NCAA berth on the line as Aggies host Big West title game

Nov. 7, 2017

THIS WEEK…
Big West Conference Tournament Championship
Cal State Fullerton (10-7-3, 5-4-2 Big West) at UC Davis (11-7-2, 7-2-1 Big West)
Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017 | Noon | Aggie Soccer Field | Davis, Calif.
FOLLOW: Live Video | Live Stats | Tickets

KICK OFF: After a thrilling victory in its semifinal contest, the UC Davis men's soccer team -- winners of four straight -- is on to the Big West Conference Tournament championship match for the second time in the program's history, hosting South Division champion Cal State Fullerton with an NCAA Tournament berth at stake on Saturday (Nov. 11) at Noon at Aggie Soccer Field.

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE/RESULTS: How did we get here? The complete 2017 Big West Tournament schedule and results are below entering Saturday's championship match.

2017 BIG WEST CONFERENCE MEN'S SOCCER TOURNAMENT
Wednesday, Nov. 1
(S3) UC Riverside 1, (N2) UC Santa Barbara 0
(S2) CSUN 3, (N3) Sacramento State 2 (OT)

Saturday, Nov. 4
(N1) UC Davis 4, (S2) CSUN 2
(S1) Cal State Fullerton 2, (S3) UC Riverside 1

GOT TICKETS?: Tickets are on sale through the UC Davis athletic ticket office for Saturday's championship match by visiting UCDavisAggies.com or by calling (530) 752-AGS1. Tickets are priced at $10 for adults, $8 for youth/seniors, and $2 for UC Davis students (with valid ID). Fans can then bring their soccer ticket to the Aggies' football game later that night against Southern Utah for a free general admission ticket.

IN THE RANKINGS: Neither UC Davis, nor Cal State Fullerton, are ranked among the top 25 teams in the nation entering this weekend's championship match. The Aggies, however, are ranked in the United Soccer Coaches' Far West Region poll for the third consecutive week, coming in at No. 7, while the Titans enter the weekend at No. 8, according to the most recent poll released on Nov. 7.

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 also available on both platforms: Facebook (/UCDavisMensSoccer) and Twitter (@UCDavisMSOC) -- the latter also featuring live in-game updates as the match progresses.

SCOUTING THE TITANS: After emerging from the fray of a South Division battle that saw all four teams separated by just three points, Cal State Fullerton enters Saturday's championship match with a 10-7-3 overall record after finishing 5-4-2 in league play… The Titans, who defeated UC Riverside by a 2-1 score in the semifinals on Saturday, have gained the championship match for the fourth straight season and the fifth time overall, posting a 1-2-1 mark in their previous four trips, advancing to the NCAA Tournament twice thanks to a 1-0 win over UC Santa Barbara in 2015 and advancing on penalties over UC Irvine in 2014 following a scoreless draw… Samuel Goni leads the way offensively with nine goals and 19 points overall, while Ross McPhie has scored seven times and has 17 points… Paul-Andre Guerin has played the majority of minutes in net, posting a 1.22 goals against average and 43 saves to go with five shutouts.

SERIES NOTES: The series between the Aggies and the Titans is tied at, 9-9-4, according to records that date back to 2004, evening up the series with a 2-1 victory in Fullerton earlier this season… This week marks the fourth time that UC Davis and Cal State Fullerton will meet in the tournament, with the ledger tied up at 1-1-1 in the previous three contests… The Titans, however, are unbeaten in the last two tournament meetings following a 2-1 win in 2014 and a 1-1 draw in 2016… UC Davis' only tournament win over the Titans came in 2012, thanks to a 2-0 win in the semifinals… The Aggies are 6-4-2 against Fullerton at home in the series, posting a 3-0 win in the last meeting at Aggie Soccer Field in the last meeting on Oct. 8, 2016, and winning four of the last five… UC Davis is unbeaten in its last three (2-0-1) against the Titans, outscoring Cal State Fullerton, 6-2, in that stretch.

AGGIES IN THE BIG WEST TOURNAMENT: The 2017 season marks the Aggies' seventh straight appearance in the Big West Tournament and the program's eighth overall in 11 years… UC Davis is 4-6-1 all-time in the league's postseason event following last week's win over CSUN… The Aggies are 3-2 at home in tournament play and will host the tournament championship match for the second time -- the first since falling to CSUN, 1-0, in 2012…

2008 - at UC Irvine (L, 1-0)
2011 - at UC Santa Barbara (L, 2-1)
2012 - vs. Cal State 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)
2016 - at Cal State Fullerton (T, 1-1… fall 5-3 on PK's)
2017 - vs. CSUN (W, 4-2)

SHOO-IN: When UC Davis officially kicked off its semifinal contest last Saturday, the Aggies continued a run that has seen them qualify for the Big West Tournament in each of the last seven years -- the only school in the league that has accomplished the feat in that span.

WE'RE GOING STREAKING!: UC Davis has out-scored the opposition, 14-3, during its recent four-match winning streak, and an impressive 21-6 advantage in the scoring column since the start of North Division play, during which the Aggies won 5-of-6.

AGGIES WIN 10: UC Davis' semifinal win over CSUN was its 11th of the season -- the first time in double digits since the Aggies finished 10-7-4 overall and 7-3 in conference play in 2012 en route to their first North Division title and an appearance in the Big West Tournament Championship match. A win Saturday in the finals would be the most since UC Davis won a Division I record 13 matches in 2008 -- including its first-ever NCAA Tournament win over Denver in the first round.

HOME, SWEET HOME: Last Saturday's win over CSUN improved the Aggies to 7-2-1 at Aggie Soccer Field this season, tying the program's Division I record for home victories with the 2008 squad, which finished 7-0-3 on their home turf. UC Davis has posted a winning record at home in nine of its 11 Division I seasons, posting a 54-30-16 (.620) record in that span.

WELL, THAT WAS FAST: The 20 seconds between Noah Wilson's game-winning goal and Kyle Higgins' dagger in the closing moments of regulation against CSUN in last week's semifinal match marked the fastest two goals by teammates in the program's Division I history, supplanting the 26 seconds between goals scored by Miguel Acevedo and Higgins against Cal State Fullerton on Oct. 8, 2016. Of the top 12 fastest back-to-back goals on the list, six of those have come this season.

DON'T BLINK: Or you might miss an Aggie goal. When Justin Wright scored his second goal of the year just 9:52 into last week's win over CSUN, it marked the sixth time this season that the Aggies have scored in the first 10 minutes of a match. Freshman Jake Haupt (6:13 vs. CSU Bakersfield), Matt Baringer (6:14 vs. LMU), Kyle Higgins (7:30 vs. San Francisco and 8:02 vs. LMU), and Adam Mickelson (7:13 vs. UC Santa Barbara), join Wright in the club for 2017.

TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK: Help Adam Mickelson help you. The sophomore sociology major from Missoula, Mont., posted his team-best seventh assist of the season on the Aggies' final goal against CSUN last week, moving him into sole possession of second on the program's single-season Division I list. It's the highest total since Dylan Curtis set the mark with 11 helpers in 2008. Overall, Mickelson's 15 points leads the team and ranks sixth on the program's Division I single-season chart, standing two shy of Noah Wilson's team-leading 17 points last year.

POINTS OF EMPHASIS: Four more goals in last week's tournament semifinal give the Aggies 40 goals on the year -- standing as the second-highest total in the program's Division I history, just four back of the record-setting 2007 squad. Meanwhile, the 107 points and 27 assists rank second and tied for second, respectively, on the single-season list, trailing the 116 points and 28 assists from that same 2007 team.

WHERE THERE'S A WILSON, THERE'S A WAY: Wilson's game-winner against CSUN was his 12th career goal, placing him in a tie for seventh with Paul Marcoux on the program's career Division I list, while hist 33 career points gave him sole possession of fifth, passing Assistant Coach Chris Leer for the spot. The religious studies major from Petaluma, Calif., also ranks 10th in career points per game (0.44), tied for 10th in game-winning goals (three), fifth in career assists (nine), eighth in assists per game (0.12), eighth in career shots (94), and fifth in shots on goal (42).

TREASURE STATE STRIKER: Higgins' three points last Saturday against CSUN gave him seven in his last two matches combined following a two-goal effort in the regular season finale against Sacramento State on Oct. 29, continuing to push the senior up the all-time charts. The goal and assist against the Matadors gave him 30 points for his career, a total that puts him tied for seventh with Dylan Curtis on the Division I chart, while his 13 career goals place him in a three-way tie for fourth with Sule Anibaba and Chris Leer.

FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING: UC Davis has had 16 different players account for its 40 goals this season -- a new program Division I record and the most since the 1999 squad finished with the same number of scorers en route to 48 goals as a team, a 16-3-2 overall record, and a 12-0-2 mark in the California Collegiate Athletic Association. Of those 16 different scorers, eight of them have tallied their first career goals this year.

ALL-BIG WEST HONORS: Head Coach Dwayne Shaffer was named Big West Coach of the Year for the second time and junior Roy Boateng became the first Aggie to be named the league's defensive player of the year, as the conference office announced the 2017 All-Big West honor roll on Oct. 31. In all, a program-record eight Aggies were honored -- including three on the first-team -- in addition to the two major awards, breaking the mark of two first-teamers in 2008 and seven overall selections in 2013. Boateng, Onah Power, and Nabi Kibunguchy were named to the first team, Miguel Acevedo, Adam Mickelson, and Greg Salazar, earned second-team honors, and Noah Wilson and Lizandro Torres earned honorable mention laurels. Read the complete release at: http://www.ucdavisaggies.com/sports/m-soccer/spec-rel/103117aaa.html.