Oct. 10, 2013
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS
Oct. 4 vs. No. 25 UC Irvine: W, 2-0
Oct. 6 vs. No. 6 Cal State Northridge: L, 2-0
THIS WEEK'S ACTION
UC Davis Aggies (5-5-1, 1-1-0 BWC)
Cal State Fullerton Titans (4-6-0, 1-1-0 BWC)
Sunday, Oct. 13 - 2 p.m.
UC Riverside Soccer Stadium (878) - Riverside, Calif.
DAVIS, Calif. - UC Davis will visit Fullerton and Riverside this weekend in its first set of Big West road matches this Friday and Sunday. Coming off its inaugural league matches last week against two nationally ranked teams, the Aggies will complete competition against teams from the South Division before facing its division counterparts starting with next Saturday's home game against UC Santa Barbara.
SCOUTING CAL STATE FULLERTON
In a matchup between two teams that split their inaugural Big West matches last week, UC Davis will face Cal State Fullerton in its first league road match of the year Friday night. Links for live stats, a Cal State Fullerton audio feed and live stream are available at ucdavisaggies.com.
Starting its Big West schedule at UC Santa Barbara last week, the Titans were shutout by the Gauchos 3-0, then rebounded two days later with a 1-0 win at Cal Poly. Cal State Fullerton has only hosted two home games this season; beginning with Friday's match against the Aggies, the Titans will host three straight conference matches. Of the team's next five games, all but one will take place at Titan Stadium.
Led by junior midfielder Ian Ramos with three, nine different players have scored for Cal State Fullerton this year.
In goal last weekend, and most likely to face UC Davis, is Titan goalkeeper Bryan Escalante. The senior will take the field Friday with two wins, 38 saves and a 1.67 goals against average to his credit this season.
Victorious in three of its last four matches, CSF will look to push the all-time series in its direction against UC Davis. The Aggies possess a 4-3-2 mark in games played at Aggie Soccer Field and a 2-3-1 record at Titan Stadium.
SCOUTING UC RIVERSIDE
Undefeated through its first seven matches, UC Riverside enters this weekend's action against Sacramento State and UC Davis on a four-game skid. The Aggies are the second opponent of a three-match, Highlander homestand that will conclude the following week against Cal State Northridge. Even though UCR is currently struggling, the team has performed well at UC Riverside Soccer Stadium by capturing victories in three of four events.
Senior Aaron Long and freshman Romario Lomeli lead all Highlanders with three goals, collectively one-half of their team's total, and seven points apiece.
In addition to all five UCR victories with him between the pipes, senior KC John has posted four shutouts, collected 36 saves and holds a 1.34 goals against average.
UC Davis holds a decisive 11-3-1 advantage all-time; UC Riverside has never defeated the Aggies in Davis and earned its only three head-to-head victories in Riverside. Besides splitting the six games played at UC Riverside Soccer Stadium, the teams have also battled to one draw.
UC Riverside has not defeated UC Davis since Nov. 3, 2010; a link for live stats is available at ucdavisaggies.com.
NONE AND DONE
UC Davis has allowed only 10 goals to its opponents throughout its first 11 games, a total that is the second-lowest in the league. The Aggies trail only UC Santa Barbara; these teams will square off on Oct. 19, the first Big West game against a division opponent for UC Davis.
Due to its stingy defense, the Aggies are also ranked No. 2 with a 0.89 goals against average.
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT
One week after defeating No. 25 New Mexico, UC Davis defeated another ranked opponent in its Big West opener against the country's then-No. 25 team in UC Irvine. By defeating the Anteaters, 2-0, UC Davis captured its third consecutive victory against a ranked opponent.
These wins marked the third straight season that UC Davis dispatched a ranked opponent. Past years have seen the Aggies defeat No. 6 UCLA (2011), No. 7 UC Irvine (2011), No. 23 Tulsa (2012), and No. 8 UC Santa Barbara (2012).
CONTINUING HIS CLIMB
With his back-to-back shutout efforts at Saint Mary's (9/12) and San Francisco (9/15), senior goalkeeper Omar Zeenni sat No. 2 all time with 16 shutouts. After his performance against No. 25 UC Irvine (10/4), Zeenni tied the program record of 17 held by Nic Platter (2000-03).
Not only will Zeenni set a new UC Davis all-time mark with his next shutout, that clean sheet vault him into the Big West's all-time top 10, tying Fresno State's Chato Elgorriaga for No. 10.
The senior goalkeeper entered the 2013 season with 164 saves; combined with his 30 recorded throughout the Aggies' first 11 games, Zeenni needs just two saves to set a new program record for career saves.
As is the case with his tenuous position as the school's all-time record holder in shutouts, Platter also holds the Aggies' top saves total with 195.
Responsible for the game-winning shot when UC Davis defeated No. 25 New Mexico, junior forward Matt Wiesenfarth added a late insurance goal against No. 25 UC Irvine the following week to help the Aggies capture consecutive victories against ranked opponents. His goal against the Anteaters, the second of the season, matched his total recorded last season. With eight matches remaining, the 2011 Big West Conference Freshman of the Year has a shot to set a new career high for goals scored; that season, Wiesenfarth found the back of the net five times.
Senior goalkeeper Omar Zeenni has earned the starting nod from head coach Dwayne Shaffer in the Aggles' last 51 consecutive matches. Entering this weekend's action, Zeenni is now No. 8 in conference history for career matches in goal (62) in minutes played (5,596).
If this week plays out like every other that has taken place this season, Zeenni will finish his weekend ranked No. 7 for career matches in goal.
HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT
Senior midfielder Alex Aguiar leads all Aggies this season with 28 shots, a total that also ranks him sixth among Big West players.
STELLAR PLAY LEADS TO WEEKLY ACCOLADE
An outstanding performance by senior goalkeeper Omar Zeenni, in one of the most difficult soccer environments in the nation, helped UC Davis defeat nationally ranked New Mexico, 2-1, and earn Big West Men's Soccer Defensive Player of the Week as announced by the conference office on Sept. 30.
Competing against a team that entered last Friday's match ranked No. 25 in the NSCAA/Continental Tire national poll, and No. 20 by Soccer America, Zeenni stopped a season-high seven Lobo shot attempts to help the Aggies leave Albuquerque with a win.
Even though the Aggies were outshot that night 18-4, Zeenni continued to make one clutch save after another as the game progressed. Midway through the second half, the Arcadia, Calif., native made two saves from point-blank range; the latter of the two initiated a UC Davis counterattack that ended with his teammate scoring the game-winning goal moments later.
The netminder's defensive accolades are the first earned by an Aggie this season; Zeenni was also the last student-athlete to receive defensive honors when the conference recognized him on Sept. 3, 2012.
Throughout his three-plus years at UC Davis, Zeenni has now been honored by the conference with its weekly distinction on five occasions.
AGGIES JOIN EXCLUSIVE LIST
By defeating New Mexico on its own field, UC Davis joined an exclusive list of teams that departed Albuquerque with a victory. In the 113 games hosted by UNM since its soccer complex opened in 2002, one of the most hostile in the nation, the Aggies handed the Lobos their 17th loss.
When they arrived to New Mexico, UC Davis took the field against a team that was nationally ranked since the third week of the 2011 season. Including that match, the Lobos were ranked for 46 straight matches; after the Aggies' 2-1 win over the Lobos, UNM completely fell out of the NSCAA/Continental Tire's national poll when the organized released its rankings on Oct. 1.
WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE
When UC Davis starts its slate of games against division opponents, the team will do at Aggie Soccer Field - a facility where the Aggies have won seven of their last 10 regular season games. Last season, UC Davis won four of five matches against Big West opponents.
DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Known for its suffocating defense, UC Davis has already competed in six one-goal contests out of its nine played this season. Of those six, the Aggies have won four of those matches.
Members from this current roster (Michael Garrick is the Aggie with the lengthiest tenure - he joined the team in 2009) have participated in 53 one-goal games, 28 of which ended with a 1-0 score.
HE SCORES, THEY WIN
On Sept. 15 against San Francisco, junior forward scored his second goal of the season to help his team sweep both matches played that week. Two of the three goals scored by Sheldon this season have been game-winners; his strike was also the difference in UC Davis' home opener against Seattle on Sept. 6.
WEST COAST (CONFERENCE) TOUR
The Aggies' Sept. 27 match, at New Mexico, was the first against a non-West Coast Conference opponent since the Aggies hosted CSU Bakersfield on Sept. 8. Throughout its two-week stretch of action against the WCC, UC Davis earned its first victory in Moraga against Saint Mary's, faced San Diego, an elite eight team from the 2012 season, collected its first win in recorded history over San Francisco and earned a draw at Loyola Marymount, one of the toughest programs in the conference. Of its four matches played, UC Davis finished with a 2-1-1 mark.
FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING
On Sept. 12, UC Davis earned its first victory in Moraga, Calif., with its 1-0 win at Saint Mary's. The victory evened the all-time series to 4-4-2 and gave the Aggies their first victory over the Gaels since 2010.
KEEPING `KEEPERS ON THEIR TOES
Outside of its matches against San Francisco and New Mexico, UC Davis has outshot all of its opponents this season. UC Davis' opponents have taken 52 fewer shots (102) compared to the Aggies who have recorded 154.
This season, UC Davis men's soccer is:
1-1-0 against Big West teams
3-2 at home
2-3-1 on the road
0-0 in neutral site matches
1-0 against ranked opponents
3-4 in shutouts
4-2 in matches decided by one goal
1-3 in matches decided by two goals
0-0 in matches decided by three or more goals
0-0-1 in overtime
5-0-1 when UC Davis scores first
0-5 when opponents score first
5-0 leading at halftime
0-3 trailing at halftime
0-2-1 tied at halftime
3-5-1 when the Aggies outshoot opponents
1-0 when opponents outshoot the Aggies
1-0 when shots are tied
1-5 when the Aggies take more corner kicks
3-0-1 when opponents take more corner kicks than the Aggies
1-0 equal number or corner kicks
4-1 when the Aggies commit more fouls
1-4-1 when opponents commit more fouls
0-0 equal number of fouls
DISSECTING THE NUMBERS
Compared to their Big West counterparts, the Aggies possess the following totals (rankings in parentheses):
Shots: 161 (3)
Points: 21 (7)
Goals: 8 (7)
Goals Per Game: 0.73 (7)
Assists: 5 (8)
Assists Per Game: 0.45 (8)
Goals Allowed: 10 (2)
Goals Against Average: 0.89 (2)
Saves: 33 (6)
Shutouts: 4 (T-1)
Fouls: 120 (8)
Corners: 77 (1)
Offsides: 22 (6)
Entering this week's action, numerous Aggies possess top 10 totals in the Big West (rankings in parentheses):
Shots: Alex Aguiar - 28 (6)
Shots Per Game: Alex Aguiar - 2.55 (8)
Goals: Matt Sheldon - 3 (T-10)
Goals Against Average: Omar Zeenni - 0.89 (2)
Save Percentage: Omar Zeenni - .767 (3)
Saves: Omar Zeenni - 33 (5)
Saves Per Game: Omar Zeenni - 3.00 (T-4)
Shutouts: Omar Zeenni - 4 (T-1)
Shutouts Per Game: Omar Zeenni - 0.36 (T-3)
THE NEEDLE NOW POINTS IN OUR DIRECTION
By defeating Seattle in its home opener, UC Davis now holds the all-time series lead at 3-2-1. UC Davis and Seattle fought to a 1-1 tie in their last head-to-head meeting in 2011, a match that also took place at Aggie Soccer Field.
Other Aggie victories over the Redhawks took place in 2002 and 2003.
MAKING HIS MARK IN THE BIG WEST CONFERENCE
Perhaps the top returning netminder in the Big West is senior Omar Zeenni. An All-Big West Second Team selection in 2012, Zeenni recorded an impressive 0.91 goals against average with six shutouts. He enters his senior year tied for ninth in Big West annals with a 1.00 career GAA. As long as he stays healthy, Zeenni should break into the Big West top 10 in shutouts, goalie minutes and matches in goal by season's end.
DEFENDING REGULAR SEASON CHAMPIONS PICKED SECOND IN PRESEASON POLL
Despite three first-place votes, the UC Davis men's soccer team was picked to finish second in the North Division in the Big West Preseason Coaches Poll, the league announced on Thursday.
The Aggies received three of the eight potential first-place votes and picked up 23 total points, but UC Santa Barbara narrowly edged them out with five first-place votes and 25 points. Cal Poly checked in third in the North Division with 21 points and Sacramento State was last with 11.
UC Davis claimed the program's first Big West regular season title in 2012 as they bested their North Division competition with a 7-3-0 conference record.
In the South Division, defending Big West Tournament champion Cal State Northridge came in first with six first-place votes and a league-high 30 points. UC Irvine was picked to finish second with one first-place vote and 21 total points. Cal State Fullerton also picked up a first-place vote but came in third with 16 points and UC Riverside was last with 13 points.
THE SEASON BEFORE THE SEASON
UC Davis hosted three non-conference matches before facing UC Irvine in its inaugural Big West contest of the year. After competing against Seattle and CSU Bakersfield as part of the Copa de Causeway tournament, UC Davis welcomed San Francisco to Aggie Soccer Field in its final non-conference home match.
Just like the 2012 campaign, UC Davis competed in six road events before facing the Anteaters; this year, the Aggies traveled to Portland (Aug. 30), Oregon State (Sept. 1), Saint Mary's (Sept. 12), San Diego (Sept. 20), Loyola Marymount (Sept. 22) and New Mexico (Sept. 27).
TRULY A TEAM EFFORT
UC Davis finished a 10-7-4 record last season, marking the first time since 2008 that the program collected double-digit victories. The Aggies managed that without a go-to scorer, as four different players tied for the team lead with three goals apiece.
A CLOSER LOOK AT THE AGGIES' ROSTER
Included below is a breakdown of UC Davis' 2013 roster by class, primary position and geography.
Freshmen (9): Ryan Caro, Kirk Kappelhoff, Justin Kitts, Dashiell MacNamara, Logan Magonigal, Armando Quezada, Isaac Stuart, Spencer Williams, Connor Willis-Hong
Sophomores (6): Eric Budniewski, Ryan Gross, Hoshang Hatifie, Lucas Mohageg, John Piasta, Kris Schultz
Juniors (8): Andre Brown, Brian Ford, Eddie Manella, Ramon Martin Del Campo, Sam Hoeck, Ian Palmer, Matt Sheldon, Matt Wiesenfarth
Seniors (7): Alex Aguiar, Michael Garrick, Nick Grigoriev, Alex Henry, Elliott Hord, Kevin Schulte, Omar Zeenni
Goalkeepers (4): John Piasta, Armando Quezada, Kris Schultz, Omar Zeenni
Defenders (9): Brian Ford, Ryan Gross, Alex Henry, Sam Hoeck, Ramon Martin Del Campo, Lucas Mohageg, Ian Palmer, Spencer Williams, Connor Willis-Hong
Midfielders (12): Alex Aguiar, Andre Brown, Eric Budniewski, Ryan Caro, Hoshang Hatifie, Elliott Hord, Kirk Kappelhoff, Justin Kitts, Logan Magonigal, Eddie Manella, Kevin Schulte, Isaac Stuart
Forwards (5): Michael Garrick, Nick Grigoriev, Dashiell MacNamara, Matt Sheldon, Matt Wiesenfarth
California (28): Alex Aguiar, Andre Brown, Eric Budniewski, Ryan Caro, Brian Ford, Michael Garrick, Nick Grigoriev, Ryan Gross, Hoshang Hatifie, Alex Henry, Sam Hoeck, Elliott Hord, Justin Kitts, Dashiell MacNamara, Eddie Manella, Logan Magonigal, Ramon Martin Del Campo, Lucas Mohageg, Ian Palmer, John Piasta, Armando Quezada, Kevin Schulte, Kris Schultz, Isaac Stuart, Matt Wiesenfarth, Spencer Williams, Connor Willis-Hong, Omar Zeenni
Australia (1): Kirk Kappelhoff
Oregon (1): Matt Sheldon
UC Davis will host UC Santa Barbara, in its inaugural match against a division opponent, in the only event scheduled for men's soccer next week:
Sunday, Oct. 19: vs. UC Santa Barbara - 3 p.m.