The first two matchups between UC Davis and UC Irvine were close.
Wednesday’s playoff match was no different.
Unfortunately for the Aggies, they fell on the wrong side of yet another close match with the Anteaters this season, losing 1-0.
The match was scoreless until the 37th minute when junior midfielder Irving Garcia scored for the Anteaters to score the game’s lone goal.
“[He] scored a nice goal,” head coach Dwayne Shaffer said. “We had the opportunity to defend him, but I have to give him credit.”
“Whenever you are playing a good team on the road, you try to keep it as close as you can. We gave up a goal close to halftime and put ourselves in position to chase,” he said.
With the loss, UC Davis is eliminated from Big West Conference Tournament play, but their hopes of an NCAA Tournament bid are still very much alive.
“If we are selected to the NCAA Tournament, it is well deserved,” said Shaffer. “We have only lost four games on the season and have played quality opponents. I am proud of our program and team.”
If the Aggies do have the opportunity to continue on to play in the NCAA Tournament, they will need to work out some kinks, as Wednesday’s match marked the seventh straight game in which they have been scored on first.
“Obviously, you have to score to win,” said Shaffer. “Anytime you can score the first goal, it makes it easier.”
Scoring first has definitely been a key to the Aggies’ success this season.
UC Davis is 10-1-1 when netting the first goal and 2-3-3 when scored upon first.
The Aggies will learn their NCAA Tournament fate when the selection show airs at 3 p.m. on ESPNEWS on Monday.
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