Sheldon, Zeenni Sweep Big West Weekly Awards

Omar Zeenni leads the Big West Conference with a 0.78 save percentage. (Wayne Tilcock)
 
Omar Zeenni leads the Big West Conference with a 0.78 save percentage. (Wayne Tilcock)
 

Oct. 17, 2011

IRVINE, Calif. - Freshman forward Matt Sheldon and sophomore goalkeeper Omar Zeenni were named the Big West Conference Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively, after leading the UC Davis men's soccer team to a 2-1 overtime victory over Cal State Northridge on Saturday, it was announced Monday by the league office.

Sheldon struck in the 71st and 93rd minutes to win the game for UC Davis and is the first Aggie to score twice in a game since Chris Leer accomplished the feat in a 2-0 win over Cal Poly on Oct. 31, 2009. The goals were also the first of Sheldon's career.

In the 71st minute, Dan Reese collected the ball at midfield, made a fast break before passing to Alex Aguiar who found a waiting Sheldon. His shot landed in the top corner of the goal to give UC Davis the 1-0 lead.

Sheldon's game-winning second goal came only three minutes into the first overtime period. Aguiar launched a long throw in into the 18-yard box, but the Northridge defense was unable to clear it, allowing Sheldon to shoot from point blank range.

On the defensive end, Zeenni warded off 20 shots, 12 of which came in the second half alone, and made five saves to earn his sixth win of the year. He allowed only one goal and moves to a 0.94 goals against average and leads the Big West with a .780 save percentage.

Zeenni held the Matadors scoreless until the 78th minute of play. Saturday's game also marked the eighth time this season that he spent over 90 minutes in goal during a game.

With the win, UC Davis moved into a three-way tie for second place with Cal Poly and Cal State Northridge. All three teams have nine points while UC Irvine sits atop the standings with 12 points.

UC Davis faces UC Irvine on the road on Wednesday at 7 p.m., then returns home to host Cal Poly on Saturday at 3 p.m.