Teams: UC Davis at Cal Poly
Records: Aggies 3-6 (0-0); Cal Poly 2-6 (0-0)
Where: Alex G. Spanos Stadium – San Luis Obispo, Calif.
When: Sunday at 1 p.m.
Who to watch? Junior Chris Beville was named the Big West Player of the Week.
The Aggie defender earned the honor for his work on the UC Davis backline against St. Mary’s and Cal State Sacramento.
Though UC Davis lost 2-1 at St. Mary’s on Friday, Beville and the Aggie defense held the Gaels to a mere seven shots on the day.
In a 1-0 win over Sacramento State on Sunday, Beville and the Aggies had to pack it in on their own end, playing down two players for the final ten minutes.
Did you know? UC Davis scoring has been well dispersed so far this season.
In the Aggies first nine matches, seven different players have found the back of the opponent’s net.
The leading scorer so far has been captain Paul Marcoux, who has beaten opposing keepers three times.
Julian Godinez and John Joslin have each scored twice. Four Aggies have one goal on the season.
Preview: The importance of this game hinges on the fact that both teams will be competing for a Big West Conference title this year and that both teams have been conference foes for the entirety of the Aggies stay in the league.
Last season the two teams split the season series, each defending their home field.
“Cal Poly is a difficult place to play because they play inside of their football stadium,” said coach Dwayne Shaffer. “It’s a narrow field, but it’s always a good atmosphere because they get great crowds.“
This year, as conference play begins, the Aggies look to rebound from a less than successful non-conference schedule.
At this time last year the Aggies were 8-1, so they will have some work to do if they hope to return to the NCAA Tournament.
“Our whole conference is good, so it’s definitely going to be a step above the teams we’ve been playing,” Marcoux said. “Hopefully, we can step up our game a little bit and continue our success.“
Fortunately for UC Davis, Cal Poly has also gotten off to a bit of a rough start. The Mustangs are 2-6 so far this season.
Sunday’s match-up should be an exciting one between two teams with something to prove.
– John S. Heller