Sept. 20, 2013
SAN DIEGO - On the field, and in the final box score, UC Davis dominated USD in nearly every facet of Friday night's non-conference match in San Diego. Unfortunately for UC Davis, the Toreros capitalized on their first, and only serious scoring opportunity of the second half to down the Aggies, 1-0, in front of a pro-UC Davis crowd at Torero Stadium.
UC Davis enters Sunday's match at Loyola Marymount with a 3-4-0 record while San Diego improves to 2-3-1.
Five of the Aggies' seven results this season have been decided by a 1-0 score; UC Davis has won three of those contests.
"I thought we played well," said UC Davis head coach Dwayne Shaffer. "We were on the road against an elite eight team from last year; it was a good battle in the first half, but in the second half I thought we were a dominant team."
The only Torero highlight of the match took place in the 51st minute when Michael Turner nudged a shot just inside the far post to score the only goal of the night.
San Diego took an additional two shots throughout the final half after scoring; neither attempt sailed remotely close to the Aggies' net.
On the other side of the pitch, which was where most of the action throughout the final 45 minutes took place, San Diego goalkeeper Michael D'Arrigo needed to perform at a heroic level to stop the barrage of shots that came his way.
During one block of action in the second half, UC Davis blasted seven unanswered shots, four of which forced D'Arrigo to make a save.
After a Torero defender inadvertently blocked a shot from Brian Ford, D'Arrigo prevented Alex Aguiar from scoring on a 1v1 opportunity moments later a handful of yards away from San Diego's goal.
Undaunted, UC Davis kept attacking the Toreros' net; off one of seven second-half corners, Matt Sheldon
punched a header that sailed just wide of the near post.
Hoshang Hatifie and Alex Henry kept the Toreros' `keeper on his toes by recording the next two shots for UC Davis. Additional attempts by Matt Weisenfarth and Elliott Hord elicited additional excitement from the pro-Aggie crowd as D'Arrigo's efforts prevented the Aggies from recording the game-tying goal.
Of UC Davis' 16 shots, seven were on goal compared to a San Diego squad that took only half as many shots, with only two on goal.
Outside of one unlucky play, the Aggies' trademark defense was on full display, as Omar Zeenni needed to make only one save throughout the entire event.
Besides the disparity in total shots taken by each team, UC Davis was by far the most aggressive team in the second half by taking 10 shots compared to the Toreros who could only muster three.
UC Davis also took 11 corner kicks, many of which forced D'Arrigo to come off his line to neutralize the Aggies' constant pressure in front of his net, versus the Toreros' three.
Added Shaffer, "We created numerous scoring opportunities, unfortunately, we just did not put one away to tie the game. We played nice soccer, and did everything we needed to do to be competitive in the game."
Links for live stats and a video stream of Sunday's 1 p.m. match, at Loyola Marymount, are available at ucdavisaggies.com.
"LMU is a good team and we are excited to face them at their place. We are playing well enough to win every game that we've played so far, we just need to do something a little more different, faster, quicker, and be better on the day," said Shaffer.