Nov. 5, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. -
Saturday, Nov. 9 | 2 p.m.
Hornet Field - Sacramento, Calif.
Game Coverage: Live Stats | Live Audio
KICK OFF: The final weekend of the regular season will be crucial for the UC Davis men's soccer team (6-8-3 overall, 2-4-2 in the Big West) as key points are still available in the race for seeding in the 2013 Big West Men's Soccer Tournament. The Aggies open play this week on Wednesday (Nov. 6) at 2 p.m., by hosting Cal Poly, before heading east to take on Sacramento State in the second "Causeway Cup" battle of the season on Saturday (Nov. 9) at 2 p.m.
SET YOUR CLOCKS BACK: Please note the time change for Wednesday's match against Cal Poly to 2 p.m., an hour earlier than the originally scheduled 3 p.m. kick off.
IN THE POLLS: Neither Cal Poly, Sacramento State, nor UC Davis, are ranked in the national polls entering this week's contests.
BE A FOLLOWER: Fans can keep up with the latest in UC Davis Athletics by following us on Facebook (facebook.com/ucdavisaggies) and Twitter (@UCDavisAggies). Game day updates are also available on Twitter by following us @UCDavisInGame.
"CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?": Live audio will be available for both of this week's matches against Cal Poly and Sacramento State. Please visit the men's soccer schedule page at UCDavisAggies.com to access the links.
I NEED STATS, STAT!: Live stats for all UC Davis home games, as well as selected road contests are available for fans and followers, alike. Visit the men's soccer schedule page at UCDavisAggies.com to access the links.
CAL POLY BRIEFLY: The Mustangs enter the week with a 10-6-2 overall record and a 3-3-2 mark in Big West Conference play for 11 points... Cal Poly is unbeaten in its last four contests (2-0-2), including a win over Sacramento State (4-2) last weekend... the Mustangs are just 4-4 on the road this season compared to 6-2-2 at home in 2013... Mackenzie Pridham leads the team in scoring with 13 goals and 29 points while taking a team-high 62 shots --- better than half of those (33) on frame... Pridham is one of five Cal Poly players with double-digit points this season... nine of the Mustangs' 11 goal scorers have multiple goals on the season... Wade Hamilton has played every minute in net in 2013, posting a 1.39 goals against average, 57 saves, and two shutouts.
AGGIES VS. MUSTANGS: Cal Poly leads the all-time series with UC Davis, but the 1-1 draw between the two teams back on Oct. 22 was the first in the history of the series (the Mustangs lead 11-8-1) dating back to 1990... the two schools have split the last 10 meetings (5-5-1)... the Aggies are 5-4 against the Mustangs at home, but just 3-7-1 in San Luis Obispo... each of the last six meetings have been decided by a single goal or less... UC Davis has won five of the last six meetings with Cal Poly dating back to 2007, having its five-match winning streak snapped last season with a 1-0 loss.
SACRAMENTO STATE BRIEFLY: The Hornets enter the weekend with a 3-10-3 overall record and a 1-7 mark in Big West Conference play, having lost seven of their last eight -- with the only win coming against UC Davis on Oct. 26... Sacramento State fell at Cal Poly last week by the score of 4-2 and hosts UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday (Nov. 6) before hosting the Aggies... the Hornets are winless at home this season (0-4-2) and in their last nine on their home pitch dating back to a 1-0 win over UC Riverside on Oct. 7, 2012... Edwin Luna leads the team in scoring with three goals and eight points, including a three-point night against the Mustangs with a goal and an assist last weekend... two of his goals this season have come in the last three matches... he is just one of six players who have scored this season for Sacramento State, which has scored just 11 times in 16 matches this season... senior Cesar Castillo has started 15 of the team's 16 matches in net, posting a 1.60 goals against average, 91 saves, and four shutouts.
AGGIES VS. HORNETS: With the two campuses separated by only 22 miles (as Google maps flies), UC Davis leads the all-time series with Sacramento State by the count of 10-6 dating back to 1990... the Aggies are 5-4 against the Hornets on the road... six of the last seven meetings have been decided by a single goal with UC Davis' 3-1 win on the road in 2012 the only "blemish" in that string.
CAUSEWAY CUP UPDATE: Despite a 1-0 loss to the Hornets back on Oct. 26, the Aggies still retain a 15.0-2.50 lead in the early race for the 10th annual "Causeway Cup" thanks to wins by women's soccer on Aug. 23 and volleyball on Sept. 10. Saturday's meeting will award 2.50 more points to the winner with three fall competitions remaining: five points for both men's and women's cross country (at NCAA Regionals in Sacramento on Nov. 15)and 10 points in football on Nov. 23. For a complete breakdown, and to followthe chase all year long, visit http://www.ucdavisaggies.com/ot/causeway-classic-1314.html.
BIG WEST "BIG PICTURE": The final two matches of the regular season will go a long way in determining the seeding for this year's Big West Conference Tournament. UC Santa Barbara holds the North Division lead with 20 points and has already clinched a No. 1 seed and first-round bye. Wednesday's match against Cal Poly and UC Davis may clear up the picture a bit as the two teams are separated by only three points for the No. 2 seed and host's role for the first round. The Aggies are five points clear of Sacramento State for the third and final berth, but the Hornets would need to win twice and hope for a winless weekend by the Aggies to advance.
THE WEEK THAT WAS: Junior Matt Sheldon's goal in the 71st minute gave UC Davis an early lead, but a late equalizer by host UC Santa Barbara forced overtime and the Aggies and Gauchos battled to a 1-1 draw on Nov. 2 in Santa Barbara. The two teams combined for just five shots and 30 fouls in a rough-and-tumble first 45 minutes, but both teams found a groove offensively in the second half before Sheldon got UC Davis on the board off a cross by Dashiell MacNamara for the 1-0 lead. The advantage lasted just 11 minutes, however, as Charlie Miller headed home passes from Goffin Boyoka and Kevin Garcia-Lopez to tie the score. UCSB held a 4-2 advantage in shots in the two overtime periods, but neither team could dent the back of the net.
"BAZINGA!": Sheldon's score against the Gauchos was his team-high fifth of the season, extending his career-high totals of five goals and 10 points in 2013. It is the most goals scored by an Aggie since 2011 when Matt Wiesenfarth completed a stellar freshman season with five goals, three assists, and 13 points. A sixth goal by Sheldon this season would give him the most goals by a UC Davis player since Lance Patterson (6 goals, 13 points) in 2010.
OH NO, NOT OT: Saturday's 1-1 draw at UC Santa Barbara marked UC Davis' third overtime match in its last four contests, but the Aggies are still looking for their first win in extra time after moving to 0-1-3 with the tie -- the ninth time in the last 11 overtime matches that they have left with a draw -- and they haven't prevailed in an overtime match since handing the Gauchos a, 2-1, loss on their home field on Oct. 28 of last season. Until their, 3-2, overtime loss to UCSB this season, the Aggies had been unbeaten in their previous 10 overtime contests dating back to a 2-1 loss to, you guessed it, UC Santa Barbara on Oct. 8, 2011. Overall, UC Davis is 25-19-34 (.538) in overtime under Head Coach Dwayne Shaffer since 1997.
IT'S GETTING LATE...: It may be a school night, but make sure you're in your seats until the very end. In four of UC Davis' last seven contests the game-tying goal has been scored in the final 10 minutes of the contest to force overtime, including an equalizer with 56 seconds remaining in regulation against UC Santa Barbara on Oct. 19 and the eventual game-winner by the Gauchos with 55 seconds left in the second overtime period. In all, opponents have scored five times in the final 10 minutes this season (not including overtime) while the Aggies have had just one goal scored that late, a strike by Matt Wiesenfarth in the 87th minute of a 2-0 win over No. 25 UC Irvine on Oct. 4.
THAT'S FOUL!: Bruise or be bruised. That seemed to be the motto last Saturday in Santa Barbara as the Aggies and Gauchos combined for a 54 fouls on the night (28-26 in favor of UCSB) -- season high's for UC Davis in both combined fouls and team fouls -- and the most for the Aggies since they committed 27 against Sacramento State on Sept. 23, 2011. It's a bit of an abberation for UC Davis, which entered the night with the fewest fouls in the league (191 - 93 fewer than UC Santa Barbara) entering the night.
WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE: Barring a host's role for the upcoming Big West Conference Tournament, Wednesday's clash with Cal Poly will be UC Davis' final chance to even their home record for the season, avoiding the first losing season at home since 2009 (3-4). The Aggie Soccer Field has, indeed, been the friendly confines for the home side as the Aggies are a combined 88-43-13 (.656) at home in 17 seasons under the direction of Head Coach Dwayne Shaffer.
EARLY BIRDS: Good things have happened to the Aggies when they get on the board first this season, posting an unbeaten 6-0-3 record in such contests and a just-as-impressive 6-0-1 mark when they lead at the break in 2013. Those streaks grow to 16-straight and 11-straight, respectively, dating back to Sept. 9, 2012, against Central Florida after the Knights scored three times in the second half to erase UC Davis' 1-0 lead at the break.
GOALS WANTED: While the Aggies' 17 goals allowed are among the fewest in the Big West (tied for third), UC Davis' offense has struggled to find a groove with only five players accounting for the team's 14 goals this season -- the second fewest in the league behind only Causeway Cup rival Sacramento State (11). If the season ended today, the 14 goals would be the fewest since moving to Division I in 2007-08 (18 in 2010-11) and the fewest since 1990, when complete year-by-year records are available.
THE BUCK STOPS HERE: Senior goalkeeper Omar Zeenni became UC Davis' career saves leader on Oct. 11 at Cal State Fullerton, making three stops against the Titans to give him 197 for his career and breaking Nic Platter's 10-year-old mark of 195 from 2000-03. After sitting out matches against UC Riverside and UC Santa Barbara, he returned last week against Cal Poly and Sacramento State to extend his record to 206 stops with nine combined saves, including six stops against the Mustangs -- just one shy of his season high of seven set at No. 25 New Mexico in a 2-1 win on Sept. 27. With three regular-season matches remaining (in addition to any possible Big West tournament and NCAA matches), Zeenni needs 45 more saves to make Fresno State's Mark Dougherty for 10th on the Big West's all-time chart.
CLEAN SHEETS: Zeenni's 17th shutout of the year against nationally ranked UC Irvine on Oct. 4 also has the Arcadia, Calif., native on the verge of a second career record, moving him into a tie for the top spot with Platter and into the Big West's all-time top 10, matching Fresno State's Chato Elgorriaga for the No. 10 spot.
DE-FENSE (CLAP, CLAP)... DE-FENSE (CLAP, CLAP): 12 of the Aggies' 17 matches this season have been decided by one goal or less (including 1-1 draws with LMU on Sept. 22, at Cal Poly on Oct. 22, and last week at UC Santa Barbara) with UC Davis posting a 4-5-3 mark in those contests.
WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER: Need a game-winning goal? Look no further than the Aggies' duo of Matt Wiesenfarth and Matt Sheldon, who have combined for 21 goals in their UC Davis careers -- 10 of those putting the home side in the win column. Wiesenfarth and Sheldon share team-high honors with two game-winners apiece this season.
THANK YOU, FANS!: The UC Davis faithful have come out in force in each of the team's last two home contests, filling the stands to a capacity crowd of 1,175 against both UC Santa Barbara on Oct. 19 and Sacramento State on Oct. 26. The two matches marked the sixth time in the last 14 home contests that the Aggies have drawn better than 1,000 to provide a true "home field advantage."
CORNERING THE MARKET: Nobody puts the Aggies into a corner... but they haven't seemed to mind it one bit. UC Davis leads the Big West with 106 corners this season -- 14 better than second-place UC Santa Barbara -- controlling possession and putting pressure on opposing defenses all year. The Aggies have reached double digits in corners in four matches this season -- including a season-high 12 (to go with a 19-9 shot advantage) in a 2-0 loss to Cal State Northridge on Oct. 6.
"STAY ON TARGET...": Senior midfielder Alex Aguiar has put up a team-high 35 shots on the year and is averaging 2.06 shots per game to rank tied for seventh and tied for 10th, respectively, in the Big West entering this week's matches.
JUST SHOOT ME: While the defense has been stout, the Aggies' offense has taken it to the opposition this season when it comes to the shot column, outshooting 12 of their 17 opponents in 2013 with only San Francisco, New Mexico, Cal Poly, and UC Santa Barbara, holding the upper hand in that category thus far (UC Davis and Cal State Fullerton each finished with nine shots on Oct. 11 to account for the other match). The Aggies have outshot the opposition, 236-177, on the year and have allowed double-digit shots only eight times.
THAT'S RANK: Saturday night's draw at UC Santa Barbara moved the Aggies to 2-2-1 against nationally ranked competition this season, but kept them winless in their last three after falling to then-No. 6 Cal State Northridge on Oct. 6 and then-No. 20 UC Santa Barbara on Oct. 19. Overall, 2013 marked the third-straight year that UC Davis has dispatched a ranked opponent, a string that has included wins over No. 6 UCLA (2011), No. 7 UC Irvine (2011), No. 23 Tulsa (2012), and No. 8 UC Santa Barbara (2012).
DEFENDING REGULAR SEASON CHAMPS 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.
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.