Nov. 12, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. -- Freshman Dashiell MacNamara netted the game-winner in the 42nd minute and junior teammate Ian Palmer added a pair of assists on the afternoon, lifting host UC Davis to a, 3-1, victory over UC Riverside in the first round of the Big West Conference Men's Soccer Tournament on Tuesday afternoon at the Aggie Soccer Field.
The win improved the Aggies to 9-8-3 overall and advanced them to meet South Division champion and top-seeded UC Irvine in the semifinals on Friday (Nov. 15) at 7 p.m. at Anteater Stadium in Irvine, Calif. In the first meeting between the two this season, UC Davis received goals from MacNamara and Matt Wiesenfarth to upset the No. 25-ranked Anteaters, 2-0, in the Big West opener at home.
The Highlanders finished their season at 9-8-3 overall and 4-5-1 in Big West Conference play.
MacNamara's score followed a flurry of action in which the game's first two goals were scored in the first 10 minutes of the contest. Senior Kevin Schulte broke the scoreless deadlock just 3:35 into the match when teammate Matt Sheldon played a ball to the left post where Schulte roofed it for the 1-0 lead.
It was Schulte's first goal of the season and the eighth of his career, finding the back of the net for the first time since Oct. 5, 2012, in a win over UC Riverside during the regular season.
Undaunted, the Highlanders answered just six minutes later as Jonathan Tovar equalized at the 9:17 mark, heading home a cross from the end line by teammate Romario Lomeli to make it a 1-1 contest. The score was Tovar's first of the season.
The match remained that way until MacNamara's go-ahead strike with just under four minutes to play in the opening period as Palmer's initial shot clanged off the left post right to MacNamara, who slammed it home from close range for the eventual game-winner. It was the third goal of the season and second game-winner for the Big West All-Freshman Team honoree.
Senior Nick Grigoriev then added the finishing touch just four minutes into the second half as Palmer shook off a defender near the end line and served a ball toward to the top of the box to Grigoriev, who rocketed home his first of the season and his first since scoring against Oregon State on Sept. 17, 2010, as a freshman.
The three goals scored by UC Davis were a season high and the most for the Aggies since they defeated Sacramento State on the road, 3-1, on Oct. 20, 2012.
Big West Conference Goalkeeper of the Year Omar Zeenni finished with three saves in the victory while the Aggies out-shot the Highlanders, 14-8, for the match. Eric Budniewski led all players with a match-high three shots and was one of five UC Davis players with multiple shots on the day.
NCAA MEN'S SOCCER
UC Riverside (9-8-3, 4-5-1 Big West) at UC Davis (9-8-3, 4-4-2 Big West)
Date: Nov. 12, 2013
Goals by period-1-2-Tot
1. 3:35 UCD Schulte, Kevin (1) (Sheldon, Matt) - down right side, played to left post, roofed
2. 9:17 UCR Tovar, Jonathan (1) (Lomeli, Romario) - played across at end line, headed in left post
3. 41:10 UCD MacNamara, Dashiell (3) (Palmer, Ian) - rebound off left post, open net
4. 48:46 UCD Grigoriev, Nick (1) (Palmer, Ian) - shakes defender at end line, cross to top of box, slammed home
Shots: UC Riverside 8; UC Davis 14
Saves: UC Riverside 3 (Khosravi, Ashkan 3); UC Davis 3 (Zeenni, Omar 3)
NOTES: Tuesday's win was the Aggies' third-straight, marking their longest winning streak since they won four-in-a-row from Sept. 30-Oct. 13 last season... UC Davis improved to 2-3 all-time in the Big West Conference Tournament with the victory, posting at least one victory in the event in each of the last two seasons... Schulte's goal at the 3:35 mark is the quickest by an Aggie this season and the fastest since Matt Wiesenfarth scored just 52 seconds into the match against UC Riverside on Oct. 1, 2011... Palmer's two assists on Tuesday gave him a team-high four for the season... Sheldon's assist on the Aggies' first goal of the day gives him a point in each of the team's last three matches to go along with his goals against Cal Poly and Sacramento State... Sheldon is now tied with teammate Matt Wiesenfarth for the team lead with 13 points... the three goals marked only the sixth time in 20 matches this season that the Aggies have scored multiple goals... UC Davis remained unbeaten this season when scoring first (8-0-3) and when leading at halftime (8-0-1)... this is only the fifth match decided by more than a single goal this season.