Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Newest Aggie Kaufman looks ahead to UCD women’s soccer future


New UCD women's soccer coach Twila Kaufman speaks to her team at a recent workout. Kaufman comes to the Aggie program after 10 years as a Pepperdine assistant. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise photo

From page B1 | March 07, 2014 |

She hit town barely six weeks ago and since then, new UC Davis women’s soccer coach Twila Kaufman hasn’t come up for air.

Priority No. 1 was to get to know her new players.

She needed to get her staff in place.

There were conditioning sessions to oversee.

And all the while, the former Pepperdine assistant was busy on the phone, on the road and on campus introducing recruits to Aggie Nation — a world to which she herself was just being introduced.

Oh, between the raindrops, she found a place to live, too.

“Yes, it’s been very busy,” Kaufman said during an unusual open window in her schedule this week. “But I’ve been just blown away by the quality of people and education that is offered (at UCD). And then around town, everywhere I go, when I meet people they are just so friendly and so nice.”

Kaufman added that she’s looking forward to getting to know her new hometown — but right now there’s work to be done … a lot of work.

The former University of Arizona player has been impressed by her new family of Aggie players.

“We’re going to play a style that highlights the strengths that we have and let people be who they are to fullness within a system that’s moving toward (a style that attacks), is possession-oriented, maybe a little cheeky,” Kaufman explains with a grin.

“We have some players here who have some really unique giftings: one-on-one ability; ability to defend; ability to get in line and finish crosses … All of those are good things.”

Kaufman says it’s too early to talk about recruits headed to town and believes it wouldn’t be fair to single out current players after just six weeks together, but she lights up when she talks in generalities about her Aggies.

“One of the great surprises I’ve had is I really like our forward line,” says the 34-year-old. “It’s not that I didn’t think I wasn’t going to like them, but I’ve been watching every time we play 11-v-11 … I sort of look around and go ‘I think we’re pretty good.'”

UCD went 6-9-3 a year ago, struggled through the Big West at 3-4-1 and scored only 14 goals.

Leading scorer Ashley Edwards (four goals for 9 points) has graduated, leaving forwards Lexi Poppoff of Tracy High and West Torrance’s Ashley Kawasaki as the top returning attackers. Last year, the pair combined for 11 points.

Kaufman spent 10 seasons as Waves coach Tim Ward’s top assistant. During that time, Pepperdine went 108-63-29 (.613) and made four trips to the NCAA postseason.

“I am incredibly grateful to Twila for everything she has done and given to the Pepperdine soccer family,” Ward said of his former right hand. “She has been a blessing to me personally and to every one of our players in that time. And having said that, I couldn’t be more excited for her and the new chapter she is about to write for UC Davis.”

Kaufman replaces Maryclare Robinson, who retired after 22 years at the Aggie helm.

The new UCD coach praised Robinson for her efforts and noted that the veteran always “did a great job recruiting exceptional human beings.

“I am honoring commitments to some of the same people to which Maryclaire and (former assistant coach Rosie DeWeese) committed,” Kaufman adds. “I’m looking forward to working with them. I am really fortunate that I knew most of them … and I have good relationships with them already. I’m excited about that.”

Kaufman has her eye on other 2014 recruits, too, and will make an announcement about who’s signed, sealed and delivered deeper into the spring.

The West Coast Conference, in which Pepperdine plays, has a heady list of past powerhouses (think Portland and Santa Clara), but Kaufman believes the Big West should be considered one of the better leagues in the nation.

“I always had a great appreciation for the Big West coaches — Nat Gonzalez, I was really excited for him when he took over at UC Riverside and, in his first year, they went to the tournament. Demian Brown at Fullerton. Scott Juniper (UC Irvine), Mauricio Ingrassia at Long Beach. These guys do a real good job.”

So what will Aggie fans likely see come the fall?

“A high-attacking system with a lot of player involvement,” Kaufman explains. “Combination play. But I always believed a good coach — and I wanted this as a player — would take people’s strengths and let them run with it.”

After just six weeks, Kaufman is encouraged: “We’re looking more and more like the team I envisioned. It’s OK to let your strengths be out there … and it’s OK to let your personality be out on the field. There’s some talent here and I want them to run with it a little bit.”

Kaufman, who lived in Woodland Hills, is a paddle-board enthusiast who spent much time pursuing her hobby in the Pacific Ocean off the storied beaches of Southern California (Pepperdine is located in Malibu).

Will she miss the Southland?

“I don’t think so,” Kaufman says. “I love this location. It’s close to Lake Tahoe, trails, biking … it’s (near) the best of all things. Sure, I’m losing the ability to paddle in the ocean every day, but I’m gaining the ability to do a lot of diverse things — and with no traffic.”

About the future of her team?

“I’d like to give the town something to be proud of,” Kaufman explains, pausing to think further about the question. “I want to give our girls the opportunity to know what it feels like to not just represent the team, and not just the athletic department, and not just the university — but to represent a whole city.

“When we understand that, they’ll walk differently.

“Our girls are intelligent, beautiful women — and they also happen to be really good at soccer.

“I can’t imagine that there’s not a parent out there in the community that wouldn’t want one of their children spending time with our players and modeling themselves after them.”

Notes: Kaufman’s staff includes former Air Force assistant Robin Grossman and ex-Stanford and Florida State standout Katie Riley. “Robin is a very talented coach and recruiter who possesses a great mix of confidence, humility and a desire to help young women become leaders with great character,” Kaufman says. About Riley, the coach says: “She is a very intelligent woman who earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees in psychology. We view her time spent playing at the elite level, and the knowledge she gained while earning her master’s degree in sport psychology as huge advantages to our program.” … The Aggie fall schedule has not been finalized, but this spring will see San Jose State (April 19) and Cal Poly (May 3) at UCD. Times for those free-admission games are yet to be announced. … Kaufman is a 2003 graduate of Arizona. As a midfielder and defender, she set the school record for most games played. … In 2013, UCD played five teams that wound up in the NCAA Big Dance — Iowa, Texas Tech, Utah, California and Cal State Fullerton. The Aggies went 0-4-1 (tying Utah) against those squads.

— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at [email protected] or 530-320-4456.



Bruce Gallaudet



Coroner confirms West Davis deaths were murder-suicide

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Special playground dedication slated

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

Solo crash kills Woodland man, 22

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

Officials say Iran nuke talks will continue in new phase

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Police: Missing athlete died on freeway

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

French eye cockpit entry rules

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Bob Dunning: Wrap your head around our MRAP need

By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

‘Old Autos’ at Hattie Weber Museum

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Camp Shakespeare begins Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Davis tops list of best schools for the buck

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A4

Lenten giving project highlights climate justice

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

DCCNS plans open house April 8

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Parent-child open house previews new Waldorf classes

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Summer garden alert!

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Davis FFA and ag students host plant sale

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

Poker tourney benefits DMTC

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Neighbors invited to adopt Willow Creek Park

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Yolo animal shelter seeks donations

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

RSVP for Gerber Young Community Leader reception

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Pence Gallery recruiting volunteers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Move over, Muggles

By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A5

Tour de Cluck has selected its coops

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

CBH hosts Passover Community Potluck Seder

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

City extends nomination period for Huynh Awards

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Parenting class meets Tuesdays

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Meeting examines Northstar Pond priorities

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Pets of the week

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery



Maybe he loves the outdoors …

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

Why can’t we be friends?

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

A California comeback for gerrymandering?

By Tom Elias | From Page: A8

César Chávez’s peaceful civil disobedience forged a great legacy

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

A conversation about power

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8



Over the years, The Show has been a reach for Davis

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

UC Davis opens hopeful spring football camp

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

A very palpable hit

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Sleiffer seals Aggie tennis victory over Montana

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Grizzlies beat Kings to end three-game skid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

Snubbed Temple, returning Stanford highlight NIT semis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10





30 years of dance in Davis with Pamela Trokanski

By Chloe Lessard | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Hear some April Fool’s night jazz

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Dance the night away at house party

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

‘A Year with Frog and Toad’ a delightful family show

By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Mischief to play at Picnic in the Park

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Yolo Mambo will play at winery

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Thursday Live! plans a blues party

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Jane Lynch performance rescheduled to August

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A9 | Gallery







Comics: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 (set 1)

By Creator | From Page: B5

Comics: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 (set 2)

By Creator | From Page: B7