Review Category : Men’s Soccer

Men’s soccer season in review

The men’s soccer team’s season ended on a solemn, yet encouraging note a couple of weeks ago at home. The team ended its season with a 1-0 loss to South Division Championships, Cal State Northridge. UC Davis finished with a 10-7-4 overall record and an 8-4 record in the Big West Conference. The team played very well against CSU Northridge in general, but was unable to recover from an early goal from Matador Sagi Lev-Ari at the 15:45 mark. Lev-Ari put away his 14th goal of the season on an assist from Chris Smith. Smith passed the ball to Lev-Ari in the middle of the field, who fired a hard shot at the crossbar for the 1-0 lead. Junior goalkeeper Omar Zeenni recorded two saves and several players fired five shots at the goal, but the team was held at zero goals for the entirety of the game. In the 40th minute, freshman forward Eric Budniewski’s strike from outside the 18-yard box was knocked away by Matador goalkeeper Michael Abalos.... ...

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UC Davis men’s soccer falls in Big West Conference Finals

In an intense game for the Big West Conference title, the UC Davis men’s soccer team’s run came to an end at the hands of Cal State Northridge. The game was a marquee matchup between the two top teams in their respective divisions, the Aggies from the Big West North Division and the Matadors from the South. UC Davis was taken down by the single goal of the game, which was knocked in by CSU Northridge in the 15th minute to give them the 1-0 lead that they would hold onto for the rest of the game. “I’m very proud of my team; I thought we played well but unfortunately we gave up a nice goal,” said head coach Dwayne Shaffer. “We couldn’t recover from it, but overall I thought my team played very well and did all the things necessary to score a goal but it just didn’t go our way.” The lone goal of the game came when CSU Northridge converted an opportunity in the middle of the... ...

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UC Davis heads to Big West Conference Finals

In a high-intensity game with the season on the line, the UC Davis men’s soccer team shut out Cal State Fullerton 2-0 at Aggie Soccer Field. The Aggies hosted the semifinal round of the Big West Conference tournament, a privilege they earned with their first-place finish in the North Division of the league. UC Davis kept its hot streak alive with its second straight victory and the eighth in 10 games. The Aggies gained the lead in the 26th minute when sophomore Matt Sheldon headed in a goal that was set up by freshman Eric Budniewski’s cross to the box. Once ahead, UC Davis had no time to relax. CSU Fullerton almost tied up the game just 15 seconds later, in a situation that found junior goalie Omar Zeenni out of position. The Titans had an open look on the goal, but their shot bounced off the crossbar. “They had some dangerous chances and so did we,” said head coach Dwayne Shaffer. “This is playoff soccer and I didn’t expect... ...

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Men’s Soccer Preview

Teams: UC Davis 9-6-4 (7-3-0) vs. Cal State Fullerton 13-6-0 (7-3-0) Where: Aggie Soccer Field When:  Wednesday at 2 p.m. Who to watch: Junior Alex Aguiar has been one of the Aggies’ most dangerous assets this year. He has been involved in five goals this season, including three of his own and two assists. The last time the Aggies faced off with Cal State Fullerton, Aguiar put away a penalty kick for one of the two goals UC Davis scored to take down the Titans. Aguiar has started all 19 games for UC Davis and has fired the most shots (35) and shots on goal (16) this season. Did you know: The Aggies are a testament to the statement “defense wins ballgames.” UC Davis ranked last in the conference in goals, assists and points. In the Aggies’ last nine games, they won seven contests due mostly in part to the fact that they allowed one goal or less in each game over this stretch. UC Davis scored 13 of its... ...

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Column: More men’s soccer

Well, the comparisons between UC Davis men’s soccer and the San Francisco Giants persist. UC Davis closed out the regular season with a strong performance against Sacramento State this past weekend, sweeping the season series with the Hornets with a second victory over the Causeway rivals. While this is extremely exciting, it is by no means unexpected. UC Davis has been showing signs of brilliance since early last year. The Aggies have pulled in three huge recruiting classes to stack up their roster. Out of their roster of almost 30 players, UC Davis has graduated less than five players in each of the past two years. The Aggies are stacked to do great things in the years to come. Although nobody really wants to hear me talk, I can talk for a very long time about why our men’s soccer team’s future is bright. Or perhaps that’s because I have no one to talk to. Either way, here goes. UC Davis is 7-2 in the past nine games after a... ...

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Aggie Digest

In a pivotal Big West Conference matchup for UC Davis men’s soccer, Cal Poly took down the Aggies by a score of 1-0. The two rivals exchanged blows, with UC Davis controlling most of the possession time, until the Mustangs got on the board five minutes into the second half and preserved the lead for the rest of the game. UC Davis battled back and forth in a chippy game that resulted in six yellow cards between the teams — including four issued to Cal Poly — but were unable to get the advantage. Cal Poly had 25 fouls in the game and the Aggies tallied 17. The Aggies managed five shots on goal to the Mustangs’ four, but couldn’t convert those opportunities. The loss drops UC Davis to 8-6-4 overall with a 6-3-0 Big West record. Sacramento State faced off with UC Santa Barbara yesterday and had the opportunity to take over first place in conference because of the UC Davis defeat. The Aggies will square off with the... ...

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Men’s Soccer Preview

Teams: UC Davis (8-5-4, 6-2) vs. Sacramento State (7-5-2, 4-1-1) Where: Aggie Soccer Field — Davis, CA When: Sunday at 3 p.m. Who to watch: Sophomore forward Matt Sheldon ought to be on fire this Sunday after a magnificent performance against UC Santa Barbara this past weekend. Sheldon tied the score against the Gauchos with three seconds left in the first half and sealed the victory for the Aggies midway through the first overtime. Thanks to Sheldon’s outstanding plays, the Aggies were able to extend their winning streak to three and solidify their top spot in the Big West Conference. Recognized for his efforts, Sheldon picked up his second career Big West Conference Offensive Player of the Week title. The aforementioned goals against UCSB were his first of the season and could not have occurred at a more opportune time for the team. It was UC Davis’ first win at Harder Stadium since 2008 and marked the first time in program history the Aggies swept the Gauchos in regular season... ...

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UC Davis sweeps UC Santa Barbara for first time in history

The UC Davis men’s soccer team defeated UC Santa Barbara in overtime Sunday evening, winning 2-1. UC Davis remains in first place with 18 points and an overall record of 8-5-4 with a Big West Conference record of 6-2. Sacramento State follows in second place with 16 points and Cal Poly is in third with 13 points. UC Davis swept UCSB for the first time in program history after a strong victory over the Gauchos on Oct. 13. This is also the first time the Aggies have won at Harder Stadium since 2008. “It’s a great win for the team,” said head coach Dwayne Shaffer. “They’ve worked their tails off and right now they’re playing with confidence. They’re playing good soccer, they’re creating numerous opportunities to score and we’re playing to our strengths. We’re on top of the Big West standings again just like last year so we’re doing the right things with the right kids in our program who are playing hard.” The Gauchos scored the first goal of... ...

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Men’s soccer preview

Teams: UC Davis (7-5-4, 5-2) at UC Santa Barbara (9-3-3, 3-3-1) Where: Harder Stadium — Santa Barbara, California When:  Sunday at 2 p.m. Who to watch: Junior forward Alex Henry’s game-winning goal and assist 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 two weeks in a row. Henry scored a clearance past the Titan defense in the 79th minute that skipped into the lower right corner of the goal. In addition, Henry was named to the Soccer America Men’s Team of the Week this past week after the two wins. We expect nothing less than a solid and exciting performance from Alex Henry in the upcoming match against UCSB. 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... ...

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Inside the game with Alex Henry

When the word “clutch” comes up in conversation, junior forward Alex Henry is the first thing to come to mind. Henry has embodied every aspect of the word, with two huge game-winners against Cal State Fullerton and UC Santa Barbara this season. In general, Henry’s clutch performances throughout the Big West Conference have been a huge factor in UC Davis’s current position as the No. 1 seed. Henry, who recently garnered two Big West Offensive Player of the Week awards for his timely goals, sat down with Aggie Sports Writer Veena Bansal to discuss his thoughts on his performance, team dynamic, and expectations for the future of the men’s soccer team. What are your thoughts on being named to the Soccer America’s Team of the Week and being dubbed the Big West Player of the Week two weeks in a row? I mean, I guess obviously I think it’s pretty cool to be recognized by others for what I do on the field, but at the same time I could not... ...

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UC Davis claims top spot in the Big West

On Saturday night in Sacramento, the UC Davis men’s soccer team beat Sacramento State 3-1 to claim the top spot in the Big West Conference Championships. The Aggies now maintain 15 points in the Big West, while Cal Poly and Sacramento State are tied for second with 13 points. UC Davis has improved to a 7-5-4 overall record and 5-2 in the Big West. The Aggies started off slowly in the first half, but were able to regroup during halftime and pick up their energy and momentum to score three goals within a 19-minute span. “This was the strongest performance that I can remember,” said Coach Dwayne Shaffer. “We were on fire, played perfect soccer and came away with a win.” In the 40th minute, Isaac Ikyurav of Sacramento State fired a shot on the near post from only eight yards out. Junior goalkeeper Omar Zeenni managed to get a hand on it, but the shot deflected off of Zeenni and soared into the top of the net. The Aggies... ...

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Aggie Digest

Tuesday night, on the turf of rival Cal Poly, the UC Davis men’s soccer team’s winning streak of four was broken. The Aggies fell to the Mustangs 1-0 in their first match on a four-game road trip, resulting in an overall record of 6-5-4 and 4-2 in Big West Championships play. The Mustangs improved to 8-5-1 overall and 3-2 in the Big West. Cal Poly junior midfielder Nolan Moore scored a quick goal in the 26th minute to put the team up 1-0 early on in the game. In addition, freshman goalkeeper Wade Hamilton came up with four saves to keep the Aggies from leveling the playing field for the rest of the night. In the sixth minute of match play, Mustang junior midfielder George Malki fired a shot at junior goalkeeper Omar Zeenni, only to have it blocked promptly and put back into play. Twenty minutes later, however, Malki struck yet another shot at Zeenni. Zeenni managed to stop the ball, but was unable to hold onto it. As... ...

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UC Davis men’s soccer stuns eighth-ranked UCSB

The UC Davis men’s soccer team pulled off one of the greatest wins in the program history over UC Santa Barbara 1-0 on Saturday at Aggie Soccer Field. Junior Alex Henry curled a direct free kick into the upper left corner of the goal with five minutes to go to give the Aggies a last-minute lead. Junior Omar Zeenni and the UC Davis defense shut out the stunned eighth-ranked team in the nation with spectacular soccer. The team won its fourth-straight game, improving to 6-4-4 overall. With a 4-1 conference record, the Aggies are now in second place in the Big West Championships. They stand only one point behind Sacramento State. “It’s a great accomplishment for this team and a huge win for the UC Davis athletics program,” said head coach Dwayne Shaffer. “UC Santa Barbara is one of the pinnacle programs in the country, but I thought we were the better team on the day.” In front of a season-high 1,344 fans, Alex Henry lined up a direct free... ...

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Men’s Soccer Preview

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... ...

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UC Davis extends Big West record to three straight wins

This past weekend, the UC Davis men’s soccer team came away with two strong wins over UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton at home. This marks the Aggies’ third straight win and a record improvement to 5-4-4 overall and 3-1-0 in the Big West Conference. Friday — UC Davis 2, UC Riverside 1 A much-anticipated matchup against UCR went in favor of the Aggies by a score of 1-0 this past Friday. The Aggies battled throughout the first half, taking the first five shots and preventing UC Riverside from generating any offensive attacks. Junior goalkeeper Omar Zeenni saved three goal attempts resulting in a scoreless first half on both sides. The UC Davis momentum carried into the second half and the Aggies’ efforts began to reflect positively. In the 57th minute, Zeenni came up with a huge save on Neil Ignacio’s shot, deflecting the ball after Ignacio fired a close-range shot. Just three minutes later, junior Kevin Schulte gave UC Davis the 1-0 with his 60th-minute score on fellow junior... ...

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