Aggies fall in penalties in Big West Tournament finale

Sophomore Wallis Lapsley makes one of his five saves on Saturday afternoon in the Big West Tournament championship match against Cal State Fullerton at Aggie Soccer Field. (Photo by Wayne Tilcock/Davis Enterprise)
Nov. 11, 2017

Final Stats

DAVIS, Calif. -- Hosting the Big West Conference Tournament championship for the second time in the program's history, the UC Davis men's soccer team gave the standing-room only crowd of 1,107 everything they could ask for during a scoreless draw with visiting Cal State Fullerton.

However, the South Division champion Titans were the ones with cause to celebrate at the end of the day, earning the league's automatic NCAA Tournament berth by defeating the North Division Aggies on penalty kicks, 4-3, on Saturday afternoon at Aggie Soccer Field.

UC Davis finished the season at 11-7-3 overall with the draw, champions of the North Division with a 7-2-1 mark in conference play. Fullerton moved to 10-7-4 overall on the year and will await the decision of the NCAA selection committee as to its post-season destination.

Sophomore goalkeeper Wallis Lapsley made five saves in recording the shutout, while his counterpart and Tournament Most Valuable Player, Paul-Andre Guerin, finished with six, including getting fingertips on the ball to push aside senior Evan Barrett's header with less than 30 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime.

"The header back across... I don't even know how he got to that," Head Coach Dwayne Shaffer said after the match. "My oldest brother was a goalkeeper in his day and he pulled me aside at the end and said 'three world-class saves.' You don't throw that term around very loosely. To have three in one game? That was the difference. One of those go in and I know we win that game."

Senior Miguel Acevedo had a shot sail wide in the first extra time period, and Lapsley turned aside a shot by Christian Pinzon in the second overtime, sending the match to penalties.

UC Davis went first from the spot, and both teams made their first three attempts before sophomore Adam Mickelson missed high. Samuel Goni converted his chance to put Fullerton up, 4-3. Needing a goal to extend the day, Onah Power stepped to the spot, but goalkeeper Alfredo Cortez, who was in net for the shootout, made a diving stop to his right to secure the victory.

"Whenever it goes to penalty kicks, it's a coin flip," Wilson said. "Their keeper had a fantastic game. I thought Wallis played really well too. It's a hard way to end any soccer match."

Guerin had two saves while Lapsley finished with one in a scoreless first half, but the Aggies nearly went up a goal just two minutes in as Noah Wilson's header was stopped inside the six. Two minutes later, Lapsley returned the favor by stoning Alex Juarez on back-to-back shots in the 49th minute to keep it scoreless.

A foul on UC Davis deep in its own half set the Titans up once again with a free kick on the left side, as Nicola D'Amato sent a ball in through traffic that clanged off the back right post coming tantalizingly close to crossing the line for a 1-0 lead of their own to no avail.

With eight minutes remaining in regulation, sophomore Marte Formico took a short pass across the top of the 18 and found himself wide open on the right side, 1-on-1 with Guerin, but he was unable to fire it over the keeper, who smothered the shot to keep the contest scoreless.

Cal State Fullerton out-shot UC Davis, 12-10, and held a 9-5 advantage in corner kicks on the day.The Titans were also whistled for 20 of the 25 fouls on the day.

Cal State Fullerton (10-7-4 Overall) vs. UC Davis (11-7-3 Overall)
Date: Nov 11, 2017  Attendance: 1107
Weather: clear, crisp, little damp, slight breeze

Goals by period            1  2 OT O2 SO  Tot
Cal State Fullerton........  0  0  0  0  0 -  0
UC Davis.....................  0  0  0  0  0 -  0


Cal State Fullerton: 21/Y 20/Y 97/Y 9/Y
UC Davis: 20/Y 21/Y 5/Y 2/N 14/N
Cal State Fullerton wins shootout 4-3

Shots: Cal State Fullerton 12, UC Davis 10
Saves: Cal State Fullerton 6 (Guerin, Paul-Andre 6), UC Davis 5 (Lapsley, Wallis 5)

Providing a small-town community feel while providing a world-class academic experience, UC Davis is home to more than 37,000 students and centrally located between San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and the Napa Valley. The No. 6-ranked public university in the nation according to the Wall Street Journal, and among the top 10 public universities nationwide according to U.S. News and World Report, UC Davis offers nearly 100 graduate programs and more than 100 academic majors across four colleges and six professional schools, ranking among the world and nation's best in numerous disciplines, including veterinary science, agriculture, and plant and animal programs.

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