When the student-athletes of UC Davis women’s soccer took to Edwards Stadium on Friday afternoon to face Cal, history was pitted against the Aggies. Going all the way back to 1984, the Bears possessed an 11-0-1 record against the Aggies.
For most Cal fans, it was practically a given that the Bears would improve to 12-0-1 against their NorCal foes, while the Davis faithful were holding out hope to see a “1” in the win column. Neither were wrong, but neither were particularly right, as the Bears and Aggies ended a marathon double-overtime battle in a 1-1 draw.
The Bears got on the board for the first and only time on a textbook effort by senior forward Miranda Nild and freshman midfielder Paige Metayer in the 27th minute. Nild hit a cross right to Metayer, who headed it in for her first career goal.
Metayer then continued her eventful afternoon on the pitch, receiving a number of additional opportunities, including one in the 67th minute that nearly made the difference, but was deflected just over the bar by Davis goalie Alexis Smith. By the end of the day, the true freshman had tallied 7 of the Bears’ 19 total shots.
A central priority for Cal was minimizing Davis’ opportunities on set pieces, and at that it initially succeeded, not allowing a corner until the 57th minute. While that corner was adequately handled by the Bears’ defense, it may have been a bad omen.
Just two minutes later, on a close-range free kick, Davis’ Emma Hasco scored the lone Aggie goal by way of a bullet past the dive of freshman goalie Amanda Zodikoff. The goal was also Hasco’s first of her career.
Zodikoff recorded five saves for the Bears in her third start of the season. She now holds a 1-1-1 record in games started and is leading Cal keepers with 14 saves on the season.
If the first overtime period was a story of few opportunities for the Bears, the second overtime period was a story of missed ones. The Bears took just one shot in the first 10 minutes after regulation, which junior forward Abi Kim missed high.
With the threat of a draw setting in, Cal put the pedal to the metal in second overtime, with the trio of Metayer, junior midfielder Mia Corbin and sophomore midfielder Luca Deza combining for seven shots in the period, while the Aggies as a team got off just one.
The result does not bode well for a Cal team that has been eyeing a spot in the Top Drawer Soccer national rankings. The Bears have been receiving votes for the past few weeks, but a draw against unranked UC Davis is unlikely to push them over the top.
While a tie is probably not what the Bears were looking for in this game, they can hold their heads high going into conference play next weekend. The score may not have been reflective of it, but the offense was anything but quiet on Friday and the defense held its own; for a team staring down some tough opponents in the coming weeks, that’s just about all one can ask for.