Unbeaten Aggies host final two home matches this week

Oct. 17, 2017

UC Santa Barbara (5-7-4, 1-3-1 Big West) at UC Davis (4-9-1, 3-0-1 Big West)
Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017 | 3:00 p.m. | Aggie Soccer Field | Davis, Calif.
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CSUN (7-4-5, 3-1-1 Big West) at UC Davis (4-9-1, 3-0-1 Big West)
Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017 | 1:00 p.m. | Aggie Soccer Field | Davis, Calif.
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KICK OFF: The only unbeaten team remaining in the Big West Conference at the half-way point of the league table, the UC Davis women's soccer team hosts its final two home matches of the 2017 season this week, welcoming UC Santa Barbara and CSUN to Northern California. The Aggies and Gauchos kick off on Thursday afternoon (Oct. 19) at 3 p.m., before UC Davis salutes its seniors prior to its home finale against the Matadors on Sunday (Oct. 22) at 1 p.m. at Aggie Soccer Field.

IN THE RANKINGS: Neither UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, nor CSUN, are ranked in the national polls this week.

BE A FOLLOWER: Fans can keep up with the latest in UC Davis women's soccer by "liking" them on Facebook (/UCDavisWomensSoccer) and following them on both Twitter (@UCDavisWSOC) and Instagram (@UCDavisWSOC). You can also follow Head Coach Twila Kaufman on Twitter (@twilakaufman) and Instagram (@TwilaKaufman).

ABOUT THE GAUCHOS: UC Santa Barbara enters the week with a 5-7-4 overall record and a 1-3-1 mark in Big West play… The Gauchos split a pair of matches last week, falling at Hawai'i (2-1) before returning home and using a big second half to shutout Long Beach State (3-0)… The win ended a four-match unbeaten streak (0-3-1) for UCSB, which hadn't won since a 4-0 shutout of Denver on Sept. 24… The Gauchos are 2-3-2 away from home this season… Senior forward Amanda Ball leads the Big West with 10 goals and 22 points overall, scoring the game-winning goal in four of the team's five victories this year… Freshman midfielder Christine Maurer is also in double digits when it comes to points, scoring five times and tallying 11 points on the year… Goalkeepers Maddie Julian and Brittney Rogers have split time in net this season, with Julian leading the way with a 1.12 goals against average and 25 saves to go along with four shutouts.

SERIES NOTES: The Gauchos lead the all-time series with the Aggies, 9-7-1, after UC Davis posted a 2-1 win over UC Santa Barbara on the road last season… The Aggies have won five of the last seven meetings with the Gauchos -- including four straight from 2010-13… UC Davis is 3-6-1 against UCSB at Aggie Soccer Field, winning two of the last three matches played in Northern California… The Gauchos posted a 2-1 win in the last meeting played in Davis, Calif., on Oct. 18, 2015, with the Aggies' last win at home coming via a 1-0 score on Nov. 3, 2013… Each of the last five meetings have been decided by a single goal -- including a pair of overtime contests -- dating back to a 2-0 victory by UC Davis in 2011.

ABOUT THE MATADORS: CSUN, the reigning Big West regular season champion, comes into the week with a 7-4-5 overall record and a 3-1-1 mark in Big West play, hosting UC Irvine on Thursday before making the trek north to take on UC Davis… The Matadors have won three straight and are unbeaten in their last four, posting a 1-0 win over UC Riverside and a 2-1 win against Hawai'i on the road last week… CSUN's only conference loss came at Cal State Fullerton in its league opener on Oct. 1… The Matadors are 3-3-2 on the road this season… Junior midfielder Marissa Favela leads the team with five goals and 12 points overall, while senior forward Cynthia Sanchez has taken a team-high 46 shots… Senior goalkeeper Jovani McCaskill has played all but 73 minutes in net for CSUN this season, posting a 1.10 goals against average and 55 saves to go along with five shutouts.

SERIES NOTES: The Matadors lead the all-time series with the Aggies, 8-4-2, but the two teams have battled to scoreless draws in each of the last two meetings… UC Davis' last victory in the series with CSUN came in a 1-0 double-overtime triumph on Oct. 20, 2013, at home… The Aggies are 4-3-1 against the Matadors at Aggie Soccer Field, posting a win and a draw in the last two matches played in Northern California… Six of the 14 all-time meetings between the two programs have gone to overtime -- four of them ending in double overtime.

MCKEEGAN CLUTCH EN ROUTE TO BIG WEST WEEKLY AWARD: Tasked with limiting two of the Big West Conference's top scoring teams, UC Davis senior Mandy McKeegan went above and beyond on both sides of the ball en route to her first career defensive player of the week honor from the league office on Monday afternoon (Oct. 16). McKeegan joins teammate Alexis Smith as Aggie honorees this season after the UC Davis goalkeeper picked up her second career award on Oct. 2. The neurobiology, physiology, and behavior major from Manhattan Beach, Calif., added some offensive punch with the game-winning goal in the closing minutes of a 1-0 victory over UC Irvine, then posted the game-tying assist on teammate Mahlah Catline's goal that forged a 1-1 draw at Cal State Fullerton to finish the week. Read the complete release at: http://www.ucdavisaggies.com/sports/w-soccer/spec-rel/101617aaa.html.

START ME UP: Unbeaten since the start of Big West play, the Aggies' 3-0-1 start to the conference slate is the program's best start since joining the league and UC Davis' longest unbeaten run since it posted the same record in four matches from Sept. 20 - Oct. 4, 2015. Meanwhile, the Aggies' 10 points earned in conference play thus far are just one shy of the team's entire total from last season that put UC Davis fifth in the final league standings -- its highest since the Aggies finished tied for third in 2011 with 13 points.

OH, YES, THEY CALL IT A STREAK: We're not saying it's connected, but it's a pleasant coincidence. As Mandy McKeegan goes, so have the Aggies of late, as the senior has notched at least one point in each of her team's last four matches with a goal and three assists -- accounting for half of her team-high 10 points this season. Meanwhile, her four assists this year are tied for fifth in the league entering the week and she ranks tied for sixth at 0.29 assists per game.

HELP ME, HELP YOU: McKeegan's assist against the Titans was the 11th of her career, moving her ever closer to the top five in the UC Davis record books, needing just four more assists to match Kim Haskell (1993-96) and Laura Whitsitt (1994-95) for fifth on the all-time chart.

ALL ALONE AT THE TOP: A three-save night in a 1-0 shutout of UC Irvine has junior goalkeeper Alexis Smith all alone at the top of one UC Davis career chart, as the San Jose, Calif., native collected her 18th shutout as an Aggie to break a tie with Kelly Parker (1997-00) atop the all-time list. The materials science and engineering major also finished with seven saves on the weekend, giving her 190 for her career, placing her just 15 back of Parker for fourth on the career chart. Smith, whose 69 saves are just two back of her single-season career high of 71 stops set last season, enters the week leading the Big West in saves per game (5.75) and save percentage (.831), while ranking second in overall saves (69).

SPOT ON FROM THE SPOT: Smith, who denied San Diego State on a penalty kick back on Aug. 20, came up huge once again to keep the Anteaters off the board last Thursday night, stopping Andrea Mensen in the 15th minute to preserve the shutout. The Aggies haven't surrendered a penalty kick goal since Sept. 24, 2016, when Samantha Dion converted a chance in a 2-2 draw for Saint Mary's.

STAY ON TARGET: The UC Davis offense has kept opposing goalkeepers on their toes as of late, putting nearly two-thirds (19) of its last 29 shots on frame after accumulating 20 shots on goal in its previous six matches combined. The Aggies tied a season high with seven shots on goal on eight attempts overall in their 1-0 victory at UC Irvine and added six more (on 12 shots) at Cal State Fullerton three days later.

CATLINE IN THE CLUTCH: For the second time in the team's last three matches, freshman Mahlah Catline came through with a clutch goal as her header midway through the second half on Sunday helped the Aggies forge a 1-1 draw at Cal State Fullerton. The score was Catline's fourth of the year, moving her into the team lead in the category and fifth in the conference in goals per game (0.36).

IN IT TO WIN IT: A lucky bounce here or there and the Aggies' record thus far through 2017 would look a lot different. Twelve of UC Davis' 14 matches overall (the second most of any Big West school this year), and eight of the team's nine defeats this year (the most of any league member this season), have been decided by a single goal.

THIS CLOSE: The 12 matches decided by a single goal for the Aggies in 2017 surpasses the total of such games accumulated by the Aggies in each of the last three seasons and are the most since the 2012 squad played in 12 one-score contests. The eight defeats by a one-goal margin this year are the most since that same 2012 team had its heart broken eight times by a single goal.

DUAL THREATS: Standouts on the field and in the classroom, UC Davis student-athletes compete at some of the highest levels of Division I athletics while preparing for life after college at the nation's No. 6 public university. Featuring the nation's top veterinary medicine and agriculture schools, UC Davis student-athletes are enrolled in 93 of the 104 undergraduate programs offered by the University -- 10 of those represented by the women's soccer program...

Neurobiology, Physiology & Behavior (4): Jessica Lima, Mandy McKeegan, Aliyah Walker, Sydney Burger
Materials Science & Engineering (1): Alexis Smith
Human Development (5): Crystal Crump, Emma Hasco, Daniella Giancarli, Riley Marshall, Artrea Williams
Biological Sciences (4): Ari Zamora, Kristie Braken-Guelke, Caitlin Hedde, Haileigh Rose
Biomedical Engineering (2): Monet Kunz, Hailey Rittershofer
Economics (2): Nicole Carson, Oreoluwa Aderibigbe
Managerial Economics (2): Olivia Jones, Kristina Sola
Communication (3): Mckenna Moriarty, Roisin Allaeddini, Aubrey Goodwill
Civil Engineering (1): Courtney Van Winkle
Psychology (1): Zuzu Romano
Undeclared (5): Lauren Bouvia, Casey Palmer, Mahlah Catline, Alicia Sloss, Laura Nichol