Teams: UC Davis at UC Irvine
Records: Aggies 3-6 (0-0); 6-3 (0-1)
Where: Anteater Stadium – Irvine, Calif.
When: Today at 7 p.m.
Who to watch? Senior Chris Leer is the highest returning scorer from last season’s NCAA Tournament team.
Leer found the back of the net for the first time on Friday and followed up that performance on Sunday with an assist on John Joslin’s game-winning goal.
Look for the experienced Leer to stay hot and be involved in his team’s scoring tonight.
Did you know? This will be UC Davis‘ first Big West Conference game of the 2009 campaign.
Though the Aggies went 3-6 during non-conference play, they are still in control of their fate, due to the much greater importance of the Big West schedule.
“Our whole conference is good, so it’s definitely going to be a step above the teams we’ve been playing,” said co-captain Paul Marcoux. “Hopefully, we can step up our game a little bit and continue our success.“
Preview: The success that Marcoux is referring to is Sunday’s 1-0 win over non-conference rival Sacramento State.
UC Davis pulled out a physical and emotional game over their cross-causeway rival despite some interesting officiating decisions.
In the game, the Aggies received three red cards – including the first red given to coach Dwayne Shaffer in his UC Davis career.
As for tonight’s match up, the Aggies will be in Irvine to take on a solid Anteaters team that enters the game at 6-3. UC Irvine is coming off of a 1-0 loss to Big West foe UC Santa Barbara on Sunday.
UC Davis will be getting its first taste of Big West action while the ‘Eaters open up Anteater Stadium to conference competition for the first time this season.
“UC Irvine is having another good start,” Shaffer said. “They’ve got a good set up down there with all the youth teams that play locally. It’s a great setting for us, to get out of this heat and play under the lights at night.“
–John S. Heller