DAVIS, Calif. -
Junior forward Matt Sheldon scored just five minutes into the contest and the defense helped the goal stand up as UC Davis captured a 1-0 win over San Francisco in men's collegiate soccer action at Aggie Soccer Field Sunday evening.
The Aggies even their record to 3-3-0. The Dons slip to 3-2-1 for the season.
Sheldon found his opportunity when he and teammate Elliott Hord pressured the USF back line. A steal against the Don's defender resulted in a stray ball at Sheldon's feet near the top of the penalty box. The Portland, Ore. native promptly blasted a shot straight through the center of the frame.
The Aggies managed another chance late in the first half when Dashiell MacNamara lofted a soft cross in front of the USF cage. However, Ian Palmer's header missed just above the crossbar. UC Davis went into the break with a 3-0 advantage in shots.
San Francisco came out more aggressively in the second half, managing seven total shots after the break. Kyle MacLeod fired a low cross-cage shot at the Aggie goal in the 53rd minute but senior keeper Omar Zeenni put enough of a glove on the ball to deflect it out of harm's way. MacLeod and Miguel Aguilar had three more attempts to equalize but could not convert. UC Davis senior Alex Henry and sophomore Ryan Gross also cleared the ball out of two late USF threats to help maintain the one-goal margin.
"I thought late in the second half, the last 20-25 minutes, our counterattack was working very well. Unfortunately, we didn't get a second goal. But overall, I thought we did really well," said UC Davis head coach Dwayne Shaffer.
Zeenni finished with three saves for the Aggies while his counterpart, Connor Gaal, posted two.
UC Davis heads to the road for contests against West Coast Conference members San Diego (Sept. 20) and Loyola Marymount (Sept. 22) during the upcoming week. Its next home game will be the Big West Conference opener against UC Irvine on Oct. 4.