Aug. 31, 2012
USAFA, Colo. - Omar Zeenni recorded five saves and for the third straight game the UC Davis defense shut out its opponent as the Aggie men's soccer team held Air Force to a scoreless draw on Friday at Cadet Soccer Stadium.
UC Davis improves to 1-0-2 and remains unbeaten on the season while Air Force moves to 0-1-1.
The Aggie defense has not allowed a goal all season, registering 310 minutes of scoreless play to start 2012. Of Zeenni's five saves, four came in the second half as UC Davis warded off 11 second-half shots, and 17 total, from the Falcons.
"Once again, our team defense was outstanding," said head coach Dwayne Shaffer. "Omar made some nice saves. Brian (Ford), Ramon (Martin Del Campo), Alex Henry and Ryan Gross once again did their job and shut Air Force down. We've got three shutouts to start the season and I honestly feel like one win and two ties is a great way to start."
On the offensive end, the Aggies scattered 10 shots with just two on frame, both of which came from Matt Wiesenfarth. Alex Henry, in addition to his defensive efforts, put up two shot attempts while Eddie Manella had two shots as well.
Kevin Durr led the Falcons with six shots, two of which were on goal, while Zane Dydasco had three shots.
"We're playing really good soccer," said Shaffer. "We possess well, build it out of the back well, get the ball forward and get crosses in, but there just hasn't been an end product unfortunately. It was Air Force's home opener at 7,000-feet elevation and I thought my team was outstanding. We played hard and we gave Air Force everything they could handle."
Wiesenfarth tested Underwood towards the end of a quiet first half, forcing Underwood to make a save in the 37th minute. He opened the second half in the same manner with a header that Underwood saved as well in the 47th minute.
The Aggie defense turned up the intensity in the second half, blocking attempts from Durr and Garrett Getschow within the first 10 minutes of the half. At the 52:35 mark, Dydasco's shot was blocked before Durr's follow up was saved by Zeenni.
UC Davis then turned a similar attack of their own as Manella saw his 69th minute attempt blocked on the other end of the field. Nick Grigoriev's rebound attempt went wide and out of play.
The teams closed the second half scoreless before UC Davis held off three shots from Air Force in the first overtime period. Kevin Schulte registered the Aggies' lone shot in the second overtime, but sent his attempt over the crossbar and out of play.
"I think the players are also disappointed that we haven't scored a couple of goals because we work on it in training nonstop," said Schaffer. "I'm extremely happy with the effort and attitude of my team. They work hard, we do everything the correct way and we're playing good possession soccer so hopefully the goals will start falling for us."
UC Davis returns to action on Sunday, Aug. 2 as the Aggies take on Denver at 12 p.m.