Teams: No. 12 UC Davis at No. 10 UC Irvine
Records: Aggies, 12-3-4 (4-2-4); Mustangs, 12-1-6 (5-1-4)
Where: Anteater Stadium – Irvine, Calif.
When: Today at 7 p.m.
Who to watch: After making the save of the game against UC Santa Barbara in overtime on Saturday, sophomore goalkeeper Ryan McCowan takes his seven shutouts – good for second in the conference – into the first round of the Big West Conference Tournament.
The Lafayette, Calif. native leads all Big West goalies with a mere 0.89 goals against average.
Did you know? UC Davis and UC Irvine are No. 1 and No. 2 in the Big West in fouls, having recorded 340 and 320, respectively. UC Davis also leads the conference with 39 yellow cards – over two per match.
Preview: The Aggies’ magical regular season is over and playoffs have begun.
“This is playoffs,” said senior midfielder Sule Anibaba. “What we have done prior to this means nothing.”
UC Davis will enter the first annual Big West Tournament as the fourth seed and will be matched up with No. 1 seed UC Irvine.
The Aggies and Anteaters’ previous matchups this season have proved to be stalemates, as both resulted in 1-1 ties.
“They have a really good team,” head coach Dwayne Shaffer said. “They play good, clean, hard soccer. Both of our meetings this season have been great. I feel like we match up well with them.”
There won’t be any tie tonight, as one team will leave with a loss and one will leave with a win and advance to the finals of the conference tournament. The winner will face the victor of the UCSB-Cal Poly contest for the conference title.
The Aggies hope to avoid the first fate by getting help from their key players.
Seniors Quincy Amarikwa and Dylan Curtis have been the backbone of the Aggies’ offensive success this season. They lead all Big West players in goals and assists, respectively.
Amarikwa also leads the Big West with 31 points and five game-winning goals.
The Anteaters have their share of stars as well.
Senior midfielder Matt Murphy and sophomore forward Spencer Thompson rank third and fourth in the conference in scoring. Murphy is UC Irvine’s all-time leader in points, goals and game-winning goals.