UC Irvine (5-3-1, 0-0 Big West) at UC Davis (3-5-1, 0-0 Big West)
Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017 | 4:00 p.m. | Aggie Soccer Field | Davis, Calif.
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CSUN (5-4, 0-0 Big West) at UC Davis (3-5-1, 0-0 Big West)
Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017 | 2:00 p.m. | Aggie Soccer Field | Davis, Calif.
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KICK OFF: The "second season" for the UC Davis men's soccer team (3-5-1 overall, 0-0 in the Big West Conference) begins this week, as the Aggies host UC Irvine and CSUN in their conference openers at the Aggie Soccer Field. UC Davis kicks off against the Anteaters on Thursday (Sept. 28) at 4 p.m., before battling the Matadors on Saturday (Sept. 30) at 2 p.m. Thursday's match against UC Irvine will be the second half of a doubleheader with the women's team, which opens conference play against Hawai'i at 1:30 p.m.
PROMOS: UC Davis soccer scarves, a popular collectible in recent years, will be given away to the first arriving fans during both ends of Thursday's soccer doubleheader. Fans are also encouraged to wear the colors of their favorite soccer teams to celebrate "World Cup Day" at Aggie Soccer Field with the chance to compete at halftime of both matches.
IN THE RANKINGS: UC Davis, UC Irvine, and CSUN are unranked in the national polls this week… The Matadors, however, are ranked 10th by the United Soccer Coaches in the Far West region.
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.
WELCOME HOME: UC Davis will welcome back members of its 2007 and 2008 NCAA Tournament teams and salute them during halftime of Saturday's match against CSUN. Representing the first Aggie teams to qualify for the NCAA Tournament at the Division I level, UC Davis finished with 25 victories over the two seasons, collected its first postseason win with a 4-0 shutout of Denver in the first round in 2008, ranked as high as No. 5 in the RPI, had two student-athletes named to the All-America team, and nine more voted to the All-Big West honor roll.
SCOUTING THE ANTEATERS: UC Irvine enters the Big West opener with a 5-3-1 overall record after splitting its contests against Loyola Marymount (W, 2-0) and San Francisco (L, 2-1) and are 2-2 overall on the road… Senior midfielder Giovanni Godoy, the reigning Big West Offensive Player of the Week, and junior midfielder Ivan Canales lead the way with four goals and nine points apiece, helping the Anteaters to a 17-10 advantage in scoring… Junior midfielder Daniel Crisostomo, the reigning Big West Defensive Player of the Week, paces the Big West with five assists… Sophomore goalkeeper Alex Waldron has started seven of nine matches between the pipes, posting a 0.83 goals against average with 23 saves and three shutouts.
SERIES RECORDS: The series between UC Davis and UC Irvine is deadlocked at 9-9-3 according to records dating back to the 1992 season… The Aggies have won the last two meetings with the Anteaters, posting a 2-1 win in overtime in 2015 and a 3-2 win last season in Irvine, Calif… UC Davis is 4-2-1 against UC Irvine at the Aggie Soccer Field, having won the last two matches played in Northern California… The two programs have played to overtime on eight occasions, with the Aggies posting a 4-1-3 record in those contests… The Anteaters' last win in the series came on Oct. 9, 2014, with a 1-0 victory in Southern California.
SCOUTING THE MATADORS: The defending Big West Tournament champions enter the week with a 5-4 overall record and will open conference play at Sacramento State on Thursday before heading across the Causeway to take on UC Davis… The Matadors have lost their last two straight to San Diego (2-0) and UCLA (2-1) after winning three consecutive contests in early September… Senior forward Emmanuel Usen, Jr., leads the Big West in goals (5) and points (12), while ranking second in shots (19)… Junior goalkeeper Henrik Regitnig has started all nine matches, posting a 1.48 goals against average in 791 minutes to go along with 32 saves.
SERIES RECORDS: UC Davis narrowly leads the all-time series with CSUN, 8-7-4, according to records that date back to 2005… The Aggies have only one win (1-4-2) in the last seven meetings with the Matadors, with that victory coming via a 2-1 overtime triumph in the 2015 Big West Tournament in Northridge, Calif… UC Davis is 4-3-1 against CSUN at home, last battling to a 1-1 draw in 2015 at Aggie Soccer Field… The two programs have played to overtime seven times, with the Aggies going unbeaten (3-0-4) in extra time against the Matadors.
FOR OPENERS (BIG WEST STYLE): UC Davis is 4-5-1 in Big West openers dating back to its league debut in 2007… The Aggies had their three-match winning streak snapped with a 2-1 loss to CSUN last season -- their first defeat in a conference opener since falling to the Matadors in 2012… Thursday marks only the fourth time in 11 Big West openers that UC Davis will begin the conference schedule at home… The Aggies open league play against UC Irvine for the fourth time, but the first since 2013… UC Davis is 2-0-1 when opening conference play against the Anteaters -- all three coming against ranked Irvine squads -- posting a 2-0 win in 2013, a 2-1 win in 2009, and 1-1 draw in 2008… The Aggies have played to overtime in a conference opener three times, but not since 2010 when UC Davis fell in double overtime, 2-1, at No. 17 UC Santa Barbara… All time in conference openers, the Aggies are also 0-3 against CSUN, 1-0 against UC Riverside, 1-0 against Cal State Fullerton, and 0-2 against UC Santa Barbara.
NORTH VERSUS SOUTH: With four straight matches against the Big West's South Division ahead for the Aggies, UC Davis has seen its fair share of success against its inter-division rivals. The team's 11 wins and .600 winning percentage rank second among league schools against the opposite division, trailing only UC Santa Barbara and its 15-2-3 mark against the south since divisional play began in 2012. Overall, the North holds a stiff advantage over the South, posting a 42-29-9 record in inter-division play.
RUDOLPH, KIBUNGUCHY ON THE BOARD: The ninth different Aggie to score a goal, and the fourth player to score his first career goal this season joining teammates Luke Hazel, Jake Haupt, and Onah Power, freshman Jacob Rudolph scored with just under seven minutes to play in regulation against Saint Mary's last week, helping UC Davis forge a 1-1 draw with the Gaels on the road. A computer engineering major from Clovis, Calif., Rudolph found the back of the net just three minutes after checking into the match off a pass from teammate Nabi Kibunguchy, a managerial economics major who tallied his first career point with the assist.
A LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA: UC Davis' draw at Saint Mary's last week to close out non-conference play marked the Aggies first overtime contest of the year and the team's first since a 2-1 loss to Cal Poly on Oct. 26, 2016. Since 2007, UC Davis is a combined 19-18-34 in overtime.
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).