Sept. 14, 2012
DALLAS - Freshman defender Ryan Gross scored off a 17th minute corner kick, then put away a free kick from 20 yards out in the 58th minute to lift the UC Davis men's soccer team to a 2-1 win over Tulsa on Friday at the SMU Classic Presented by Jason's Deli, hosted by SMU at Westcott Field in Dallas.
UC Davis improves to 2-1-4 on the year while Tulsa drops to 3-3 overall.
Gross and the Aggies struck early after the Davis native connected with an Alex Henry corner kick to give UC Davis a 1-0 lead. At the 17:35 mark, he collected the corner kick from Henry and his shot from 10 yards out went through the legs of Tulsa goalkeeper Mark Pais and into the back of the net. It was the first goal of his UC Davis career.
The Aggies took their 1-0 lead into halftime, then continued their strong offense into the second half. Kevin Schulte's 47th minute shot was high, then Eric Budniewski's attempt only one minute later was blocked by the Tulsa defense.
Then Gross struck again, this time lining up a direct free kick from 20 yards out that sailed into the top left corner of the goal at the 58:20 mark to give UC Davis a 2-0 lead.
Tulsa cut the UC Davis lead in half with a goal of its own in the 66th minute. Omar Mata's corner kick found younger brother Christian Mata who took a shot from 18 yards out that fell just under the crossbar.
After that, the UC Davis defense stepped up, led by Omar Zeenni's seven saves, four of which came in the second half. The Aggie goalkeeper deflected a 78th minute attempt by Quinn Starker, then turned away Christian Mata at the 87th minute to help preserve the Aggie victory.
Gross, Budniewski and Matt Sheldon each recorded two shots for the Aggies while Abe Matamoros and Christian Mata led the Hurricane with three shots apiece. The Aggies won nine corner kicks to Tulsa's six while Pais made three saves for the Hurricane.
UC Davis faces tournament host SMU on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.