DAVIS, Calif. -
Senior forward Nick Grigoriev sent a well-placed cross to the forehead of junior Matt Sheldon, who promptly redirected the ball through the frame for the lone goal of UC Davis' 1-0 victory over Seattle in non-conference men's collegiate soccer action at Aggie Soccer Field Friday evening.
The Aggies improve to 1-2-0 for the year. The Redhawks remain winless at 0-3-0.
Sheldon's score, the first by a UC Davis player in three matches this season, launched a flurry of activity in front of the Redhawk goal early in the first half. The Aggies outshot their guests by a 21-5 margin and held an 11-2 edge on corner kicks. Seven of those attempts and five of the corner kicks took place during a six-minute span, starting with Sheldon's goal in the eighth minute of the contest.
Grigoriev delivered his assist from the right flank, finding Sheldon near the top of the penalty box. He finished with three shots, one behind midfielder Alex Aguiar. Kevin Schulte, Elliott Hord and Sheldon managed two shots each, while eight other Aggies fired one apiece.
"We played just as well today as we did against Portland and Oregon State, but today the goal fell for us, and so we weren't the ones chasing the game," said UC Davis head coach Dwayne Shaffer. "I thought my team did really well in every aspect of the game."
Five different Seattle players took shots on the opposite end of the field, with sophomore Hamza Haddadi's attempt in the 82nd minute providing the Redhawks with their closest scoring opportunity. Haddadi got behind the Aggie back line for a 1-v-1 chance against goalkeeper Omar Zeenni. However, the UC Davis senior keeper made a correct read on Haddadi, and stopped the attempt with a diving save to his right.
The Aggies had outshot their opponents by a 37-25 margin prior to Friday's contest, but had not been able to put a ball into the net. The win over Seattle, said Shaffer, reinforced his team's play early this season. "That was basically the speech for the past couple of days during training this week," he said. "We were disappointed that we lost our first two games and we were upset about it, but we know we did the right things and we were creating opportunities."
UC Davis returns to action at home against CSU Bakersfield on Sunday at 5 p.m.