UC Davis (3-5 overall, 0-0 Big West) at Saint Mary's (2-3-2, 0-0 WCC)
Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017 | 4:00 p.m. | Saint Mary's Stadium | Moraga, Calif.
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KICK-OFF: Looking to recover from a long trip to Colorado, the UC Davis men's soccer team (3-5) closes out a three-match road trip with a short jaunt to the Bay Area, traveling to take on Saint Mary's on Thursday (Sept. 21) at 4 p.m. at Saint Mary's Stadium. It will be the non-conference finale for the Aggies, who open Big West Conference play next weekend with a pair of matches at home against South Division rivals UC Irvine (Sept. 28) and CSUN (Sept. 30).
IN THE RANKINGS: Neither UC Davis, nor Saint Mary's, are ranked this this week's national polls.
BE A FOLLOWER: Fans can keep up with the latest in UC Davis athletics by following us on Facebook (/ucdavisaggies) and Twitter (@UCDavisAggies), while the men’s soccer program is also available on both platforms: Facebook (/UCDavisMensSoccer) and Twitter (@UCDavisMSOC) -- the latter also featuring live in-game updates as the match progresses.
A LOOK AT THE GAELS: Returning from the same trip that the Aggies just made, Saint Mary's enters Thursday's contest with a 2-3-2 overall record after falling to Air Force (1-0) and defeating Denver (1-0)) last weekend in Colorado… The win over the Pioneers snapped a four-match winless steak (0-3-1) dating back to a 2-1 win over CSUN in Northridge, Calif… Reigning West Coast Conference player of the week, Sophomore forward Anders Engebretsen, leads the team with five points on a goal and three assists, while sophomore forward Jake Rudel has scored two of the team's six goals on the season… Sophomore goalkeeper Remi Prieur has started five of the seven matches in net, posting a 0.92 goals against average and 13 saves to go with a pair of shutouts.
SERIES NOTES: The series between the Aggies and Gaels is knotted at 4-4-1, but UC Davis in unbeaten in its last four meetings (3-0-1) with Saint Mary's following a 2-1 overtime victory last season at Aggie Soccer Field… The Aggies have won their last two trips to Moraga, Calif., posting a 2-1 win in 2015 and a 1-0 victory in 2013… The Gaels' last win in the season came via a 2-0 score in 2012, while Saint Mary's last posted a win over UC Davis on its home field in 2011, by the score of 1-0… Two of the last three contests have gone to overtime -- both of those matches played in Davis, Calif.
CONFERENCE CALL: Thursday's match marks the fourth West Coast Conference opponent for the Aggies this season, as they look to build on a 2-1 record against the league… UC Davis is a combined 13-14-7 against the eight current WCC members that sponsor men's soccer, and adds an additional 2-0 record against BYU, which no longer sponsors the sport along with Pepperdine… The Aggies are a combined 8-3-1 against WCC opponents over the last two plus season, winning four of their last five.
MILESTONE WIN FOR SHAFFER: Congratulations to UC Davis Head Coach Dwayne Shaffer, who logged the 200th win of his Division I coaching career against Loyola Marymount on Sept. 8, carrying a 200-170-51 record in 22 seasons at the Division I level into this weekend's matches, and needs seven more victories to reach the 200-win plateau in his UC Davis career. Overall, Shaffer has accumulated a total of 252 career wins as a head coach with the Aggies (21 years), Dayton (one year), and Santa Rosa Junior College (four years).
DON'T BLINK: Or you might miss an Aggie goal. When freshman Jake Haupt netted his first career goal just 6:13 into his team's win over CSU Bakersfield on Sept. 3, it marked the second time this season that UC Davis had scored in the first 10 minutes of a match, the quickest goal scored by an Aggie player this season, and the 12th-fastest goal in the Division I era. Junior Matt Baringer added his name to the list, missing Haupt's mark by a second, when he scored 6:14 into UC Davis' win over Loyola Marymount on Sept. 8, and was followed by Kyle Higgins' goal just 1:48 later, marking the third and fourth times this season that an Aggie has scored in the first 10 minutes of a match.
"BE QUICK – BUT DON'T HURRY": Speaking of Baringer and Higgins, the 1:48 between their two goals against LMU is the smallest margin between goals by an Aggie tandem this season and the sixth-smallest in the program's Division I era. In all, the Aggies have put up back-to-back scores in less than three minutes on four different occasions this season against the Lions, San Francisco (1:51 by Onah Power & Baringer), San Jose State (2:07 by Miguel Acevedo [twice]), and SMU (2:19 by Luke Hazel & Baringer).
"TOP DRAWER" TALENT: UC Davis has four of the top 15 players in the Big West Conference to start the season according to a list of the league's top talent as determined by Top Drawer Soccer. Senior wing Evan Barrett (No. 2), senior forward Kyle Higgins (No. 7), senior midfielder Noah Wilson (No. 11), and junior defender Roy Boateng (No. 14), all rank among the conference's best in the preseason.
-- With 13 goals this season, UC Davis is the second-highest scoring team in the Big West entering the week, trailing only CSUN (14)...
-- After scoring 12 times in their first five contests (2.40 goals per game), the Aggies have scored just once in their last three (0.33 goals per game)
-- UC Davis is winless (0-4-1) in its last five road matches dating back to a 1-0 win at UC Santa Barbara in last year's regular season finale
-- The Aggies are one of only two teams in the conference (Cal State Fullerton) which have taken 100-or-more shots thus far this season
-- UC Davis has not scored in its last 205:05 of game time dating back to the second half of its match against San Diego on Sept. 10
-- Junior Matt Baringer is tied for second in the league with three goals and stands second with eight points overall
-- When senior Miguel Acevedo scored twice against San Jose State on Sept. 1, he became only the 20th player in the history of the program to net two goals in a single match and the first since Kristian Heptner did so at Pacific on Sept. 1, 2016.
-- Sophomore goalkeeper Wallis Lapsley finished with a career-high six saves in the Aggies' win over San Francisco, nearly equalling his career best with five stops at Air Force last weekend
TORRES NETS BIG WEST WEEKLY HONORS: Goals in each of the Aggies' two matches against Loyola Marymount and San Diego helped net UC Davis senior Lizandro Torres Big West Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors, the league office announced on Sept. 11. It's the first such award for the midfielder from Stockton, Calif., and the first for an Aggie player since teammate Noah Wilson won the award on Oct. 31 of last season. For the complete release, visit: http://www.ucdavisaggies.com/sports/m-soccer/spec-rel/091117aaa.html.
AGGIES AT A GLANCE: A senior-laden Aggie squad returns 17 letter winners and eight starters from last year's squad that finished 8-9-3 overall and 4-6 in the Big West Conference, earning a berth in the league tournament in each of the last six seasons -- the only conference member to accomplish that feat during that span. UC Davis returns five of its top six scorers from last season, paced by senior midfielder Noah Wilson, who earned second-team All-Big West honors after scoring seven goals and 17 points overall. All told, the Aggies bring back 19 of their 26 goals scored, 19 of their 24 assists, and 196 of their 267 shots. In net, sophomore Wallis Lapsley is the incumbent after appearing in four matches last season, posting a 0.98 goals against average and eight saves.
UC DAVIS PICKED SECOND IN BIG WEST PRESEASON POLL: The Aggies open the season with high expectations from the league coaches, picked to finish second in the Big West's North Division behind perennial power UC Santa Barbara. UC Davis, which received the third-most points among the league's eight members, garnered one first-place vote and 25 points overall -- just three back of the Gauchos, who picked up six first-place votes and 28 points overall to top the division for the fifth consecutive year.
TRIO HONORED ON BIG WEST PRESEASON TEAM: The UC Davis senior trio of Noah Wilson, Kyle Higgins, and Evan Barrett, picked up individual preseason honors, making up a quarter of the 12-member preseason All-Big West Conference team as voted on by the coaches. The selections of Wilson, Higgins, and Barrett, were the most by any league member, as Cal State Fullerton and UC Santa Barbara each placed two on the team. The trio, who joined former Aggie standouts Ramon Martin Del Campo (2014) and Matt Wiesenfarth (2012 & 2014) as preseason all-conference picks from UC Davis, represent nearly half of the Aggies' goals scored from a season ago.
STATE OF THE AGGIES: Home of the nation's No. 6-ranked ranked public university in one of the top college towns in the country, UC Davis has continued to attract standout student-athletes from outside the friendly confines of the state of California. Although the 2017 UC Davis men's soccer roster will feature a majority of Californians, six Aggies hail from outside the "Golden State" -- the most in the program's Division I era. Sophomore goalkeeper Wallis Lapsley and freshman Kameron Carey (Washington), senior Chase Rhode (North Carolina), freshman Kyle Marcotte (Texas), and senior Kyle Higgins and sophomore Adam Mickelson (Montana), each represent the first Aggies from those states since the program made the jump to Division I in 2007.