Aug. 24, 2012
DAVIS, Calif. - The UC Davis men's soccer team opens the 2012 season on Friday as the Aggies host UNLV at 5 p.m. at Aggie Soccer Field, marking the first meeting between the two programs since 1977.
UC Davis returns nine starters from the 2011 squad that finished third in the Big West Conference and advanced to the semifinals of the conference tournament for the first time since 2008. Leading the charge will be 2011 Big West Freshman of the Year Matt Wiesenfarth who finished with 5 goals, 37 shots and 13 points as the Aggies' offensive leader. He is joined by a veteran squad that features all-conference second team selection Kevin Schulte and junior goalkeeper Omar Zeenni, who closed out the season with a 1.08 goals against average.
Most recently, UC Davis was picked to finish second in the North Division as the Big West Conference moved to a divisional alignment for the 2012 season with the addition of Sacramento State as an associate member for men's soccer. UC Davis, Cal Poly, UC Santa Barbara and Sacramento State make up the North Division while Cal State Northridge, UC Irvine, Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside comprise the South Division.
UNLV brings back all of its goal scorers from a year ago, including the duo of senior Nick Marshall and sophomore Salvador Bernal. Marshall enters the year with 16 career goals while Bernal is the reigning MPSF Newcomer of the Year after finishing with 14 points in 2011. He was also a first team All-MPSF selection.
Friday's game marks the second-ever meeting between UC Davis and UNLV as the Rebels claimed a 2-1 win in Fresno on Sept. 17, 1977.
UC Davis will hit the road for four straight games after Friday's contest, returning to Aggie Soccer Field on Sept. 9 for a 4 p.m. match against UCF.