Nov. 5, 2013
IRVINE, Calif. - Senior midfielder Ashley Edwards and senior defender Mary Beth Mazurek earned first team accolades, and were two of five UC Davis players who received All-Big West recognition as released by the conference Wednesday.
Junior forward Lexi Poppoff was the lone Aggie named to the conference's second team, sophomore forward Sienna Drizin earned honorable mention and Nicole Bouvia collected one of 11 available spots on the league's all-freshman team.
The Aggies' quintet of all-league recipients is the largest group since UC Davis joined the Big West Conference, two selections more than the 2011 squad that earned the program's inaugural postseason berth at the Big West Tournament.
Named a starter in all 17 appearances, Edwards led the team in scoring and total points. Of her four goals scored, three ended up being the game-winner when the Aggies faced Drake, Pacific and Cal State Northridge. Including her one assist, earned at UC Riverside, Edwards ended her final season as an Aggie with a team-high nine points.
Responsible for the game-winning assist when UC Davis hosted Sacramento State in its annual Causeway matchup, Mazurek anchored one of the stingiest backlines in the Big West Conference. Even though she did not score a goal throughout the 2013 season, Mazurek prevented many more from finding the back of the net with her soccer savvy, leadership and communication skills.
As the season progressed, so too did the Poppoff's play as she provided UC Davis with another potent option on offense. Responsible for the Aggies' only goal at Utah Valley, a game that took place in the midst of a nine-match road trip, she also drilled the game-winning goal at UC Riverside.
By helping her team claim a victory over the Highlanders, Poppoff preserved UC Davis' playoff hopes and helped the team enter its season finale one week later with a chance to advance to the Big West Tournament.
The lone Aggie on this year's all-league list who received conference accolades last season, Drizin returned to form once Big West action commenced and played a significant role in the Aggies' ascension in the standings.
Able to influence the game from any of the three lines, Drizin made key stops on one half of the field, and helped create numerous scoring opportunities on the other. In addition to recording a goal when UC Davis visited UC Irvine earlier this year, Drizin's ball handling helped create space outside opponent's 18-yard box, which led to successful scoring plays for her teammates.
Of the 15 freshmen that joined the program this year, not one player earned as many starts, or shaped the game as directly as Bouvia-the one Aggie student-athlete represented on this year's all-freshman team. With Mazurek graduating this year, head coach Maryclaire Robinson will have the luxury in placing her faith, and confidence, in the first-year defender; experience gained this season, combined with her evolving leadership skills ensures a strong presence on defense for many years to come.
UC Davis ended its year with a 6-9-3 overall record and 3-5-1 Big West mark, results that helped the Aggies finish tied for fifth place alongside Hawai'i. Even though UC Davis fell one point shy of claiming a spot at this weekend's postseason tournament, its final standing is the second highest since joining the conference in 2007.