Oct. 31, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. - For a vast majority of Thursday's Big West game, UC Davis more than held its own, and dictated the pace of play against the conference's top team until Cal Poly struck late and scored the game's only goal to defeat the Aggies 1-0 at Aggie Soccer Stadium.
UC Davis will enter its season finale Sunday afternoon, against UC Santa Barbara, with a 5-9-3 overall record and 2-4-1 league mark. Cal Poly ends its regular season with respective records of 11-7-0 and 7-1-0.
Less than 20 seconds into the game, Cal Poly generated its first, and most dangerous scoring opportunity until its game-winning play, when a shot from Elise Krieghoff was blocked by UC Davis goalkeeper Taylor Jern on an early one-on-one opportunity.
UC Davis nearly jumped out to a 1-0 lead of its own midway through the half when Lexi Poppoff weaved her way though Cal Poly's entire backline before firing one of her team-high three shots just wide of the far post.
After pulling a Mustang defender towards her on a run down the far sideline, Poppoff quickly cut back and reversed her direction, dribbled the ball down the far end line towards Cal Poly's goal, sprinted past another two defenders before taking a shot that eluded the feet of another Mustang.
Clearly beat on the play, Cal Poly goalkeeper Alyssa Giannetti would have had no chance in stopping Poppoff's shot had the ball curled just a fraction of a second earlier.
Throughout an action-packed first half, both teams were able to fire five shots at their opponent's net, and entered the break with a scoreless tie.
Wisely maintaining their attention on Krieghoff throughout the entire match, the nation's leading scorer was kept in check until she scored the decisive goal. Prior to netting her 21st goal of the season, Krieghoff's only clear shot on goal took place early in the second half after Aggie defenders Nicole Bouvia and Bridget Berman wisely drew their opponent offside on one of Cal Poly's long-ball counterattacks.
Mere moments after that play occurred, Andrea Damian nearly caught Giannetti off her line and wisely blasted a shot from 30 yards-one that rolled just wide of the net.
UC Davis will return to action at Aggie Soccer Field on Sunday, Nov. 3, against the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos. For Kiele Argente, Stephanie Bell, Berman, Ashley Edwards, Hannah Hicks, Kirstin Holmberg, Emily Irion and Mary Beth Mazurek, that match will serve as each player's final home game; all eight will be honored by the women's soccer program in a pregame ceremony scheduled to take place before that day's 2 p.m. kickoff.