Aggies travel to San Jose, host Pacific this week

Senior captain Ryan Gross has started every match for the Aggies -- 67 and counting -- during his career entering this week's contests. (Photo by Mark Honbo, UC Davis Athletics Communications)
Sept. 15, 2015


THIS WEEK...
MATCH 6: UC Davis (1-4) at San Jose State (1-3)

Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015
Spartan Soccer Field (San Jose, Calif.)
5:00 p.m.
Game Coverage: Live Stats | UC Davis Notes | SJSU Notes

MATCH 7: Pacific (1-4) at UC Davis (1-4)
Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015
Aggie Soccer Field (Davis, Calif.)
5:00 p.m.
Game Coverage: Live Stats | Buy Tickets | UC Davis Notes | Pacific Notes

KICK OFF: After fighting tooth and nail against a rolling California squad in Berkeley in its only match last week, the UC Davis men’s soccer team (1-4 overall in 2015) continues its non-conference slate with a pair of contests against Northern California rivals. The Aggies make a return to the Bay Area to take on San Jose State on Wednesday (Sept. 16), before returning to the friendly confines of the Aggie Soccer Field to host Pacific on Sunday (Sept. 20) -- UC Davis’ first home match in two weeks. Both matches are scheduled to kick-off at 5 p.m. at their respective sites.

IN THE POLLS: Neither UC Davis, San Jose State, nor Pacific, are ranked among the top 25 polls this week.

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), while men’s soccer is available on Twitter (@UCDavisMSOC). Live in-game updates for home contests are also available on Twitter by following us @UCDavisInGame.

I NEED STATS, STAT!: Barring technical difficulties, live stats for all UC Davis home games, as well as select 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 UC Davis StatBroadcast landing page at UCDStats.com to access the links.

SAN JOSE STATE BRIEFLY: Picked to finish fifth in the Western Athletic Conference to start the season, the Spartans return 12 letter winners and eight starters off of last season’s squad that finished 6-11-2 overall and 4-4-2 in conference play... San Jose State enters the weekend with a 1-3 record, having lost two straight following a 1-0 shutout at No. 13 Stanford and a 3-0 loss at Pacific last week... Preseason All-WAC selection Rory Knibbs leads the team in scoring with three goals -- all coming on a hat track in a 4-2 win over Sacramento State on Sept. 4 -- and six points overall on 11 shots, while Alex Alcaraz has assisted on three of the team’s four goals this season... Senior goalkeeper Emmanuel Espinoza has started all four matches in net, posting a 1.75 goals against average and saving 14 shots (.667 save percentage)... Head Coach Simon Tobin is in his second season at the helm of the SJSU program after coaching CSU Bakersfield to an NCAA Division II national title and seven conference crowns.

VERSUS THE SPARTANS: The series between UC Davis and San Jose State is knotted at two wins apiece, but the two programs haven’t met in men’s soccer since the 2010 season, with the Aggies emerging victorious, 1-0, in overtime at home... Wednesday marks the third all-time meeting in San Jose, with the Spartans winning both previous meetings: 2-1 in 1998 and 4-1 in 2009... UC Davis’ only other win came in 2008 at home by a 3-2 score.

PACIFIC BRIEFLY: In only their second season since being reinstated, the Tigers were picked to finish eighth in the rugged West Coast Conference and return 19 letter winners and 11 starters off of last season’s squad that finished 3-15 overall and 1-6 in league play... Pacific plays at Sacramento State on Friday before visiting Davis... Sophomore Tristan Blackmon, who led the WCC with eight goals last season, is one of four goal-scorers for Pacific this season, a group that is led by freshman Brian Im and sophomore Gaku Lange, who have two apiece... Sophomore goalkeepers Josh Adachi and Curtis Goldsmith have split time in net this season, the former posting a 0.91 goals against average in three starts with 18 saves and a shutout.

VERSUS THE TIGERS: Sunday’s clash with the Tigers marks the first meeting between the two programs since Pacific revived its men’s soccer program prior to the 2014 season.

CONFERENCE CALL: Wednesday’s match against San Jose State marks the Aggies’ third against a Western Athletic Conference foe this season, with UC Davis still looking for its first victory following a 6-0 loss to Seattle and a 2-1 double-overtime defeat against CSU Bakersfield... The Aggies are 17-17-8 all-time against the current alignment of the WAC dating back to 1990, but are winless in their last four (0-2-2) dating back to a 2-1 double overtime win over the Roadrunners on Sept. 13 last season... Sunday’s match against Pacific will be the first of three straight against the West Coast Conference to close out the non-conference portion of UC Davis’ schedule, with contests against Saint Mary’s (Sept. 24) and San Francisco (Sept. 26) to follow... The Aggies are 6-10-7 against the current WCC alignment dating back to 1990, having tied their last five meetings with conference opponents dating back to the 2013 campaign -- four of those coming last season... UC Davis’ last win against a WCC school came on Sept. 15, 2013, in a 1-0 win at home over San Francisco.

NEW ADDITION: Jon Laughlin, a 6-foot-4 freshman goalkeeper from San Jose, Calif. (Leland HS ‘15), was added to the roster prior to last week’s match at California. Laughlin was an All-CIF Central Coast Section first team honoree for the Chargers, who also earned first-team all-league honors and was named the San Jose Mercury News section goalkeeper of the year as a senior en route to a section title. He becomes the fourth goalkeeper of the UC Davis roster for 2015, joining senior Kris Schultz, junior Armando Quezada, and freshman Wallis Lapsley.

MATT MAKES IT FIVE: Senior forward Matt Wiesenfarth became the fifth Aggie to find the back of the net this season late in last week’s match at California, scoring in the 88th minute to make it a one-goal contest. It was a long time in coming for Wiesenfarth, who leads the team with 13 shots (a total that also ranks tied for fifth in the Big West), it was his first score since netting the game-winner in a 1-0 win over Sacramento State on Nov. 9, 2013.

AGGIES’ IRONMAN: Since his arrival on campus, UC Davis senior Ryan Gross has been a tough man to take off the field, continuing a streak at California last week that has seen him start all 67 matches for the Aggies -- and logging nearly 6,000 minutes on the field in the process -- dating back to 2012 following a stellar prep career at Davis High School. The total ranks just outside the school’s top-10 at the Division I level and 14 shy of Matt Sheldon’s record of 81 set from 2011-14, while his 5,997 career minutes are fourth on the school’s Division I chart -- just three shy of becoming only the fourth player to top 6,000 career minutes at the Division I level along with Brian Ford (7,374), Ramon Martin Del Campo (6,312), and Omar Zeenni (6,105).

GROSS GOING UP: Senior midfielder Ryan Gross netted his first goal of the season in UC Davis’ win over Wisconsin on Sept. 6, giving him six for his career and 21 career points, moving him past John Joslin (2008-12) and into 10th place on the school’s Division I career points list. Gross needs just two more points to match Kevin Schulte (2010-13) for ninth and five more to tie Alex Aguiar (2010-13) for eighth. Meanwhile, he also stands fourth in career assists (nine) and eighth in shots (77)

WATCHING WIESENFARTH: Thanks to his goal at California last Friday, senior Matt Wiesenfarth moved into sole possession of fourth place on the school’s Division I career points list with 33 and broke a three-way tie for third on the career goals list with the 14th. His six career game-winners are third on the UC Davis Division I list -- ranking behind only Matt Sheldon and Quincy Amarikwa, who have seven apiece -- and he stands fourth on the all-time shots list with 118 -- four back of Amarikwa for third, and only 10 behind Alex Aguiar for the lead in the program’s Division I history.

ROLLIN’ IN THE DEEP: After battling through injures, a young roster, and an obscene number of minutes played a season ago, the Aggies have been blessed with tremendous depth thanks to experience gained by their large freshman class during 2014 and the ensuing spring season. UC Davis has played an average of 19 men from its 29-man roster through the first five matches, with a field player going the full time only 10 times.

AGAINST RANKED SQUADS: Having never shied away from facing the top-tier in men’s soccer, as well as playing in one of the toughest men’s soccer conferences in the nation, the Aggies have posted 10 victories and six draws against nationally ranked teams under the direction of Head Coach Dwayne Shaffer at the Division I level, including 12 matches against a top-10 squad in that span following their tilt at No. 10 Washington on Aug. 30.

OUR HOUSE: UC Davis finished with a winning home record for the fifth consecutive season in 2014, posting a 4-2-5 mark at the Aggie Soccer Field. The pitch has, indeed, been the friendly confines for the home side as the Aggies are a combined 94-45-18 (.656) at home in 18 seasons under the direction of Head Coach Dwayne Shaffer and haven’t suffered a losing campaign at home since 2009 (3-4).

TAKE YOUR BEST SHOT... OR TWO... OR THREE: The Aggies out-shot visiting CSU Bakersfield by a 24-8 count in their double-overtime home opener on Sept. 4, setting a season high and amassing a total that ranks tied for fourth on the school’s Division I single-game chart. The 24 shots were the most since the Aggies had 26 shots at Sacramento State in a match played at Bonney Field on Oct. 25 of last season, and are just three shots shy of the school’s Division I record of 27 shots against Cal State Fullerton on Oct. 13, 2008.

WHEN IT RAINS, IT POURS: After being held to a single goal in its first three matches of the season, the UC Davis offense finally found a groove, erupting for three goals in a 3-2 win over Wisconsin on Sept. 6 for the Aggies’ first win of the year. The three goals are the most for UC Davis since it found the back of the net three times in a 3-1 win over Cal State Fullerton on Oct. 2 of last season.

NOT HALF BAD: All three of the Aggies’ goals against the Badgers came in the first half -- the first time UC Davis has scored three goals in a half since the Aggies put up three during a huge second half to rally for a 3-1 win at Sacramento State on Oct. 20, 2012. The match against the Badgers marked the 10th time in the program’s Division I history that UC Davis has scored at least three goals in a half, trailing only the record four first-half goals scored in a 4-2 win over Oakland on Sept. 15, 2007.

SAVE ME: Junior goalkeeper Armando Quezada was a busy man in net against Wisconsin, facing nine shots on goal and tying a career high with six saves in the Aggies’ 3-2 victory. Quezada’s performance matched his effort against Cal Poly last season when he made six stops against Cal Poly on Nov. 5 and ranks tied for 10th on school’s Division I single-game list.

RECYCLED NOTES
A QUICK LOOK AT THE AGGIES: One of the youngest teams in the Big West Conference in 2014 with 12 freshmen listed on the roster, the Aggies return 15 letter winners and seven starters overall for this year’s campaign, including a pair of standout goalkeepers who split time last season. Depth, a component that was severely tested by an NCAA-record 14 overtime contests (12 of those going to double overtime), doesn’t seem to be an issue for UC Davis this season thanks, in part, to those trials by fire, as four returning redshirts and eight newcomers give Head Coach Dwayne Shaffer plenty of options.

AGGIES PICKED THIRD IN BIG WEST NORTH: UC Davis was picked to finish third in the Big West North Division, and sixth overall in the league, according to a vote of the conference’s head coaches and released on Aug. 19. The Aggies received 17 points to finish behind UC Santa Barbara (7 first-place votes, 30 points) and Cal Poly (1 first-place vote, 22 points), while standing ahead of Sacramento State (11 points). UC Irvine was picked to win the south with five first-place votes and 26 points overall, standing ahead of CSUN and defending conference tournament champion Cal State Fullerton, which each received first-place votes.

BY THE NUMBERS: UC Davis returns half of its 20 goals scored, 60 percent (nine of 15) of its assists, 57 percent (154 of 272) of its shots, and every one of its 74 saves, from last season. What does it all mean? We don’t know, but numbers are fun.

STATE OF THE AGGIES: Newcomers Wallis Lapsley (Washington) and Adam Mickelson (Montana) join sophomore Kyle Higgins (Montana) as out-of-state Aggies for 2015, becoming members of a select group of eight current and former UC Davis players who have hailed from outside the state of California during the program’s Division I era. Lapsley is the first of that group from the state of Washington, joined by the Montana duo of Mickelson and Higgins, Arizona’s Ian Palmer, Oregon’s Matt Sheldon, Colorado’s Lance Patterson, and imports Kirk Kappelhoff (Australia) and Riley Newport (British Columbia).

ALUMNI NEWS: Former UC Davis standout Quincy Amarikwa (2005-08) has experienced a rebirth with the San Jose Earthquakes and was recently named to the MLS Team of the Week on Aug. 25 (http://bit.ly/1L1Ob0v)... Letter winner Elliott Hord (2010-13) signed a professional contract to play for Yxhults IK -- a Swedish third-division side -- on Aug. 11 (http://bit.ly/1h16A6v)... Defender Ramon Martin Del Campo inked a two-year deal with Costa Rican power Saprissa on June 8 (http://bit.ly/1HXrKbi).