Sept. 8, 2002
DAVIS, Calif. - UC Davis scored two goals within a 13-second span early in the game and played the final 55 minutes a man down following a red card before defeating Western Washington, 2-0, Sunday afternoon at Aggie Field.
With the win the Aggies move to 3-0-1 on the season while the Vikings fall to 2-3.
In the third minute of the game, Aggie midfielder Yuta Tanaka dribbled along the goal line in front of Western's net before finding a wide open Derrick Thomas at the top of the box. Thomas took one touch and beat Viking goalkeeper Ben Dragavon with his left foot for the quick, 1-0 lead. Just 13 seconds later, forward Ryan Shaw gained possession and chipped a long pass over the Western defense to Jesse Swonetz, who then had a one-on-one with Dragavon and won the dual to make it 2-0 before the third minute had expired.
UC Davis would control play for most of the half when Western would catch a break as Aggie defender Tyler Nelson was given a red card following a hard foul on Viking forward Kris Pope in the 35th minute. UC Davis was forced to play a man-down for the remainder of the game.
Despite the man difference, UC Davis maintained its momentum in the second half, testing Dragavon time and again. Shaw and forward Jared Ramsey each had good looks at the goal with Ramsey's low shot beating Dragavon only to miss wide by a foot. The Vikings managed to get seven shots off in the half, compared to three in the first period, but their two best chances sailed over the goal.
"It was great to see the way we came out right away and played with such intensity and communication," said Aggie Head Coach Dwayne Shaffer. "We had a very positive team meeting on Friday and that was what we wanted to improve, to come out hard and sustain that intensity.
"Going down a man in the first half really didn't change what we tried to do as we continued to apply pressure," Shaffer continued. "Western is very good, but in the end I though we were the fresher team."
For the game, UC Davis outshot Western, 13-10, and held a decisive 8-3 edge in corner kicks. Aggie goalkeeper Nic Platter recorded three saves while Dragavon finished the game with two. Shaw, the teams leading scorer with 10 points already this season, recorded a point for the fourth straight game.
UC Davis will next be in action on Wednesday when it opens California Collegiate Athletic Association play at Sonoma State. Gametime is set for 4:00 p.m.