Aug 25, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. - Competing against one another for the full 110 minutes Sunday afternoon at Aggie Soccer Field, UC Davis and Chico State recorded a 0-0 draw in the only exhibition tune-up this season for the Aggies.
UC Davis will begin regular season competition Friday at the University of Portland Tournament, against the host Pilots. Kickoff will take place at Harry A. Merlo Field in Portland, Ore., at 7 p.m.
"I am happy with the way that we played... especially against a veteran team like Chico State," said UC Davis head coach Dwayne Shaffer. "When I talked with him (former Aggie and current Chico State head coach Felipe Restrepo) after the match, I found out that he had a large senior class that has seven players who are 23 or older."
The oldest player on the Aggies' roster, one that features 15 underclassmen, is 22.
Once Sunday's contest started, UC Davis wasted no time in generating offense as the Aggies fired 15 of its 17 shots throughout regulation. Were it not for a handful of diving saves by Chico State goalkeepers James Stroud and Sam Evans, UC Davis would have been the first team to light up the scoreboard.
Notwithstanding a flurry of action that took place in front of the Aggies' net in the final minutes of overtime, UC Davis' backline was able to stifle the Wildcats throughout the entire afternoon.
Compared to the Aggies, Chico State had difficulties generating any sort of rhythm on offense, as the Wildcats were only able to muster two of its four shots on goal throughout the first 100 minutes of the match.
In that second overtime, Aggie goalkeeper Armando Quezada also recorded two saves; entering the match prior to the start of the first overtime, Quezada replaced starter Omar Zeenni to earn a split of shutout.
Led by Elliott Hord with two, seven Aggies tested both Stroud and Evans, and were able to record a shot on goal.
Added Shaffer, "I thought Elliott (Hord) and Alex Henry played well, Omar (Zeenni) was solid in goal throughout regulation and Armando (Quezada) did a solid job in overtime and made a nice save near the end (of the match).
"We will continue to work hard this week on our attack to help our guys score the first goal. Once we are able to do that, we are going to be a dangerous team."
Even though Chico State was stifled on offense for a majority of the match due to the Aggies' stellar play on defense, the Wildcats still played an aggressive style of soccer throughout an exhibition event that featured a combined 32 fouls and five cautions.
"I was happy with the intensity of the game, it felt like we were in the regular season playing a Big West team," said Shaffer.
Sunday's contest also provided Chico State head coach Felipe Restrepo with an opportunity to return to a field he once called home for eight years.
Before graduating from UC Davis, Restrepo competed for Schaffer as a senior throughout the 1997 season before joining his former head coach on the sidelines as one of his assistants.
Restrepo was a familiar face on the Aggies' bench for seven seasons before joining Chico State's men's soccer program in 2008.
"Felipe did an outstanding job when he was an assistant at UC Davis, and has done a tremendous job with the program at Chico State," Shaffer said. "He's doing a good job throughout the five seasons he's been there attracting players who play hard, are athletic, physical and talented into the program."