered the most as Kiele Argente and Lexi Poppoff helped the Aggies score back-to-back goals in the second half to defeat the Highlanders, 2-1, at UC Riverside Soccer Stadium.
"This was the the best soccer we've played so far this season, truly a superb game from top to bottom," said head coach Maryclaire Robinson succinctly regarding her team's effort in its penultimate road match of the regular season.
The Aggies now have an opportunity to record a league weekend sweep, and earn another three crucial points in the Big West standings when the team faces Cal State Fullerton Sunday, at 1 p.m. UC Davis will enter that contest with a 5-7-3 overall record and 2-2-1 conference mark; UC Riverside slides to 6-11-1 and 3-4-0 with the loss.
In addition to earning their third straight win over the Highlanders, the Aggies' result brought Robinson one step closer towards reaching an elite coaching milestone. If Robinson leaves Titan Stadium with a win, she will return to campus with 200 career victories-all earned at UC Davis.
With the Aggies trailing 1-0 after halftime, Argente tied the match, on her only shot of the evening, when she beat Highlander goalkeeper Elizabeth Silas to her left.
Earning her team-high third, and first assist on the play respectively were Poppoff and Ashley Edwards.
A cross at midfield from Mary Beth Mazurek to Edwards commenced a chain of events that ultimately led to the Aggies' game-tying shot; after a few touches, Edwards saw Poppoff charging towards the net and connected with her teammate on a well-placed pass just outside UCR's 18-yard box. From there Poppoff saw Argente make her run towards the far post, launched a cross to the opposite side of the field, then celebrated with her teammate moments later when the ball came to a stop in the back of the Highlanders' net.
From that point on, the Aggies allowed only two additional shots throughout the rest of the match; Jern earned her only save of the night on one UC Riverside opportunity, a UC Davis defender blocked the other.
With their backline and corps of midfielders frustrating UCR's forwards on one end of the field, the Aggies spent most of the final 20-plus minutes on the opposite half testing the Highlanders' defenders, and goalkeeper, in an attempt to score the game-winning goal.
UC Davis' persistence finally paid off in the 82nd minute when Poppoff struck again. Instead of setting up an Aggie goal, she was the one to record the game-winner, on her second goal of the season, to help UC Davis leave the Inland Empire with a come-from-behind victory.