Big West play begins at home against Hawai'i

Sept. 26, 2017

THIS WEEK…
Hawai'i (5-4, 0-0 Big West) at UC Davis (1-9, 0-0 Big West)
Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017 | 1:30 p.m. | Aggie Soccer Field | Davis, Calif.
FOLLOW: Live Video | Live Stats | Tickets

KICK OFF: The UC Davis women's soccer team looks to turn over a new leaf with the start of Big West Conference play this week, as the Aggies (1-9 overall) host Hawai'i in their lone match on Thursday (Sept. 28) at 1:30 p.m. at the Aggie Soccer Field. The match will be the first of a doubleheader with the UC Davis men's team, which hosts UC Irvine in its league opener at 4 p.m.

IN THE RANKINGS: Neither UC Davis, nor Hawai'i, are ranked among the top 25 in the various national polls this week.

BE A FOLLOWER: Fans can keep up with the latest in UC Davis women's soccer by "liking" them on Facebook (/UCDavisWomensSoccer) and following them on both Twitter (@UCDavisWSOC) and Instagram (@UCDavisWSOC). You can also follow Head Coach Twila Kaufman on Twitter (@twilakaufman) and Instagram (@TwilaKaufman).

PROMOS: UC Davis soccer scarves, a popular collectible in recent years, will be given away to the first arriving fans during both ends of Thursday's soccer doubleheader. Fans are also encouraged to wear the colors of their favorite soccer teams to celebrate "World Cup Day" at Aggie Soccer Field with the chance to compete at halftime of both matches.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!: The Aggies will be featured in a national broadcast for a second time this season as the Big West Conference office announced that UC Davis' league contest at UC Irvine on Oct. 12 will be broadcast live on the ESPN3 platform. Kick off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Anteater Stadium, one of 13 events to be streamed live this fall. A complete listing of games is available at: http://www.bigwest.org//story.asp?story_id=19971. It will be the Aggies' second national broadcast of the year after opening the season against defending national champion USC on the Pac-12 Network.

DUAL THREATS: Standouts on the field and in the classroom, UC Davis student-athletes compete at some of the highest levels of Division I athletics while preparing for life after college at the nation's No. 6 public university. Featuring the nation's top veterinary medicine and agriculture schools, UC Davis student-athletes are enrolled in 93 of the 104 undergraduate programs offered by the University -- 10 of those represented by the women's soccer program...

UC DAVIS WOMEN'S SOCCER BY MAJOR
Neurobiology, Physiology & Behavior (4): Jessica Lima, Mandy McKeegan, Aliyah Walker, Sydney Burger
Materials Science & Engineering (1): Alexis Smith
Human Development (5): Crystal Crump, Emma Hasco, Daniella Giancarli, Riley Marshall, Artrea Williams
Biological Sciences (4): Ari Zamora, Kristie Braken-Guelke, Caitlin Hedde, Haileigh Rose
Biomedical Engineering (2): Monet Kunz, Hailey Rittershofer
Economics (2): Nicole Carson, Oreoluwa Aderibigbe
Managerial Economics (2): Olivia Jones, Kristina Sola
Communication (3): Mckenna Moriarty, Roisin Allaeddini, Aubrey Goodwill
Civil Engineering (1): Courtney Van Winkle
Psychology (1): Zuzu Romano
Undeclared (5): Lauren Bouvia, Casey Palmer, Mahlah Catline, Alicia Sloss, Laura Nichol

ABOUT THE RAINBOW WAHINE: Hawai'i enters Big West Conference play with a 5-4 overall record, but hasn't played since sweeping a pair of matches at Arizona State (1-0 in overtime) and Grand Canyon (2-1) back on Sept. 15 and 17… Thursday's match against UC Davis will be the sixth in a run of seven consecutive road contests for the Rainbow Wahine, who are 3-2 away from the Islands, after opening with four straight at home to start the year… Hawai'i has won three straight entering league play -- the longest active winning streak in the Big West… Senior forward Sonest Furtado leads the team with four goals and 10 points on 27 shots midway through the season, while junior midfielder Raisa Strom-Okimoto has scored three times on a league-high 37 shots… Junior goalkeeper Alexis Mata has played every minute in net for Hawai'i this season, posting a 1.19 goals against average and 45 saves in 834 minutes.

SERIES NOTES: Hawai'i leads the all-time series with UC Davis, 3-2, winning the last meeting between the two programs by a 2-0 score on Oct. 9, 2016, in Honolulu… Prior to that, the Aggies had taken two straight from the Rainbow Wahine by the scores of 2-1 and 4-0 in 2014 and 2015, respectively… This will be the third all-time meeting between the two in Northern California, with Hawai'i posting a 2-0 win in 2013 and UC Davis answering with its four-goal outburst two seasons ago… Both teams have scored a combined eight times in the five-game series.

FOR OPENERS (BIG WEST STYLE): UC Davis is 2-4-4 in Big West Conference openers dating back to its league debut in 2007 and will open conference play at home for the third time in the last four seasons, looking to improve upon a 1-1-2 mark when opening league at Aggie Soccer Field… The Aggies are unbeaten in their last six league lid-lifters, posting a 2-0-4 record dating back to 2011… Thursday marks the first time that UC Davis and Hawai'i will open the Big West schedule against one another as it has faced all seven of the remaining league members in a conference opener: Cal State Fullerton (0-1), Long Beach State (0-2-1), CSUN (0-1-1), UC Irvine (0-0-1), UC Santa Barbara (1-0), UC Riverside (0-0-1), and Cal Poly (1-0)… The Aggies' two wins in conference openers came against UC Santa Barbara (in overtime) in 2012 and Cal Poly in 2015… Since then, UC Davis has tied UC Irvine (2011), Long Beach State (2013), UC Riverside (2014), and CSUN (2016)… Five of the team's last six league openers have finished in overtime.

MOVIN' ON UP: The hard-charging Aggies have made drastic improvements when it comes to the Big West standings under the direction of fourth-year head coach Twila Kaufman. UC Davis' fifth-place finish and 11 points in 2016 had the Aggies just out of a conference tournament berth and marked their highest finish since 2011 when they tied for third with 13 points and advanced to the Big West's postseason event.

IN IT TO WIN IT: A lucky bounce here or there and the Aggies' record thus far through 2017 would look a lot different. Nine of UC Davis' 10 matches overall, and eight of the team's nine defeats this year, have been decided by a single goal -- the most of any Big West Conference school entering the week. Cal Poly has also had nine of its 11 matches decided by one score, while UC Riverside has suffered five one-goal defeats thus far.

THIS CLOSE: The nine matches decided by a single goal are just one off the total accumulated by the Aggies in each of the last three seasons and are the most since the 2013 squad played in 11 one-score contests. The eight defeats by a one-goal margin this year are the most since the 2012 team had its heart broken eight times by a single goal.

SAVED BY SMITH: Junior goalkeeper Alexis Smith, who returned to the net last week against Saint Mary's after missing two matches due to injury, continues to lead the Big West in saves (47) and saves per match (5.88), while standing third in save percentage (.797). The San Jose, Calif., native also ranks No. 36 in the NCAA in saves per match and No. 78 in total saves.