Teams: UC Davis, 5-4-4 (3-1); UC Santa Barbara, 8-1-3 (2-1)
Where: Aggie Soccer Field
When: Saturday at 3 p.m.
Who to watch: Junior Alex Henry’s assist and game-winning goal led the UC Davis men’s soccer team to back-to-back wins over UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton and led to his selection as the Big West Conference Offensive Player of the Week.
In Friday’s 1-0 victory over UC Riverside, Henry lined up an indirect free kick on the right wing and sent it into the penalty area. The cross found junior Kevin Schulte, who volleyed it home for the Aggies’ only goal of the game.
On Sunday, Henry scored a gem of a goal in the 79th minute against Cal State Fullerton. With the game knotted at one goal apiece, Henry collected a clearance by the Titan defense and, from around 35 yards out, struck a hard shot that skipped through the Titan back line and into the lower right corner of the goal.
Did you know? Two years ago, the Aggies lost to UC Santa Barbara 2-1 in double overtime. The Gauchos took a 1-0 lead with a goal only nine minutes in as James Kiffe’s cross found Michael Nonni for a header shot into the right corner of the net.
UC Davis countered with a goal in the 33rd minute from Lance Patterson for his fifth of the season. The teams remained even through the first overtime period, before McGlynn’s gamewinner in the 102nd minute gave UC Santa Barbara the 2-1 win.
Preview: The Aggies continue their quest to a top spot in this year’s Big West Championships, facing the Gauchos at home once again after a tough meeting last school year.
Up until this point, the Aggies have been posting strong performances and are currently on a three-game winning streak. Last week, the Aggies beat UC Irvine on the road and tough opponents, UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton at home.
“We have been staying true to our principles,” said coach Dwayne Shaffer. “We are definitely at the peak of our season.”
The Aggies will continue to remain physically and mentally prepared for their upcoming matchups and maintain the positive attitude that has allowed them to remain calm and composed in the late game situations.
Recently, the Gauchos beat UC Irvine 2-1 and lost to Cal State Northridge 1-0 at home and will look to bounce back at UC Davis.
— Veena Bansal