Men's Soccer Drops Big West Opener

Omar Zeenni made five saves, four of which came in the first half on Friday. (Mark Honbo)

Sept. 28, 2012

Final Stats

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Alex Aguiar led the UC Davis men's soccer team offensively with four shots while Omar Zeenni made five saves, but Cal State Northridge scored twice in the opening 15 minutes, then held on for a 2-0 win on Friday at Matador Soccer Field in Northridge.

UC Davis moves to 2-4-4 overall and 0-1 in Big West play after losing its third straight game. Cal State Northridge improves to 7-3 overall and 1-0 in league play.

Friday's game was the Big West Conference opener for both teams.

The first half featured four of Zeenni's five saves, but the Matadors struck early, scoring in the sixth minute. David Turcios drove into the box and fired a shot, which Zeenni deflected, but Turcios collected the rebound and put it away into the lower left corner.

Just three minutes later, Zeenni blocked a shot from Edwin Rivas which rebounded to Sagi Lev-Ari, but Lev-Ari's attempt missed wide right.

At the 15:30 mark, Cal State Northridge took a 2-0 lead after Rivas found the back of the net. Carlos Benavides passed to Rene Anguiano at the top of the box who chipped it over the top of the defense and in to Rivas. Rivas made a move around Zeenni and was able to score down the middle of the goal.

Aguiar provided the first offensive spark for UC Davis when his 20th minute shot was wide right. He collected a pass at the top of the box and turned but his shot skipped across the goal and out of play.

Later in the half, Alex Henry's corner kick found Pat Reese, but Reese's header in the middle of the box was blocked out for a second Aggie corner kick. Eric Budniewski took the corner, but it was cleared out by the Cal State Northridge defense.

Budniewski got the second half going for UC Davis with a shot just 15 seconds into the half. His left-footed shot from 25 yards out was saved on the right post by Matador goalkeeper Michael Abalos.



Shortly after Budniewski's attempt, however, UC Davis found themselves with just 10 men on the field after Ethan Shawlee was shown a red card in the 46th minute.

Despite the setback, the Aggie defense held strong, allowing just three second-half shots by the Matadors and preventing Cal State Northridge from scoring again.

UC Davis resumes Big West action on Sunday at UC Irvine. The Aggies and the Anteaters face off at 4 p.m.