Aggies Open Big West Play Against No. 15 UC Santa Barbara

Sule Anibaba scored the game-winning goal last season against the Gauchos at Aggie Soccer Stadium. (Wayne Tilcock, <I>Davis Enterprise</i>)
 
Sule Anibaba scored the game-winning goal last season against the Gauchos at Aggie Soccer Stadium. (Wayne Tilcock, Davis Enterprise)
 

Sept. 25, 2007

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THIS WEEK
Saturday, Sept. 29 - No. 15 UC SANTA BARBARA, 4:00 p.m.

LAST WEEK
Sunday, Sept. 23 - Defeated Sacramento State, 3-0

RECAP
The Aggies pushed their unbeaten streak to six consecutive games on Sunday with a 3-0 shutout victory over Sacramento State in the annual Causeway Cup match. UC Davis has now claimed three of four games against the Hornets since the inception of the Causeway Cup in 2004-05. The victory also gives the Aggies five more points in the cup standings and completes a sweep of the soccer points as the women's team defeated Sac State two weeks ago.

Three different players scored goals for UC Davis in the victory, which was only the second shutout of the season for the Aggies. Senior midfielders Nicholas Lind and Julien Cerutti each scored their first goals of the season while sophomore forward Paul Marcoux added his fourth. Junior midfielder Dylan Curtis had the lone assist for UC Davis and sits in a three-way tie for the team lead with two helpers.

Marcoux, who tallied six goals last season as a freshman, notched his score in the sixth minute off a cross from Curtis. It would be the only goal in the first half and would eventually hold up as his first game-winning goal of the season.

 

 

Lind added his unassisted goal five minutes into the second half as he beat the Hornet goalkeeper in a one on one situation to put the Aggies up 2-0. Cerutti capped the scoring in the 85th minute with the first goal of his collegiate career.

For the season, the Aggies are the national leaders in goals per game as their 23 scores in only seven games gives them a 3.29 average. They are also in a three-way tie with Furman and Michigan for the national lead in overall goals scored. Junior midfielder Sule Anibaba is also ranked in the top 10 nationally as he has the ninth-best goals per game average and boasts the third-most goals scored. Marcoux and Chris Leer are also ranked in the top 50 in the nation in goals per game.

UPCOMING OPPONENT
UC Davis plays its first official Big West game this Saturday as they welcome defending national champion and No. 15-ranked UC Santa Barbara to Aggie Soccer Stadium. The game, which is scheduled to begin at 4:00 p.m., is the first conference game of the season for both teams.

The Gauchos, who began the season ranked No. 1 by the NSCAA, enter Saturday's contest with an overall record of 3-2-2 following a tough non-conference schedule that saw them play the Nos. 3, 6 and 28-ranked teams in the country. UC Santa Barbara defeated then-No. 3 SMU, 2-1, in overtime and recently tied then-No. 6 Harvard, 1-1. Their two losses came against Gonzaga in the season-opener and then-No. 28 New Mexico State.

Last season the Gauchos and Aggies split the season series, 1-1, with each team earning a 1-0 victory at home. During the Aggies' victory, Anibaba scored the eventual game-winner off an assist from Lind in the 18th minute of the game. At Santa Barbara, former Gaucho Bryan Bryne scored the lone goal in the 60th minute.

HEAD COACH Dwayne Shaffer
On Hot Scoring: "I think it's a great thing (to lead the nation in scoring) and hopefully we can keep it going. We've obviously got some great players who are playing well and creating chances for one another. They're able to take the pressure off each other by scoring goals. If teams want to double team Quincy Amarikwa, which is what has happened this year, all that does is create openings for other players or create a foul that we've been able to convert into a scoring opportunity. I knew that the strength of our team coming into this season was the experience of our attack. "

On Causeway Cup Win: "It's always nice to beat Sac State, our Causeway rival. Their coach has them organized and they play hard. They're just lacking an attacking player who can take the pressure off his team by scoring goals. But overall I think they're a good team. Hopefully they can turn it around."

On UC Santa Barbara: "What a better introduction than to play against the defending conference champs as well as the defending national champs in our first Big West contest. My players are excited and I'm excited about the game. I know right now there's a lot of anticipation with the fans and hopefully we'll get a good crowd out there. (UC) Santa Barbara is a very good team. They are very well coached and they play extremely hard and have some extremely good players. It will be another tough game against a very good opponent. We just need to be solid in our attack and be able to put some pressure on them offensively, which will relieve our defense. It's going to be a tough game for us and hopefully we can be competitive."