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Davis, California

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Men’s soccer preview

Teams: No. 8 UC Davis at Cal Poly

Records: Aggies, 12-2-3 (4-1-3); Mustangs, 8-4-4 (3-2-2)

Where: Alex G. Spanos Stadium – San Luis Obispo, Calif.

When: Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

Who to watch: The last goal that senior midfielder Sule Anibaba scored came in a 2-0 victory over Cal Poly at home on Oct. 2.

Another score from Anibaba could help the Aggies prevail over the third-place Mustangs for the second time this season.

The Davis High graduate has four goals and two assists overall.

Did you know? In Cal Poly’s Oct. 17 matchup at home against No. 14 UC Santa Barbara, the Mustang faithful showed up in bunches. Alex G. Spanos Stadium held over 11,075 people for the contest.

Preview: After completing their second 1-1 tie against No. 20 UC Irvine this season on Saturday, UC Davis finds itself in the midst of the season’s homestretch.

With only two matches left before a potential postseason run, the Aggies first face Cal Poly, who has received votes in multiple national polls, before closing out the regular season against No. 13 UC Santa Barbara.

The Gauchos lead the Big West Conference with 16 points. The Aggies are a very close second (15 points), while the Mustangs round out the top three (11 points).

UC Davis’ test in San Luis Obispo will be a tough one.

Cal Poly has a very good fan following and their coach has done a good job of incorporating the community,” head coach Dwayne Shaffer said. “That kind of stuff happens when you’re winning. We know their personnel and the style of soccer that they play. We can adjust a little on our team defense and hopefully find some areas we can exploit.

“At this point of the season every team is so good that there really aren’t too many areas to exploit. It’s more of individuals on our team continuing to step up and make some plays.”

A win against Cal Poly could help propel UC Davis to a regular season Big West title, as well as the opportunity to host all games in the Big West Tournament at the culmination of the season.

Recently, the Aggies have been led by the play of senior forward Dylan Curtis, who has scored a goal in each of the past three matches.

Senior midfielder Julian Alvarez paces the Mustangs offense. The Santa Cruz, Calif. native has four goals and four assists this season.

Max Rosenblum


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