DAVIS, Calif. – UC Davis scored off a header late in the first half and, despite playing a woman down for the entire second half following a red card, limited Sacramento State to just one shot on goal as the Aggies earned a 1-0 season-opening win on Friday afternoon in Davis.
"I thought we didn't even come close to playing up to our potential," Sacramento State head coach Randy Dedini said. "For the first game of the season and facing UC Davis I thought the energy would be sky high but I felt like we were flat at the beginning of the game. It was really disappointing, but fortunately it was early in the season and hopefully we can learn from these mistakes as we move forward."
Junior goalkeeper Kimberly Mata was solid in net with three saves and the Hornet back line limited the Aggies scoring opportunities throughout the afternoon, but one goal proved to be enough for the home team. In the 32nd minute UC Davis had a run down the right side of the field and senior Mary Beth Mazurek sent a cross into the Hornet box and found sophomore Haley Hughes for a header redirected past Mata to score what would be the only goal of the match.
The Aggies had all the pressure early on, taking the first three shots of the match before sophomore Kassidy Kellogg had a try blocked in the 18th minute. The Hornets later had a throw in near the corner but could not get a look on net.
With the clock ticking down the final seconds of the opening half, the Aggies lobed a high-bouncing ball into the Sacramento State goal mouth. UC Davis freshman Andrea Damian went up for the ball cleats-high and collided with Mata mid-air. Both players would walk off the field under their own power while Damian was issued a red card and the half came to a close.
As a result of the red card UC Davis had to play the entire second half with just 10 players. After an Aggie shot off a corner kick hit the side of the net in the 56th minute, the Hornets earned a scoring chance on the ensuing possession. Redshirt freshman Lydia Bowman sent a lead pass that found Jordyn Rolling on the run angling towards the UC Davis goal but the senior's shot veered just left of the home net.
The Hornets had their best scoring chances in the 75th minute, as Cella sent a corner kick into the goal mouth. Junior Kassi Anast headed the feed off an Aggie player and the ball came to sophomore Josie Jogwe for a point-blank shot. Aggie junior goalkeeper Taylor Jern got a piece of the ball to send it over the crossbar, and Anast had another header try off the ensuing corner kick that went wide.
The near misses proved to be the Hornets last scoring chances as neither team got off a shot over the final 15 minutes of the contest and UC Davis held on for the win.
UC Davis held a 12-5 shot advantage for the contest, including an 8-1 margin in the first half. Anast was the only Hornet with more than one shot in the game and Jern had to make just one stop to record the shutout. The Aggies earned five points towards the Causeway Cup with the victory.
The Hornets have a week to regroup before playing at Cal Poly next Friday, Aug. 30, at 7 p.m.