Lions, Toreros visit for men's soccer home openers

Junior Ian Palmer netted his second career goal to beat Canisius and give the Aggies their first win of the season.
 
Junior Ian Palmer netted his second career goal to beat Canisius and give the Aggies their first win of the season.
 
Sept. 2, 2014

THIS WEEK...
Loyola Marymount at UC Davis
Sept. 5, 2014 | 5 p.m.
Aggie Soccer Field
Davis, Calif.
Game Coverage: StatBroadcast

San Diego at UC Davis
Sept. 7, 2014 | 1 p.m.
Aggie Soccer Field
Davis, Calif.
Game Coverage: StatBroadcast

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KICK OFF: Following a successful trip East for an unbeaten start to its 2014 campaign, the UC Davis men's soccer team (1-0-1 overall) hopes to add a dash of that momentum to some home cooking this weekend as the Aggies open the home portion of their schedule with a pair of West Coast Conference foes this weekend at the Aggie Soccer Field. UC Davis welcomes Loyola Marymount on Friday evening (Sept. 5) for a 5 p.m. kickoff, before San Diego comes to town on Sunday (Sept. 7) at 1 p.m.

IN THE POLLS: UC Davis and San Diego are unranked to begin the week, but Loyola Marymount is receiving votes in this week's Top Drawer Soccer top 25. The Aggies rank No. 9 in the Far West Region according to the NSCAA, joining UC Irvine (No. 3), UC Santa Barbara (No. 4), and Cal State Fullerton (No. 10), as Big West schools in the region's top 10.

BE A FOLLOWER: Fans can keep up with the latest in UC Davis Athletics by following us on Facebook (facebook.com/ucdavisaggies) and Twitter (@UCDavisAggies). Live in-game updates are also available on Twitter by following us @UCDavisInGame.

I NEED STATS, STAT!: Barring technical difficulties, new-look live stats for all UC Davis home games, as well as selected road contests, are available on your computer and mobile device courtesy the StatBroadcast platform. Visit the men's soccer schedule page at UCDavisAggies.com or the StatBroadcast landing page at UCDavisLiveStats.com to access the links when the games begin.

"O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN!": To begin the season, seniors Ramon Martin Del Campo and Brian Ford will serve as team captains.

STRAIGHT FROM THE COACH'S MOUTH: Get a quick look at the Aggies' 2014 season as the Athletics Communications staff sat down with Head Coach Dwayne Shaffer to discuss the upcoming campaign. View the video, shot in stunning iPhone quality, on the UC Davis Athletics YouTube page at http://youtu.be/WocGIS7S70Y.

LOYOLA MARYMOUNT BRIEFLY: After dropping a one-goal exhibition decision to CSUN, the Lions officially opened the year 0-1-1 overall following a draw with Duke and a loss to Elon at the John Rennie Nike Invitational hosted by the Blue Devils in Durham, N.C., last weekend... Sophomore Adrien Perez had LMU's lone goal on the weekend following a prolific rookie campaign that saw him score a team-high 11 goals and five assists (27 points) as a freshman in 2013... Junior Paul Blanchette and redshirt junior Vince Paldino each started a match in North Carolina with Paldino making six saves in Sunday's loss to Elon.

SAN DIEGO BRIEFLY: The Toreros opened the season at 1-0-1 following a 4-1 rout of Buffalo and a scoreless draw against Cal State Fullerton on Labor Day... San Diego takes on Sacramento State on Friday night before making the short jaunt to Davis to take on the Aggies... Senior forward Dave Musambi and his 2 goals lead the team in scoring while senior midfielder Connor Brandt and sophomore midfielder Michael Turner have each found the back of the net once... Redshirt freshman Thomas Olsen has played all but a half this season without allowing a goal, making four saves and posting a shutout.

SERIES NOTES: UC Davis is 0-1-1 all-time against LMU daing back to the 1990 season with the two previous meetings occurring almost 20 years apart... The Lions posted a 1-0 win over the Aggies on Sept. 4, 1994, while the two teams battled to a 1-1 draw on Sept. 22, 2013... Friday's meeting will be the first between the two schools in Northern California... The series between UC Davis and San Diego is tied at a win apiece since 1990 with the Aggies posting a 2-1 double-overtime victory on Spet. 19, 2008, and the Toreros answering with a 1-0 win on Sept. 20, 2013... Sunday's meeting will, again, be the first between the two schools in Northern California... UC Davis is 8-10-3 all-time against the West Coast Conference dating back to 1990, including a 2-2-1 record in five meetings against conference members last season.

FOR (HOME) OPENERS...: UC Davis is a combined 13-8-3 in home openers dating back to the 1990 season, and are unbeaten in its last four home openers (3-0-1) -- and nine of its last 10 (7-1-2 in that span) -- dating back to a double-overtime loss to Washington on Sept. 13, 2009.

SCHULTZ STELLAR EN ROUTE TO WEEKLY HONORS: UC Davis junior goalkeeper Kris Schultz capped off a triumphant return in net on Monday afternoon, selected as the Big West Conference Defensive Player of the Week on Monday afternoon following his stellar weekend in helping the Aggies to an unbeaten start to 2014. Officially making his first appearance since Sept. 16, 2012, against SMU -- and only the second and third appearances of his career -- Schultz stymied the opposition this past weekend in Ohio en route to his all-tournament nod, posting a 0.45 goals against average in 200 minutes, making seven combined saves and posting a shutout of the host Buckeyes in the season opener while facing a barrage of 21 shots from the tournament hosts. The clean sheet was the first of his career while the four stops against Canisius were a career high.

ALL-TOURNEY TRIO: Released later in the day following the Aggies' win over Canisius, belated congratulations are due to junior goalkeeper Kris Schultz, senior defender Ramon Martin Del Campo, and junior midfielder Ryan Gross, who were named to the 11-man all-tournament team at the Bert & Iris Wolstein Classic.

PROSPECTING: UC Davis senior defender Ramon Martin Del Campo continues to garner attention an accolades with just two matches gone in the 2014 season, named to the SoccerByIves.net Top 40 Major League Soccer college draft prospects list. Martin Del Campo, who stands fourth on the list, is one of two Big West Conference players mentioned along with CSUN's Sagi Lev-Ari (No. 33). View the complete list at http://www.soccerbyives.net/2014/08/draft-college-prospects.html.

FIRST!: UC Davis defender Greg Salazar became the first Aggies freshman to notch a point this season, helping out with an assist on Ian Palmer's first-half game-tying goal against Canisius en route to the 2-1 victory on Sunday. In all seven newcomers to the UC Davis roster (Salazar, Miguel Acevedo, Evan Barrett, Kyle Higgins, Justin Kitts, Lizandro Torres, and Noah Wilson) made their official Division I debuts this past weekend in Ohio, with Salazar and Acevedo adding on the "first career start" milestone against the Buckeyes.

THERE'S NO "I" IN GOAL...: But there's an "Ian." Senior midfielder Ian Palmer netted his first goal of the season to tie the match in the Aggies' eventual 2-1 win over Canisius -- his first since Nov. 7, 2012, when he scored his first career goal as part of a 2-0 win over Cal State Fullerton in the semifinals of the Big West Conference Tournament.

GOOSE EGGS FOR EVERYBODY!: Last Friday's scoreless draw against Ohio State was only the fourth in the Aggies' brief Division I history dating back to 2007, and the 10th for the program dating back to 1990, with seven of those coming on the road. UC Davis was last locked in a scoreless draw back on Aug. 31, 2012, at Air Force as part of four consecutive draws following a 1-0 win over UNLV to open the season.

UC DAVIS DIVISION I SCORELESS DRAWS...
Sept. 5, 1993 at Metro State
Sept. 29, 2000 vs. UC San Diego
Oct. 6, 2000 at Cal Poly Pomona
Sept. 16, 2003 at Chico State
Nov. 8, 2008 vs. UC Santa Barbara
Oct. 21, 2009 at CSUN
Sept. 11, 2011 vs. CSU Bakersfield
Aug. 27, 2012 at CSU Bakersfield
Aug. 31, 2012 at Air Force
Aug. 29, 2014 at Ohio State

MIGHT AS WELL BE SWITZERLAND: Following this weekend's success in Ohio, the Aggies are a combined 2-0-1 in their last three neutral site contests, a run that includes a win over then-No. 24 Tulsa in Dallas in 2012. UC Davis' last neutral site loss came in 2011, a 1-0 overtime defeat at the hands of Northern Illinois in Evanston, Ill., at a tournament hosted by Northwestern.

THEY COME IN PAIRS: When the Aggies scored twice in their win over Canisius last Sunday, it may have been a little bit of a shock for a team that scored multiple goals in a match just six times in 21 contests overall a season ago. UC Davis scored a season-high three goals against UC Riverside in a first-round Big West Tournament win at home on Nov. 12, and added multiple goals against Cal Poly (Nov. 6), UC Santa Barbara (Oct. 19), UC Riverside (Oct. 13), UC Irvine (Oct. 4), and New Mexico (Sept. 27), last season.

IT ONLY TAKES ONE: Following it's 2-1 win over Canisius on Sunday, the Aggies are now 3-0 in their last three one-goal contests, looking to improve on a 6-5 mark in such matches in 2013.

OH NO, NOT OT: Last Friday's double-overtime draw at Ohio State kept the Aggies winless (0-1-4) in their last five extra-time contests following a run that saw them go unbeaten in their previous 10 (3-0-7) dating back to 2011. UC Davis' last victory in extra time came on Oct. 28, 2012, at UC Santa Barbara by the score of 2-1.

RECYCLED NOTES
AGGIES PICKED SECOND IN THE BIG WEST NORTH, FOURTH OVERALL: UC Davis was picked to finish second in the Big West Conference's North Division, and fourth overall, according to a vote of the league's head coaches released on Thursday afternoon (Aug. 21). The Aggies earned 20 points to finish behind only unanimous selection UC Santa Barbara, which received all eight first-place votes and 32 points overall to top the table. Cal Poly, with 19 points, and Sacramento State, with nine points, round out the North. In the South, CSUN topped the division with six first-place votes and 30 points overall, followed closely by UC Irvine, which earned a pair of first-place nods and 24 points. UC Riverside (14 points) and Cal State Fullerton (12) were picked third and fourth, respectively.

MARTIN DEL CAMP-"ING" WITH THE U.S.: In one of the better "What Did You Do Last Summer" stories for the Aggies, senior defender Ramon Martin Del Campo had the "arduous" task of traveling to the Bahamas for a five-day camp with the U.S. U-23 Men's National Team and a friendly against the Bahamas National Team. One of 19 players (and seven defenders) originally called up, Martin del Campo entered the match against the Bahamas one minute into the second half and tallied an assist as part of an eventual 5-1 win for the Americans. He was discovered playing with his San Jose Earthquakes' U-23 Premier Development League squad, helping lead them to a 7-4-3 record and a third-place finish in the Western Conference in their inaugural season. He was an All-Premier Development League (best 11 players in the entire league) and All-Western Conference First Team selection and was one of three finalists for the league's Young (U-21) Player of the Year Award.

DAVIS DUO EARNS BIG WEST PRESEASON HONORS: Along with the preseason prognostications, the league's eight head coaches also bestowed preseason all-conference honors on 11 of the Big West's best, including the Aggies' Ramon Martin Del Campo and Matt Wiesenfarth.

MORE FOR THE MANTEL: UC Davis seniors Matt Sheldon, Brian Ford, and Ramon Martin Del Campo were named to the first team, while senior Matt Wiesenfarth added second-team laurels on Aug. 13, as College Sports Madness announced its preseason All-Big West Conference selections. The Aggies' three first-team selections match Cal State Northridge for the most in the league, while the four overall honorees stand behind only the Matadors and UC Santa Barbara, which finished with five selections apiece. For a complete list of the honorees, visit http://www.collegesportsmadness.com/article/9616.

TOP SHELF TALENT ACCORDING TO TOP DRAWER: Building upon what has already been an impressive preseason, senior defender Ramon Martin Del Campo was named to Top Drawer Soccer's preseason list of the top 100 collegiate players in the United States. In a ranking that will be updated weekly, Martin Del Campo was one of five Big West players selected to the list, joining Cal State Northridge duo Sagi Lev-Ari and Edwin Rivas, UC Irvine's Mario Ortiz, and UC Santa Barbara's Ismaila Jome. Both Jome, a sophomore midfielder, and Lev-Ari, a senior forward, are also included on the "watch list" for this year's MAC Hermann Trophy awarded to the nation's top player. Fans can take a look at the entire list via the Top Drawer Soccer website at http://www.topdrawersoccer.com/college-soccer-articles/college-soccer-preseason-top-100-players_aid33551.

A QUICK LOOK AT THE AGGIES: UC Davis returns its top five scorers and 12 letter winners (six starters) off of last season's squad that finished 9-9-3 overall and 4-4-2 in Big West Conference play, gaining the semifinals of the league tournament for the second-straight season. Five all-conference honorees are among the group, led by senior strikers Matt Sheldon and Matt Wiesenfarth (more on them later) and senior defenders Brian Ford and Ramon Martin Del Campo. Behind them, the loss of record-setting goalkeeper Omar Zeenni looms large, however, redshirt sophomore Armando Quezada is poised to take over the reins after posting a 1.13 goals against average in five appearances -- including a pair of starts against nationally-ranked UC Santa Barbara. Redshirt junior Kris Schultz (1 career start vs. SMU in 2012) and junior John Piasta will push Quezada in the quest for the starting job between the pipes.

BY THE NUMBERS: UC Davis returns all but three of its 20 goals scored (85%), 10 of its 18 assists (56%), and 163 of its 286 shots taken (57%), from last season's campaign. What does that all mean? We don't know, but numbers are fun.

COMING "HOME": After two seasons as an assistant coach with the women's soccer program at Augsburg College in Minnesota, former UC Davis letter winner Chris Leer returns to his alma mater this season as an assistant under Head Coach Dwayne Shaffer. Leer played under Shaffer from 2006-09, helping the Aggies to a pair of NCAA Division I Tournament berths in 2007 (first round) and 2008 (second round) while earning All-Big West Conference honorable mention honors as a senior. He finished his UC Davis career with 13 goals and seven assists (33 points), tying for second on the team in goals (5) as a sophomore and finishing second in both goals (4) and points (12) as a senior while starting all 19 matches. The Danville, Calif., native graduated from UC Davis with a degree in communication and sociology in 2011, earning his master's degree in kinesiology/sports and exercise science from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2013.

SAME FACE, NEW PLACE: Long-time assistant Jason Hotaling moves up one spot on the bench beginning with the 2014 campaign, promoted to the position of Assistant Head Coach under Shaffer with the departure of Eric Mild, who left to take over the men's soccer program at Pacific University in Oregon. Now entering his 10th season on the Aggies' sideline, Hotaling joined the UC Davis staff in 2005, reuniting with his former coach in Shaffer, whom he played for at Santa Rosa JC from 1991-92. He continues to manage the Aggies' recruiting efforts and training the team's goalkeepers.

THE WELCOME MATT'S: One of the best 1-2 scoring punches in the Big West Conference in 2013, the Aggies' senior striker duo of Matt Wiesenfarth and Matt Sheldon return for their final years in a UC Davis uniform after sharing the team lead with six goals and an assist apiece -- accounting for 60 percent of the team's 20 goals scored. The six goals were the most by an Aggie since Lance Patterson finished with the same number (and 13 points overall) in 2010.

UNDER THE LIGHTS: Area soccer fans will be treated to a pair of UC Davis matches under the lights in 2014 as Aggie Stadium -- home of the football and lacrosse programs -- will serve as home field advantage for the Aggies against Cal State Fullerton (Oct. 2) and Cal Poly (Nov. 5). It is the first time since the 2010 season that the men's soccer team will compete on the turf of Aggie Stadium, hosting an exhibition against Dominican and welcoming four league rivals (UC Irvine, UC Riverside, Cal State Northridge, and UC Santa Barbara) for regular season clashes, finishing 3-2 in those matches.

THAT'S FRESH... MAN: Legendary college football coach Joe Paterno once said, "It's the name on the front of the jersey that matters most, not the one on the back." However, with 10 new faces on the roster for the 2014 season, names on the back might be a good idea to know who's who. The Aggies' 10 freshmen make up the largest incoming freshman class since UC Davis welcomed in 10 true freshmen in 2003.

OUR HOUSE: UC Davis finished with a winning home record for the fourth consecutive season, posting a 5-4 mark at the Aggie Soccer Stadium in 2013. The pitch has, indeed, been the friendly confines for the home side as the Aggies are a combined 90-43-13 (.661) at home in 17 seasons under the direction of Head Coach Dwayne Shaffer and haven't suffered a losing campaign at home since 2009 (3-4).