Aggies open tournament play at two-time defending champs

Nov. 1, 2016

THIS WEEK…
BIG WEST CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT - FIRST ROUND
MATCH 20: UC Davis (8-9-2, 4-6-0) at Cal State Fullerton (8-8-3, 4-3-3)
Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016
7:00 p.m.
Titan Stadium
Fullerton, Calif.
Game Coverage: Live Stats | Video | Tickets | UC Davis Notes | Cal State Fullerton Men's Soccer | Big West Tournament Central

OPENING WHISTLE: The Aggies are in! Following a thrilling victory in the final match of the regular season to clinch a post-season berth, the UC Davis men’s soccer team (8-9-2 overall, 4-6 in the Big West) heads to Southern California to open play in the first round of the 2016 Big West Conference Tournament at two-time defending conference tournament champion Cal State Fullerton on Saturday night (Nov. 5) at 7 p.m. The Aggies are the No. 3 seed out of the North Division, while the Titans are the No. 2 seed out of the South.

IN THE POLLS: Neither UC Davis, nor Cal State Fullerton, are ranked the top 25 entering this week.

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 available on Twitter (@UCDavisMSOC). Live in-game updates for home contests are also available on Twitter by following us @UCDavisInGame.

I NEED STATS, STAT!: Barring technical difficulties, live stats for all UC Davis home matches, as well as select road contests, are available on your computer and mobile devices courtest the StatBroadcast platform. Visit the men’s soccer schedule page at UCDavisAggies.com or the UC Davis StatBroadcast landing page at UCDavisLiveStats.com to access the links.

LOOKING AHEAD: The coaches probably won’t do it, so we’ll do it for them. A win on Saturday at Cal State Fullerton sends the Aggies into the semifinals for the fifth time in the last six seasons at UC Santa Barbara -- the site of last weekend’s berth clinching victory -- on Nov. 9. A win there sends UC Davis into the championship game for the first time since 2012, hosted by the highest remaining seed.

SIX AGGIES EARN ALL-BIG WEST HONORS: A quartet of Aggies were named to the All-Big West second team, while two more earned all-conference honorable mention honors, highlighting the UC Davis men’s soccer team’s representation on the All-Big West Conference honor roll for the 2016. Senior Dashiell MacNamara, juniors Noah Wilson and Kyle Higgins, along with sophomore Kristian Heptner, were all named to the second team -- the latter three earning their first career all-conference honors -- while junior Evan Barrett and sophomore Roy Boateng took home honorable mention honors. The six selections were the most since UC Davis had eight honorees following the 2014 regular season when they place three on the second team, three on the honorable mention squad, and two more on the all-freshman team.

WILSON NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Following a two-goal week that saw him help the Aggies clinch a spot in the league’s postseason tournament, junior Noah Wilson was named the Big West Conference’s Offensive Player of the Week for the first time in his career. He joins teammate Roy Boateng (Aug. 29) as UC Davis honorees this season.

AGGIES IN THE BIG WEST TOURNAMENT: The 2016 season marks the Aggies’ sixth straight appearance in the Big West Tournament, and the program’s seventh overall in 10 years... UC Davis is just 3-6 all time in the league’s postseason event, including a 2-1 record in the opening round... The Aggies opened with an overtime win last season at CSUN before falling at UC Santa Barbara in the semifinals... UC Davis is 2-4 in tournament road matches since joining the conference for the 2007 season.

Previous Big West Tournament results:
2008 - at UC Irvine (L, 1-0)
2011 - at UC Santa Barbara (L, 2-1)
2012 - vs. CS Fullerton (W, 2-0); vs. CSUN (L, 1-0)
2013 - vs. UC Riverside (W, 3-1); at UC Irvine (L, 2-0)
2014 - vs. Cal State Fullerton (L, 2-1)
2015 - at CSUN (W, 2-1 in OT); at UCSB (L, 1-0)

AGGIES ARE A SHOO-IN: When UC Davis officially kicks off at Cal State Fullerton on Saturday, the Aggies will continue a run that has seen them qualify for the Big West Conference Tournament in each of the last six years -- the only school in the league that has accomplished the feat in that span.

CAL STATE FULLERTON BRIEFLY: The Titans enter Saturday’s first-round match with an 8-8-3 overall record and a 4-3-3 mark in Big West Conference play, facing San Diego in a non-conference finale on Wednesday night (Nov. 2)... Fullerton is a combined 5-2-1 in Big West Tournament play, going unbeaten (4-0-1) in its last five tournament matches... Since falling at UC Davis on Oct. 8, Cal State Fullerton finished unbeaten against the South Division, closing the year with a 3-0-3 mark in its final six contests... Senior defender Alex Heilmann leads the team with 10 goals and 21 points on the year, accounting for nearly half of the Titans’ 23 scores in 2016... No other Fullerton player has more than two goals on the season, while junior Robert Coronado leads the way with five assists... Goalkeepers David Elias and Paul-Andre Guerin have split time in net, with the former posting a 1.01 goals against average, and the latter leading the way with 24 saves on the season.

VERSUS THE TITANS: UC Davis is 8-9-3 against Cal State Fullerton according to records dating back to the 2004 season, snapping a brief two-game skid with its win earlier this year... The Aggies have lost their last four trips to North Orange County, having not won on Fullerton’s home field since a 1-0 victory on Oct. 8, 2008... Since 2004, the Aggies are just 2-5-1 against the Titans on their home field... The two programs have played overtime six times since 2004, with UC Davis going 1-2-3 in those contests, including 0-1-3 in double OT.

CLASH OF THE TITANS... REDUX: Saturday marks the second meeting of the season between the Aggies and the Titans after UC Davis posted a 3-0 win over Cal State Fullerton on Oct. 8 at the Aggie Soccer Field. The two programs meet in the Big West Tournament for the third time after the Aggies posted a 2-0 win in 2012, and the Titans responded with a 2-1 win in 2014 -- both played in Davis.

STUNNER IN SANTA BARBARA: Sunday’s 1-0 victory at UC Santa Barbara not only handed the Gauchos their first Big West loss of the season, but marked the Aggies’ first win in Santa Barbara since Oct. 13, 2012, after going 0-3-1 there (and 3-10-2 overall since 1990) in their previous four trips. The shutout also marked the first for UC Davis against UCSB since a 1-0 double-overtime victory at home on Oct. 18, 2014.

WILSON’S PAIR PUTS HIM IN THE BOOKS: With his two goals last week against the Aggies’ Central Coast rivals, junior Noah Wilson continues to improve upon his career year, entering the postseason with six goals and three assists (15 points). Entering the season with four career assists, the Petaluma, Calif., native now stands tied for fourth on the school’s Division I Era single-season list in goals scored, while standing fifth on the school’s single-season Division I points list.

OTHER RECORD BOOK BULLET POINTS: Aside from Wilson’s exploits, the five goals scored by Kyle Higgins and Kristian Heptner rank tied for eighth on the school’s Division I Era single-season list... Heptner’s three game-winners rank tied for second behind Quincy Amarikwa’s record of five set in 2008... Greg Salazar’s four assists rank tied for fourth in the Division I Era... Heptner stands tied for third in the Division I Era with 44 shots this year, while his 20 shots on goal ranks third.

10 MINUTES OR LESS: Eight minutes and 12 seconds was all it took for Wilson to net the game-winner on Sunday at UC Santa Barbara, making him the fifth different Aggie to score in the first 10 minutes of a match this season. Sophomore Matt Baringer (4:36 at CSU Bakersfield), junior Evan Barrett (6:44 at UC Irvine), sophomore Kristian Heptner (7:50 at Pacific), and junior Kyle Higgins (6:56 against UC Santa Barbara), have all accomplished the feat -- with four of the five goals coming on the road.

GIMMIE FIVE!: With Wilson’s two goals this past week, the Aggies enter the Big West Tournament with three players who have scored at least five goals overall on the season -- the first time that has happened since the 2008 campaign when Quincy Amarikwa (15), Dylan Curtis (5), and Sule Anibaba (5), accomplished the feat en route to an appearance in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

KEEP YOUR HEAD ON A SWIVEL: Goalkeepers be advised, you’re going to be busy this weekend. Saturday’s first-round clash between the Aggies and Titans will feature the top two teams in the Big West when it comes to taking shots this season, as UC Davis and Cal State Fullerton ended the regular season tied atop the statistical list with 255 shots apiece (13.42 shots per game). The match will also feature four of the top 10 shot-takers in the league: UC Davis’ Kristian Heptner (5th, 44), Fullerton’s Ronaldo Pineda (7th, 39) and Robert Coronado (8th, 38), and the Aggies’ Noah Wilson (9th, 35).

HAND GRENADES, HORSESHOES...: And UC Davis soccer. Eight of the Aggies’ nine defeats this season have been by a single goal save for a 2-0 loss at Loyola Marymount on Sept. 11, while 15 of the team’s 19 contests overall have been decided by one goal or fewer. All six of UC Davis’ losses in Big West play have been decided by identical scores of 2-1.

OH NO, NOT OT: After going unbeaten in their previous nine overtime contests (4-0-5), the Aggies have lost their last two matches that have required bonus soccer, and are 1-2-2 in extra time this season. In what has become a seemingly regular occurance over the last three seasons, nearly half (27) of the Aggies’ 60 matches have gone to overtime, while UC Davis has played overtime 69 times (out of 200 matches overall) in its Division I history, posting an 18-18-33 record.

LIMITING CHANCES: After allowing just eight shots (three on goal) to Sacramento State last Saturday, the Aggies have held opponents to single digits in the shot column in 11 of their 19 matches this season.

TAKING THEIR BEST SHOT: The Aggies have bombarded opposing goalkeepers with double-digit shots in 16 of the team’s 19 matches this season -- including reaching the 20-shot plateau for the third time this season on Oct. 22 against Sacramento State. The total is tied with the 20 shots taken at Loyola Marymount on Sept. 11, and stands behind only the 24-shot barrage against UC Riverside on Oct. 6. The 20 shots, however, have not equated to wins for UC Davis, which has lost all three matches despite a 64-24 shot advantage and 23-14 lead in shots on goal in those contests.

QUE-”NADA” IN NET: The white-washing of UC Santa Barbara on Oct. 30 marked senior goalkeeper Armando Quezada’s sixth shutout of the season (which leads the Big West entering the week) and the 13th of his career, solidifying his hold on second place on the progam’s all-time list. The career record is held by Omar Zeenni, the 2013 Big West Goalkeeper of the Year, and his 18 career clean sheets.

HE’S A KEEPER: Quezada enters the final week of the regular season ranked fourth in the Big West with a 1.20 goals against average, while also standing among the top 10 in save percentage (7th, .682), saves (6th, 45), saves per game (10th, 2.37), and shutouts per game (0.32). The Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., native also stands among the top 25 in the NATION in minutes played, entering the week at No. 20 with 1,573:04 between the pipes this season.

BOATENG BOUNCES BACK: After leaving the field late in the second half against Sacramento State on Oct. 22 to end a streak of 3,485 minutes and 18 seconds played since his freshman year, Boateng went all the way against both Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara to begin anew. The Rohnert Park, Calif., native had played every minute of every match since his first-half debut in the 2015 season opener at Seattle, and has missed only a grand total of 91 minutes and 42 seconds in his two years with the Aggies thus far.

HELP ME, HELP YOU: Junior defender Greg Salazar has made a habit of stopping opponents from scoring goals. This season, he’s made a point of helping his teammates find the back of the net, leading the Aggies -- and ranking tied for eighth in the Big West entering the week -- with four assists. The total is twice his career total entering this year after the Long Beach, Calif., native logged single assists during his freshman and sophomore years.

HEP, HEP, HOORAY!: Sophomore Kristian Heptner continues to improve upon the best season, statistically, of his brief UC Davis career. The West Sacramento, Calif., native enters this week’s Big West Tournament ranked fifth in the Big West in shots (44), sixth in shots per game (2.32), tied for ninth in goals (5), and tied for second in the league with three game-winning goals on the year.

JUST KICKIN’ IT: Sophomore Matt Baringer nearly tied a school Division I record on Oct. 22 against Sacramento State, recording seven shots (four of those on frame) against the Hornets to stand just one shy of now-Assistant Coach Chris Leer’s mark of eight set against Cal Poly on Oct. 31, 2009. Baringer’s total is the highest for an Aggie since Matt Wiesenfarth finished with seven at UC Riverside on Nov. 5, 2011, and the two stand tied with Quincy Amarikwa (seven at Cal State Fullerton in 2008) and Michael Garrick (seven at Oregon State in 2010) for the number two spot on the list.

THREE’S A WIN: UC Davis’ 3-1 win at Sacramento State on Oct. 15 marked the fourth time this season that the Aggies have scored three goals in a match, winning every one. UC Davis is unbeaten in its last 48 matches (46-0-2) when scoring at least three goals in a single game dating back to a, 4-3, defeat against San Francisco State on Oct. 28, 2000.

PERFECT PAIR: The win at Sacramento State also gave the Aggies their 15th straight win when scoring two (or more) goals dating back to a, 3-2, defeat at the hands of the Hornets on Nov. 1, 2014.

YOU’RE GONNA NEED A STOPWATCH: The 54 seconds between UC Davis goals against Sacramento State on Oct. 15 is the third-fastest time between goals by teammates in the school’s Division I history -- and only the third duo to do so under a minute, joining Dylan Curtis and Quincy Amarikwa (41 seconds) in 2008 and record-holders Higgins and Miguel Acevedo (26 seconds) against Cal State Fullerton on Oct. 8.

SHAFFER’S MARCH TO 200: Now in his 20th season at the helm of the Aggies, UC Davis Head Coach Dwayne Shaffer stands just three wins shy No. 200 for his Division I coaching career, carrying a 197-164-49 (.540) record in 20 seasons -- 190 of those coming in his 19-plus years at UC Davis -- when you include his one year at Dayton. Overall, Shaffer has accumulated a total of 249 wins as a head coach at UC Davis (19 years), Dayton (one year), and Santa Rosa JC (four years).

#AGGIESINTHEPROS: Former UC Davis men’s soccer standouts shining on the professional stage include: Quincy Amarikwa (San Jose Earthquakes/MLS), Matt Sheldon (OC Blues/USL), Elliott Hord (Sacramento Republic FC/USL), Kris Schultz (Canterbury United FC/New Zealand ASB Premiership), Matt Wiesenfarth (Canterbury United FC/New Zealand ASB Premiership), Ahmad Hatifie (C.D. Aguiluchos USA/NPSL), and Ramon Martin Del Campo (FC Puerto Rico/NASL).