Aggies clash with Titans again in tourney opener

UC Davis Head Coach Dwayne Shaffer has the Aggies in the Big West Conference Tournament for the fourth consecutive year, hosting Cal State Fullerton on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Nov. 7, 2014

THIS WEEK...
BIG WEST CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT - FIRST ROUND
Cal State Fullerton (8-7-5, 3-4-3) at UC Davis (7-3-9, 5-3-2)
Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014 | 1 p.m.
Aggie Soccer Field
Davis, Calif.
Game Coverage: Live StatsLive AudioUC Davis notes (PDF) | CSF Notes

KICK OFF: The quest for a Big West Conference Tournament title and the NCAA berth that goes along with it begins this weekend at the Aggie Soccer Field as the UC Davis men’s soccer team (7-3-9 overall, 5-3-2 in the Big West) opens tournament play as the No. 2 seed from the North Division, welcoming the South Division’s No. 3 seed in Cal State Fullerton for a first-round match-up. Kick-off for the match is scheduled for 1 p.m.

IN THE POLLS: Neither UC Davis, nor Cal State Fullerton, are ranked among the nation’s top 25 teams entering this week’s regular season finale. Despite back-to-back losses, the Aggies remained among the Far West region’s best according to the NSCAA, entering the week ranked 10th in the region.

TOURNEY SCHEDULE: A complete schedule for the 2014 Big West Men’s Soccer Tournament:
Nov. 8, 2014 - First Round
(S3) Cal State Fullerton at (N2) UC Davis, 1 p.m.
(N3) Sacramento State at (S2) UC Irvine, 7 p.m.

Nov. 12, 2014 - Semifinals
Cal State Fullerton/UC Davis winner at (S1) UC Riverside, 7 p.m.
Sacramento State/UC Irvine winner at (N1) UC Santa Barbara, 7 p.m.

Nov. 15, 2014 - Championship Match
* Campus site of highest remaining seed

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). Live in-game updates are also available on Twitter by following us @UCDavisInGame.

I NEED STATS, STAT!: Barring technical difficulties, new-look live stats for all UC Davis home games, as well as selected road contests, are available on your computer and mobile device courtesy the StatBroadcast platform. Visit the men’s soccer schedule page at UCDavisAggies.com or the StatBroadcast landing page at UCDavisLiveStats.com to access the links when the games begin.

EIGHT AGGIES EARN ALL-BIG WEST HONORS: UC Davis seniors Matt Sheldon, Brian Ford, and Ramon Martin Del Campo, earned All-Big West Conference Second Team honors, part of a larger group of eight Aggies recognized as the league released its postseason honor roll on Friday morning.

The total matches last season’s haul of eight honorees for the most since UC Davis joined the Big West after the Aggies had one first-teamer, three second-team selections, three honorable mention picks, and an all-freshman team choice.

Juniors Ryan Gross and Lucas Mohageg, along with sophomore Armando Quezada, earned honorable mention nods, while newcomers Miguel Acevedo and Evan Barrett were named to the Big West All-Freshman Team to round out the group of UC Davis honorees.

The announcement marked the second career all-conference honors for Sheldon, Martin Del Campo, and Ford -- the first two improving on their honorable mention selections as juniors, while the latter earning his second straight second team award. The remaining five Aggie selections were first-time honorees in their respective careers.

For the full list of honorees, visit the complete release online at www.ucdavisaggies.com/sports/m-soccer/spec-rel/110714aab.html.

CAL STATE FULLERTON BRIEFLY: The Titans enter the tournament with an 8-7-5 overall record and a 3-4-3 mark in Big West Conference play after earning a berth thanks to a pair of draws against South Division champion UC Riverside (2-2) and CSUN (1-1) in their last two matches... Cal State Fullerton has posted a draw in three of its last four, last winning on Oct. 22 by the score of 1-0 in Northridge... Senior forward Marc Fenelus leads the team in goals (6) and points (14), while taking 36 shots on the season... Senior midfielder Ian Ramos leads the team with 47 shots, while senior forward Amara Soumah (11 points) and midfielder Garrett Losee (10 points) are also in double digits in points this season... Junior goalkeeper Jeff Salt has played the majority of minutes in net for the Titans this season, posting a 0.96 goals against average and 50 saves (.781 save percentage) to go along with five shutouts... George Kuntz, who spent 19 years as head coach at league rival UC Irvine, is in his first year at the helm of the Fullerton program.

SERIES NOTES: The series between the Aggies and the Titans is knotted a 7-7-3, with UC Davis winning three of the last four head-to-head contests... the Aggies handed Fullerton a 3-1 defeat in their only other meeting this season back on Oct. 2 with Lucas Mohageg, Kyle Higgins, and Justin Kitts, scoring for UC Davis... The Aggies are 5-3-2 against the Titans at home dating back to the 2004 season, unbeaten in their last four meetings in Northern California (3-0-1)... This will be the second all-time meeting in the Big West Tournament between UC Davis and Cal State Fullerton, with the Aggies posting a 2-0 victory at home en route to a berth in the championship match in 2012.

AGGIES IN THE TOURNAMENT: This season marks the fourth straight appearance (fifth overall) for the Aggies in the Big West Tournament... UC Davis is 2-4 all-time in the league’s postseason event, posting a 1-1 record last season with a first-round win over UC Riverside and a semifinal loss at eventual NCAA “Sweet 16” participant, UC Irvine... The Aggies are 2-1 at home in the Big West Tournament, hosting at least one match for the third straight season.

Previous Results:
2008 - at UC Irvine 1, UC Davis 0
2011 - at UC Santa Barbara 2, UC Davis 1
2012 - at UC Davis 2, Cal State Fullerton 0; CSUN 1, at UC Davis 0
2013 - at UC Davis 3, UC Riverside 1; at UC Irvine 2, UC Davis 0

THE WEEK THAT WAS: Needing only a point to clinch a berth in the Big West Conference Tournament in its regular season finale against Cal Poly on Wednesday, UC Davis came through with two more than that thanks to a dramatic 2-1 double-overtime win over the Mustangs at the Aggie Soccer Field. Sophomore Dashiell MacNamara came through in the clutch, taking a long pass from Noah Wilson off a deflected Cal Poly shot, racing downfield, and burying the winner in the 105th minute for his second “golden goal” of the year. Junior Ian Palmer got the Aggies on the board first with his third goal of the season in the 52nd minute off a failed clear by the Mustangs’ defense, while sophomore goalkeeper Armando Quezada finished with six saves in the win.

WE FIT: No, it’s not the newest video game to get you in shape, but it has seemed to work for the Aggies this season. Perhaps the most fit team in the Big West Conference, UC Davis is a combined 3-0-9 when playing into a second overtime period, playing all but 12:39 minutes of a possible 260 minutes of extra time this season. That equates to two extra regulation contests, a full half of play, and an extra 13:39 tacked on for good measure.

ONE DOWN...: UC Davis set a new NCAA record with its 12th overtime match of the season on Oct. 29 at UC Santa Barbara before falling in overtime, surpassing the previous mark shared with Saint Louis (2003), San Diego State (2009), and the 2011 Aggies. That mark has been extended to 14 thanks to extra-time contests against Sacramento State and Cal Poly, as UC Davis has played four consecutive overtime matches heading into this weekend.

BOW, NECK, OR BOLO?: UC Davis may not want to be “tied” down this season as the Aggies have been stuck on an NCAA record-tying nine draws since a scoreless tie with Causeway rival Sacramento State on Oct. 25 at Bonney Field. UC Davis’ nine draws this season, have set a new Big West Conference single-season mark, breaking the previous record set by UC Riverside in 2007, and have matched the NCAA single-season record previously accomplished three times: Providence College set the mark in 2005, followed by St. John’s in 2009, and South Florida in 2013.

SORRY, WE GOTTA DASH: Sophomore Dashiell MacNamara sent Aggie fans home happy in the team’s regular season finale, as his “golden goal” game-winner lifted UC Davis to a 2-1 win over Cal Poly. Both of MacNamara’s scores this season have won the game for the Aggies -- both coming in double-overtime to boot -- while four of the San Francisco, California, native’s five career goals have been game-winning strikes.

ALSO WINNING...: Is senior forward Matt Sheldon, who has 15 goals to his name during his brilliant four-year Aggie career -- seven of those game-winners. Sheldon enters the tournament atop the UC Davis scoring list with four goals and two assists this season, sharing the spot with teammate Lucas Mohageg.

WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER: Six different Aggies have combined to lift UC Davis to its seven victories this season as MacNamara (twice), Sheldon, Mohageg, Ryan Gross, Connor Willis-Hong, and Kyle Higgins, have all tallied game-winning goals thus far in 2014.

MR. SMARTY PANTS: A key member of the Aggies’ stingy defense this season, senior defender Brian Ford was honored for his performance off the field in the classroom, named to the Capital One Academic All-District VIII men’s soccer team. The Newport Beach, California, native is a neurobiology, physiology, and behavior major, and is now eligible for CoSIDA Academic All-America honors later this month. He is the ninth different Aggie to earn academic all-district honors and the first since Mustafa Chopan was named a second-team CoSIDA Academic All-American in 2012.

I AM IRON MAN: Speaking of Ford, the senior has rarely left the field for the Aggies this season, playing in a nation-leading 1,924 minutes this season -- accounting for all but 33 of UC Davis’ 1,957 total minutes.

FOUR AGGIES AMONG BIG WEST BEST: UC Davis senior defenders Ramon Martin Del Campo and Brian Ford, along with junior midfielder Ryan Gross and senior forward Matt Sheldon, rank among the top 20 players in the Big West Conference according to a midseason list released by the website Top Drawer Soccer. Martin Del Campo leads the Aggie quartet, ranked No. 4 in the league overall and the top defender. Ford follows at No. 8, joined by Gross at No. 12 and Sheldon at No. 15.

MAKING THE ADJUSTMENT: Of the Aggies’ 19 goals scored this season, 14 have come in the second half or later -- including an 11-5 scoring advantage in favor of UC Davis during the second period alone.

WHOM DO WE MARK?: The nine different goal scorers for the Aggies this season are the most since the 2012 squad finished with 12 different players finding the back of the net.

CLEAN SHEETS: Everybody likes clean sheets, especially sophomore goalkeeper Armando Quezada, who posted his fifth shutout of the year in a scoreless draw at Sacramento State on Oct. 25. The total places him just one shy of Omar Zeenni, Nic Platter, Jason Kong, and Brian Hocking, for third place on the school’s single-season chart, while his six career clean sheets are five back of Ryan McCowan for fifth on UC Davis career list. As a team, the seven shutouts for the Aggies this season are tied for the most in the league with Cal State Fullerton entering the week.

DE-FENSE (CLAP, CLAP)... DE-FENSE (CLAP, CLAP): Despite a rare offensive outburst by the opposition last Saturday against Sacramento State (only the second time in the last 26 matches that the Aggies have allowed multiple goals in a match), the 14 goals allowed by the UC Davis defense remain the fewest in the Big West Conference entering this week’s contests (CSUN is second with 19), while the Aggies also stand atop the league with a 0.64 goals against average. If the season ended today, the average would be the lowest in the Aggies’ Division I era -- besting the 0.87 GAA  set in 2008 -- and the fourth sub-1.00 GAA since becoming full-fledged Division I members in 2007.

HOW GOOD IS THAT DEFENSE?: UC Davis ranks 10th in the NCAA in goals against average and No. 17 in the nation in save percentage (.831). Individually, goalkeeper Armando Quezada stands 13th in the nation with his 0.65 GAA and 15th with a Big West-best .830 save percentage.

RECYCLED NOTES
PROSPECTING: UC Davis senior defender Ramon Martin Del Campo continues to garner attention an accolades with just two matches gone in the 2014 season, named to the SoccerByIves.net Top 40 Major League Soccer college draft prospects list. Martin Del Campo, who stands fourth on the list, is one of two Big West Conference players mentioned along with CSUN’s Sagi Lev-Ari (No. 33). View the complete list at http://www.soccerbyives.net/2014/08/draft-college-prospects.html.

AGGIES PICKED 2ND IN THE NORTH, 4TH OVERALL: UC Davis was picked to finish second in the Big West Conference’s North Division, and fourth overall, according to a vote of the league’s head coaches released on Thursday afternoon (Aug. 21). The Aggies earned 20 points to finish behind only unanimous selection UC Santa Barbara, which received all eight first-place votes and 32 points overall to top the table. Cal Poly, with 19 points, and Sacramento State, with nine points, round out the North. In the South, CSUN topped the division with six first-place votes and 30 points overall, followed closely by UC Irvine, which earned a pair of first-place nods and 24 points. UC Riverside (14 points) and Cal State Fullerton (12) were picked third and fourth, respectively.

MARTIN DEL CAMP-”ING” WITH THE U.S.: In one of the better “What Did You Do Last Summer” stories for the Aggies, senior defender Ramon Martin Del Campo had the “arduous” task of traveling to the Bahamas for a five-day camp with the U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team and a friendly against the Bahamas National Team. One of 19 players (and seven defenders) originally called up, Martin del Campo entered the match against the Bahamas one minute into the second half and tallied an assist as part of an eventual 5-1 win for the Americans. He was discovered playing with his San Jose Earthquakes’ U-23 Premier Development League squad, helping lead them to a 7-4-3 record and a third-place finish in the Western Conference in their inaugural season. He was an All-Premier Development League (best 11 players in the entire league) and All-Western Conference First Team selection and was one of three finalists for the league’s Young (U-21) Player of the Year Award.

DAVIS DUO EARNS BIG WEST PRESEASON HONORS: Along with the preseason prognostications, the league’s eight head coaches also bestowed preseason all-conference honors on 11 of the Big West’s best, including the Aggies’ Ramon Martin Del Campo and Matt Wiesenfarth.

MORE FOR THE MANTEL: UC Davis seniors Matt Sheldon, Brian Ford, and Ramon Martin Del Campo were named to the first team, while senior Matt Wiesenfarth added second-team laurels on Aug. 13, as College Sports Madness announced its preseason All-Big West Conference selections. The Aggies’ three first-team selections match Cal State Northridge for the most in the league, while the four overall honorees stand behind only the Matadors and UC Santa Barbara, which finished with five selections apiece. For a complete list of the honorees, visit http://www.collegesportsmadness.com/article/9616.

TOP SHELF TALENT ACCORDING TO TOP DRAWER: Building upon what has already been an impressive preseason, senior defender Ramon Martin Del Campo was named to Top Drawer Soccer’s preseason list of the top 100 collegiate players in the United States. In a ranking that will be updated weekly, Martin Del Campo was one of five Big West players selected to the list, joining Cal State Northridge duo Sagi Lev-Ari and Edwin Rivas, UC Irvine’s Mario Ortiz, and UC Santa Barbara’s Ismaila Jome. Both Jome, a sophomore midfielder, and Lev-Ari, a senior forward, are also included on the “watch list” for this year’s MAC Hermann Trophy awarded to the nation’s top player. Fans can take a look at the entire list via the Top Drawer Soccer website at http://www.topdrawersoccer.com/college-soccer-articles/college-soccer-preseason-top-100-players_aid33551.

A QUICK LOOK AT THE AGGIES: UC Davis returns its top five scorers and 12 letter winners (six starters) off of last season’s squad that finished 9-9-3 overall and 4-4-2 in Big West Conference play, gaining the semifinals of the league tournament for the second-straight season. Five all-conference honorees are among the group, led by senior strikers Matt Sheldon and Matt Wiesenfarth (more on them later) and senior defenders Brian Ford and Ramon Martin Del Campo. Behind them, the loss of record-setting goalkeeper Omar Zeenni looms large, however, redshirt sophomore Armando Quezada is poised to take over the reins after posting a 1.13 goals against average in five appearances -- including a pair of starts against nationally-ranked UC Santa Barbara. Redshirt junior Kris Schultz (1 career start vs. SMU in 2012) and junior John Piasta will push Quezada in the quest for the starting job between the pipes.

BY THE NUMBERS: UC Davis returns all but three of its 20 goals scored (85%), 10 of its 18 assists (56%), and 163 of its 286 shots taken (57%), from last season’s campaign. What does that all mean? We don’t know, but numbers are fun.

COMING “HOME”: After two seasons as an assistant coach with the women’s soccer program at Augsburg College in Minnesota, former UC Davis letter winner Chris Leer returns to his alma mater this season as an assistant under Head Coach Dwayne Shaffer. Leer played under Shaffer from 2006-09, helping the Aggies to a pair of NCAA Division I Tournament berths in 2007 (first round) and 2008 (second round) while earning All-Big West Conference honorable mention honors as a senior. He finished his UC Davis career with 13 goals and seven assists (33 points), tying for second on the team in goals (5) as a sophomore and finishing second in both goals (4) and points (12) as a senior while starting all 19 matches. The Danville, Calif., native graduated from UC Davis with a degree in communication and sociology in 2011, earning his master’s degree in kinesiology/sports and exercise science from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2013.

SAME FACE, NEW PLACE: Long-time assistant Jason Hotaling moves up one spot on the bench beginning with the 2014 campaign, promoted to the position of Assistant Head Coach under Shaffer with the departure of Eric Mild, who left to take over the men’s soccer program at Pacific University in Oregon. Now entering his 10th season on the Aggies’ sideline, Hotaling joined the UC Davis staff in 2005, reuniting with his former coach in Shaffer, whom he played for at Santa Rosa JC from 1991-92. He continues to manage the Aggies’ recruiting efforts and training the team’s goalkeepers.

THAT’S FRESH... MAN: Legendary college football coach Joe Paterno once said, “It’s the name on the front of the jersey that matters most, not the one on the back.” However, with 10 new faces on the roster for the 2014 season, names on the back might be a good idea to know who’s who. The Aggies’ 10 freshmen make up the largest incoming freshman class since UC Davis welcomed in 10 true freshmen in 2003.

UC DAVIS 2014 HONOR ROLL:
• BIG WEST PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Sept. 1, 2014 - Kris Schultz (D)
Sept. 29, 2014 - Ramon Martin Del Campo (D)
Oct. 20, 2014 - Lucas Mohageg (O) & Brian Ford (D)

• COLLEGE SPORTS MADNESS BIG WEST PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Oct. 20, 2014 - Lucas Mohageg

• ALL-TOURNAMENT HONORS
Bert & Iris Wolstein Classic (Columbus, Ohio)
Kris Schultz, Ramon Martin Del Campo, Ryan Gross

Copa de Causeway (Davis & Sacramento, Calif.)
Lucas Mohageg, Ian Palmer
The Last Meeting
Cal State Fullerton1
UC Davis3
October 2, 2014
Davis, Calif.
Season-high three goals lift Aggies in Big West opener
UC Davis scored a season-high three goals, including the game-winner by freshman Kyle Higgins in the 58th minute on Thursday afternoon, and junior Ryan Gross tallied a pair of assists, lifting the host Aggies to a 3-1 regulation victory over Cal State Fullerton, kicking off Big West Conference play at the Aggie Soccer Field.