Pacific Women’s Soccer Eyes Big West Tourney Spot as UC Davis Visits Thursday
The Pacific Tigers took a huge step towards a Big West women's soccer tournament berth last weekend with a pair of wins at Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara. Now the Tigers have to protect their home turf, where the Tigers are undefeated this season, to earn a spot in the top four. The first challenge to Pacific will be UC Davis, as the Aggies visit Stagg Memorial Stadium on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Pacific (6-6-3, 3-2-0 Big West) moved into fourth in the Big West standings with a 1-0 win at Cal Poly on Friday coupled with a 2-1 overtime win at UC Santa Barbara. It was the first time the Tigers swept a road trip against the Mustangs and Gauchos since 1998, the year Pacific went undefeated in Big West play, won the conference title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
"We're excited about the way we're playing right now," head coach Keith Coleman said. "I thought we controlled the majority of both matches. Our defense again played fantastic. Our forwards have come alive - they were all involved to some degree in our goals. I'm excited for our next three games and seeing how we can finish up."
The Tigers cannot clinch a berth Thursday, but can prevent at least three of their eight Big West competitors from catching them with a win against the Aggies. Pacific can clinch a top four slot this weekend with a win, plus a victory by Cal Poly over CS Fullerton on Thursday, combined with a UC Santa Barbara win over Fullerton and a win or tie by UC Davis against Cal Poly on Sunday.
The Tigers offense has been jumpstarted by junior forward Kristina Wavomba, who has scored in three-straight matches, including the game-winner against Cal Poly and the game-tying goal to force overtime against Santa Barbara. In overtime, she set up Angelica Figueroa for the game-winner in the 110th minute.
"Her goal against Santa Barbara was magic," Coleman said. "That was a great goal. She out-jumped their whole defense and just buried. When she is playing well, she can play at a different level."
Big West Defensive Player of the Week Jill Medigovich will look to keep the high-scoring UC Davis offense off the board. The redshirt senior goalkeeper recorded eight saves last weekend and picked up her fourth shutout of the season.
"Jill had a great weekend, maybe the best of her career," Coleman added. "She had a key goal early against Cal Poly. If they score that goal, we're down 1-0 and it's a completely different game. Then she came back and had a great game against Santa Barbara."
UC Davis enters play at 6-7-1 overall and 1-3-0 in the Big West. However, the Aggies have scored in 12 of 14 matches, rank third in the Big West in goals per game and lead the conference in shots.