Men's Soccer Welcomes UC Irvine On Homecoming Weekend

UC Davis will host UC Irvine this Saturday in its only game of the week.  (Wayne Tilcock, <i>Davis Enterprise</i>)
UC Davis will host UC Irvine this Saturday in its only game of the week. (Wayne Tilcock, Davis Enterprise)

Oct. 22, 2007

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Saturday, Oct. 27 - UC IRVINE, 1:00 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 17 - Defeated Cal State Northridge, 3-1
Saturday, Oct. 20 - Lost to Cal State Fullerton, 1-2

The Aggies went 1-1-0 last week during their two-game home stretch of Big West games. They earned a 3-1 victory over Cal State Northridge on Wednesday and narrowly lost to Cal State Fullerton on Saturday, 1-2. UC Davis' 2-3-1 record in conference puts them in third place behind Cal Poly (4-0-1) and UC Santa Barbara (4-1-1).

Senior defender Paul Cain scored his first goal of the season against the Matadors, and added his first assist of the season against the Titans.

Along with Cain, Nicholas Lind, Sule Anibaba and Dylan Curtis accounted for the other goals during the week. Lind and Anibaba scored the first two goals in the game against Northridge while Curtis had the lone goal against Fullerton. Anibaba converted his team-leading fifth penalty kick of the season to up his season total to seven, which also leads the team. He continues to rank nationally in goals per game (47th) and points per game (64).

Lind, who has now tallied two goals on the season, led a furious offensive onslaught in the final minute against the Titans on Saturday as he got off two shots on goal in the final minute of the game. The Titan goalkeeper made two spectacular saves on both shots to avoid the overtime periods.



As a team, the Aggies continue to rank in the top five nationally in scoring with their 2.38 goals per game (31 goals in 13 games). Furman was dethroned by Wake Forest for the top spot after leading the nation all season. UC Davis was the top ranked team in the country during the week of Sept. 17-23.

UC Davis ends its season-long three-game homestand this weekend with a single game against UC Irvine on Saturday at 1 p.m. After playing four conference games in span of eight days, this marks the only contest for the Aggies this week. The game also marks the second to last home game for the UC Davis men's soccer team this season.

The Anteaters host UC Riverside on Wednesday before making the trip up to Davis on Saturday afternoon. UC Irvine entered the conference season with an overall record of 5-1-2 and a No. 25 ranking. Since that point the Anteaters' are 1-2-2 in conference with their only victory coming against Cal State Fullerton two weeks ago. UC Irvine recently tied conference front-runner Cal Poly, 1-1, last Saturday. Their game with UC Riverside will sure-up the fourth-place slot in conference.

Last season, UC Irvine was the only Big West member the Aggies did not record a victory against as they went 0-1-1. Since beginning the transition from Division II to Division I status in 2004, UC Davis owns a series record of 1-3-1 against UC Irvine. The lone victory came at home in 2005.

HEAD COACH Dwayne Shaffer
On Last Week: "When you're watching the game live, you're emotionally attached to the game and we were all disappointed after the (Cal State Fullerton) game because we didn't win. But when you go back and look at the video, I though we played really well. As I tell the players, winning soccer games at the higher levels is all about capitalizing on your opportunities and minimizing your mistakes. Unfortunately, we didn't minimize the mistakes against (Cal State) Fullerton. The first goal was just our mistake for not clearing the ball. We were able to fight back. I think we have a great team, we just need to get better defensively. We need to make playing defense personal. We have the players to be able to do it, we just need everybody to execute better. I feel like we're a very good attacking team and we just can't keep giving up goals like we are."

On Team Status: "There is a lot of soccer to be played. We still have six games to play and they're is a lot of opportunity there. If the conference standings are anything like they've been in past years, the top teams will all have a couple losses. Hopefully we can go on a run and I think we're capable of that. We've gone six games unbeaten this season. We just got through a tough schedule of conference games. We played four teams in the span of eight days and I think that was just mentally and physically draining for us. We really didn't have a chance to train and work on improving because we were using that time for rest and recovery. It showed against Cal Poly and it showed against (Cal State) Fullerton. Now having a full week to prepare for one game will be very rewarding for us just to recover mentally and physically. UC Irvine is having a very good season and I know they play very well. They are well coached and I'm expecting another very tough battle."