UC Davis Meets UC Irvine in Big West Semis

Senior Nick Grigoriev scored his first goal of the season -- and the first since his freshman year -- in the Aggies' first-round win over UC Riverside on Tuesday.
 
Senior Nick Grigoriev scored his first goal of the season -- and the first since his freshman year -- in the Aggies' first-round win over UC Riverside on Tuesday.
 

Nov. 14, 2013

IRVINE, Calif. -

THIS WEEK...
BIG WEST MEN'S SOCCER TOURNAMENT SEMIFINALS
UC Davis (9-8-3, 4-4-2) at UC Irvine (12-4-3, 7-2-1)
Friday, Nov. 15, 2013 • 7 p.m.
Anteater Stadium
Irvine, Calif.
Game Coverage:
Live Stats 

KICK OFF: The postseason for the UC Davis men’s soccer team (9-8-3 overall, 4-4-2 in the Big West Conference) rolls on this weekend as the Aggies head south for a Big West Tournament semifinal clash with South Division champion UC Irvine on Friday (Nov. 15) at 7 p.m. at Anteater Stadium.

The Last Meeting
UC Irvine0
UC Davis2
October 4, 2013
Davis, Calif.
UC Davis Upsets Second Straight Top-25 Team, Defeats UCI 2-0
Dashiell MacNamara scored his first goal as an Aggie 28 minutes into Friday's match against No. 25 UC Irvine, teammate Matt Wiesenfarth scored his second goal in as many games with three minutes remaining to help the near-capacity crowd at Aggie Soccer Field celebrate a 2-0 victory over the Anteaters in this season's Big West opener for each team.

TOURNEY SCHEDULE: A complete schedule and results for the 2013 Big West Men’s Soccer Tournament:

Tuesday, Nov. 12
UC Davis 3, UC Riverside 1 (F)
Cal State Northridge 4, Cal Poly 1 (F)

Friday, Nov. 15
Cal State Northridge (S2) at UC Santa Barbara (N1), 7 p.m.
UC Davis (N2) at UC Irvine (S1), 7 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 17
Championship at Highest Remaining Seed, 2 p.m.

IN THE POLLS: UC Irvine enters the weekend ranked as high as No. 12 in the nation according to this week’s Soccer America poll... the Anteaters also stand No. 18 in the NSCAA and No. 22 in the Top Drawer Soccer Top 25... UC Irvine is ranked No. 5 in the Far West Region according to the NSCAA... UC Davis is unranked in this week’s polls.

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?”: There will be no live audio stream for Friday’s contest at UC Irvine.


 

 

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.

“O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN!”: Omar Zeenni, Alex Aguiar, and Kevin Schulte have been named team captains for the Aggies for 2013.

EIGHT AGGIES NAMED ALL-BIG WEST: UC Davis senior Omar Zeenni was named the Big West Conference Goalkeeper of the Year to headline a group of eight honored Aggies as the league announced its 2013 postseason honor roll on Monday afternoon.

In addition to his Goalkeeper of the Year honors, Zeenni became only the fourth UC Davis player to be named to the All-Big West First Team (the first since Lance Patterson in 2011) while a trio of Aggies -- junior forward Matt Wiesenfarth, junior defender Brian Ford, and senior midfielder Alex Henry -- were all named to the All-Big West Second Team.

Junior Matt Sheldon, senior Alex Aguiar, and junior Ramon Martin Del Campo were all-conference honorable mention selections, while rookie Dashiell MacNamara was named to the Big West All-Freshman Team.

It is the second career honors for Zeenni (second team in 2012-13), Wiesenfarth (second team in 2011-12), and Henry (honorable mention in 2012-13).

UC IRVINE BRIEFLY: The Anteaters earned a first-round bye in the Big West Tournament by virture of their first-place finish in the league’s South Division, finishing the regular season with a record of 12-4-3 overall and 7-2-1 in Big West play... UC Irvine enters Friday semifinal unbeaten in its last six consecutive matches, including five-straight victories... the Anteaters haven’t lost since Oct. 13, suffering a 2-1 defeat at home against North Division champion UC Santa Barbara... Big West Midfielder of the Year Enrique Cardenas leads the team in scoring with seven goals and five assists (19 points) and is one of three Anteaters with double-digit points: Cameron Iwasa (6-4-16) and Christopher Santana (4-2-10)... senior Marco Franco was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year after helping anchor a stingy back line for UC Irvine that ranked tied for second in goals against average (0.91) and led the league with seven shutouts while allowing just 18 goals in 19 contests... sophomore Michael Breslin has started all 19 matches in net for the Anteaters, posting a 0.91 goals against average and 51 saves.

AGGIES VS. ANTEATERS: Dating back to 1990, the series between the Aggies and Anteaters is tied, 7-7-3, but UC Davis has won the last three meetings overall, including a 2-0 victory at home earlier this season on Oct. 4... the Aggies are unbeaten in their last four trips to Irvine dating back to 2008, including three-straight wins... UC Davis’ last trip to Irvine resulted in a 3-1 victory in 2012... UC Irvine’s last win in the series came in 2010, shutting out the Aggies, 3-0, in Davis... UC Davis is 4-5-1 in Irvine since 1990.

DAVIS IN THE TOURNAMENT: Tuesday’s victory over UC Riverside in the first round improved the Aggies to 2-3 all-time in the Big West Tournament, giving UC Davis a first-round win for the second-straight season... the 2013 season will mark the third-straight appearance (fourth overall) for the Aggies in the Big West Conference Tournament, who are one season removed from winning the North Division and reaching the championship match in 2012... the Aggies are 2-1 at home in Big West Tournament matches.

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

WE’RE GOING STREAKING!!: Tuesday’s first-round victory over UC Riverside was the Aggies’ third-straight, marking their longest winning streak of the season and the longest since they won four in a row from Sept. 30-Oct. 13 last season.

DASH AWAY, DASH AWAY, DASH AWAY ALL: Freshman Dashiell MacNamara came up with, perhaps, the biggest goal of his rookie season thus far, netting the eventual game-winner against UC Riverside in the Aggies’ Big West Tournament first-round win. It was MacNamara’s third goal of the season and second game-winner for the Big West All-Freshman Team honoree.

FIRST GOAL... NO WAITING: UC Davis fans didn’t have to wait very long to get on the scoreboard in Tuesday’s 3-1 victory, as senior Kevin Schulte scored just 3:35 into the match against the Highlanders. It was the fastest goal scored by the Aggies this season and the quickest since teammate Matt Wiesenfarth scored just 52 seconds into the match against UC Riverside on Oct. 1, 2011.

HE’S HERE TO HELP: As the holidays approach, junior Ian Palmer seems to be in the giving mood, handing out a pair of assists -- including the helper on the game-winning goal -- to give him a team-high four for the season, matching Alex Henry’s team-high total from 2012. Another assist this season would give Palmer the most by an Aggie since Alex Aguiar finished with five in 2011 while two more would be the highest total since Kevin Schulte’s six in 2010.

IT “SHEL” BE “DON”: With his assist on the Aggies’ first goal of the match against UC Riverside, junior Matt Sheldon moved into a tie with teammate Matt Wiesenfarth for the team lead with 13 points. It was the third-consecutive match with a point for Sheldon, who has set career high’s in goals (6) and points this season and stands just one shy of his career point total from his previous two seasons combined (14 points on five goals and four assists).

THEY COME IN BUNCHES: UC Davis’ three goals scored against UC Riverside were a season high and most for the Aggies since they defeated Sacramento State by a 3-1 score on Oct. 20, 2012, at Hornet Field (a span of 24 games). Tuesday marked only the sixth time in 20 matches this season that UC Davis has scored multiple goals in a match.

THREE IS A TREND... FOUR IS A STREAK: UC Davis’ offensive outburst have the Aggies goals in each of their last four matches -- the longest run since they railed off four-straight matches from Sept. 30-Oct. 13 of last season.

IN THE “NICK” OF TIME: Senior Nick Grigoriev added the finishing touch in UC Davis’ first-round win, scoring his first goal of the season just four minutes into the second half against UC Riverside. The score was a long time in coming for Grigoriev, who netted his first goal since scoring against Oregon State as a freshman on Sept. 17, 2010.

WELCOME MATTS: Juniors Matt Sheldon and Matt Wiesenfarth have become the Aggies “dynamic duo” in 2013, combining for 12 of the team’s 17 goals, including all three of UC Davis’ scores against Cal Poly and Sacramento State to help the Aggies clinch the Big West Tournament’s No. 2 berth and three game-winning goals apiece. The duo enter Friday’s semifinal with six goals apiece on the season -- the most for an Aggie since Lance Patterson finished with the same number and 13 points overall in 2010.

EARLY BIRDS: Good things have happened to the Aggies when they get on the board first this season, posting an unbeaten 8-0-3 record in such contests and a just-as-impressive 8-0-1 mark when they lead at the break in 2013. Those streaks grow to 18-straight and 13-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.

DE-FENSE (CLAP, CLAP)... DE-FENSE (CLAP, CLAP): 14 of the Aggies’ 20 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 at UC Santa Barbara on Nov. 2) with UC Davis posting a 6-5-3 mark in those contests.

#WINNING: More from Sheldon and Wiesenfarth. If the Aggies need a game-winner, you need look no further than these two, who have combined for 23 career goals in their two-plus seasons -- 12 of those putting UC Davis in the win column, including both matches this past weekend and in each of the Aggies’ last three victories overall. With Sheldon’s goal against Cal Poly earlier in the week, UC Davis improved to 4-0-2 this season when the junior from Portland, Ore., has found the back of the net and, following Saturday’s win in Sacramento, 5-1 when Wiesenfarth has scored this season.

OH MY, OMAR: Everybody loves clean sheets, especially senior goalkeeper Omar Zeenni, who tallied his 18th career shutout in the regular season finale at Sacramento State, breaking Nic Platter’s all-time school record and moving Zeenni into a tie for 10th on the Big West Conference’s career list with Fresno State’s Chato Elgorriaga.

THE BUCK STOPS HERE: It is the second career record at UC Davis for Zeenni, who became the Aggies’ 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 Platter’s 10-year-old mark of 195 from 2000-03. After missing UC Davis’ game at UC Santa Barbara on Nov. 2 due to a red card, Zeenni responded with nine saves over his last three matches to give him 218 for his career -- just 33 back of Fresno State’s Mark Dougherty for 10th on the Big West’s all-time chart.

COMEBACK KIDS: Late goals by Sheldon and Wiesenfarth on Nov. 6 against Cal Poly rallied the Aggies to a, 2-1, win over the Mustangs in their regular season home finale, gaving UC Davis its first win this season when the opponent scored first (0-8 in previous contests) and when trailing at halftime (0-6).

WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE: Barring the Big West Championship match coming to Aggie Soccer Field or and further postseason action, UC Davis will finish with a winning home record for the fourth consecutive season after improving to 5-4 following its 3-1 win over UC Riverside on Tuesday. Aggie Soccer Field has, indeed, been the friendly confines for the home side as the Aggies are a combined 90-43-13 (.661) at home in 17 seasons under the direction of Head Coach Dwayne Shaffer. UC Davis hasn’t suffered a losing season at home since 2009 (3-4).

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 116 corners this season -- 12 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.

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 15 of their 20 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, 281-200, on the year and have allowed double-digit shots only eight times.

“STAY ON TARGET...”: Senior midfielder Alex Aguiar has put up a team-high 40 shots on the year and is averaging 2.00 shots per game to rank tied for sixth and XX, respectively, in the Big West entering this week’s matches.

GOALS WANTED: While the Aggies’ 19 goals allowed are among the fewest in the Big West (third), UC Davis’ offense has struggled to find a groove with 20 goals this season -- the second fewest in the league behind only Causeway Cup rival Sacramento State (11). Kevin Schulte and Nick Grigoriev are the latest additions to the Aggies’ scoring group, becoming only the sixth and seventh different Aggies to find the back of the net.

IT’S GETTING LATE...: It may be a school night, but make sure you’re in your seats until the very end. In five of UC Davis’ last 10 contests the game-tying goal has been scored in the final 10 minutes of the contest, 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 three goals 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 and both of the team’s scores against Cal Poly on Nov. 6.

THAT’S RANK: UC Davis’ draw at UC Santa Barbara on Nov. 2 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.

A CLOSER LOOK AT THE AGGIES' ROSTER





Included below is a breakdown of UC Davis' 2013 roster by class, primary position and geography.

Freshmen (9): Ryan CaroKirk KappelhoffJustin KittsDashiell MacNamaraLogan MagonigalArmando QuezadaIsaac StuartSpencer WilliamsConnor Willis-Hong




Sophomores (6): Eric BudniewskiRyan GrossHoshang HatifieLucas MohagegJohn PiastaKris Schultz




Juniors (8): Andre BrownBrian FordEddie ManellaRamon Martin Del CampoSam HoeckIan PalmerMatt SheldonMatt Wiesenfarth




Seniors (7): Alex AguiarMichael GarrickNick GrigorievAlex HenryElliott HordKevin SchulteOmar Zeenni

Goalkeepers (4): John PiastaArmando QuezadaKris SchultzOmar Zeenni




Defenders (9): Brian FordRyan GrossAlex HenrySam HoeckRamon Martin Del CampoLucas MohagegIan PalmerSpencer WilliamsConnor Willis-Hong




Midfielders (12): Alex AguiarAndre BrownEric BudniewskiRyan CaroHoshang HatifieElliott HordKirk KappelhoffJustin KittsLogan MagonigalEddie ManellaKevin SchulteIsaac Stuart




Forwards (5): Michael GarrickNick GrigorievDashiell MacNamaraMatt SheldonMatt Wiesenfarth

California (28): Alex AguiarAndre BrownEric BudniewskiRyan CaroBrian FordMichael GarrickNick GrigorievRyan GrossHoshang HatifieAlex HenrySam HoeckElliott HordJustin KittsDashiell MacNamaraEddie ManellaLogan MagonigalRamon Martin Del CampoLucas MohagegIan PalmerJohn PiastaArmando QuezadaKevin SchulteKris SchultzIsaac StuartMatt WiesenfarthSpencer WilliamsConnor Willis-HongOmar Zeenni




Australia (1): Kirk Kappelhoff
Oregon (1): Matt Sheldon