DAVIS, Calif. -- Each team had its chances, but defense ruled the day on Sunday afternoon as visiting CSUN and host UC Davis battled to a scoreless draw after 110 minutes of play at the Aggie Soccer Field.
The Aggies picked up a point in the standings with two matches to play, moving to 4-10-2 overall and 3-1-2 in Big West Conference play heading into the final weekend. The Matadors, meanwhile, moved to 8-4-6 overall and 4-1-2 in league, with only one match remaining in the regular season.
"I thought we were really well organized today and I thought both teams really wanted it bad," Head Coach Twila Kaufman said. "I was really proud of how our team handled the ebbs and flows of the game."
Junior goalkeeper Alexis Smith made seven saves in posting her third shutout of the season, stoning CSUN on back-to-back point-blank attempts in the 13th minute, denying Cynthia Sanchez on the initial shot before bouncing back quickly to her right to stop Amy Aquino on the rebound. A third shot by Sylvia Trinh was put away, but the goal was disallowed due to offsides to keep the match scoreless.
Three minutes later, UC Davis nearly celebrated "Senior Day" with a go-ahead goal in the 16th minute as senior Mandy McKeegan's corner kick from the right side found the head of classmate Zuzu Romano, but the shot clipped the crossbar and bounced away from danger as the two teams headed into the locker room scoreless at the break.
"My favorite moment of the game," Kaufman said. "I could see the look on her face, there was deep belief when she headed it and, even though it didn't go in, it shows just how disciplined she is. She's a fifth-year player, she knows exactly what she's doing, and she knows how to put herself in dangerous situations. You just can't ask for anymore."
Freshman Monet Kunz had the first chance of the second half, again off a corner by McKeegan, but her glancing header was saved at the back post by the fingertips of goalkeeper Jovani McCaskill in the 59th minute.
Nine minutes later, that chance was answered by another from CSUN, as Cynthia Sanchez missed the go-ahead goal by mere inches, running onto a long ball played ahead by Marissa Favela, and chipping a ball over a charging Smith, but the shot bounced just outside the right post and settled into the side netting.
Sanchez also had an opportunity in the 78th minute, launching a free kick from 25 yards that Smith was able to get a hand between the ball and the crossbar, denying the Matadors the lead.
After the horn signaled the end of regulation, Smith made another save on Amy Aquino just two minutes in, while the Aggies' Olivia Jones had a breakaway opportunity snuffed out by a pair of converging defenders before she could unleash a shot.
Two UC Davis corner kicks and a shot by Emma Hasco with two seconds remaining in the second overtime were all either team could manage, as time expired to seal the draw.
The Matadors out-shot the Aggies, 13-9, for the match, putting seven of their attempts on frame to UC Davis' two. CSUN's Sanchez led all players with four shots on the day, while Kunz paced the Aggies with three of her own. Meanwhile, Smith's save total gives her 199 for her career, placing her just six back of Kelly Parker (1997-00) for fourth on the all-time list.
McKeegan, Romano, and Sydney Burger, were all honored for their contributions to the program prior to kick-off as part of "Senior Day" festivites.
"I thought Mandy played excellent today and Syd, I think fans wouldn't necessarily give her the credit where credit is due because she's not that flashy," Kaufman said. "She is, without the shadow of a doubt, the heart and soul of this team."
UC Davis closes out the regular season on the road in Southern California next week, taking on UC Riverside under the lights on Thursday (Oct. 26) at 7 p.m., before the Aggies finish at Long Beach State on Sunday (Oct. 29) at 2 p.m.
NCAA Soccer Game Summary (Final)
CSUN (8-4-6, 4-1-2 BWC) vs. UC Davis (4-10-2, 3-1-2 BWC)
Date: Oct 22, 2017 Attendance: 392
Weather: 71 deg., clear, wind 10 mph NNW
Goals by period 1 2 OT O2 Tot
CSUN..................... 0 0 0 0 - 0
UC Davis................ 0 0 0 0 - 0
Shots: CSUN 13, UC Davis 9
Saves: CSUN 2 (McCaskill, Jovani 2), UC Davis 7 (Smith, Alexis 7)