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Davis, California

Sunday, March 3, 2024

Aggies drop two conference games

Sometimes it’s your day, and sometimes it’s just not.

UC Davis was scheduled to take on UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday at Aggie Soccer Stadium. Mother Nature had other plans.

Rain and wind delayed Wednesday’s 3 p.m. start, pushing kickoff back to Thursday at noon.

While we’ll never know if Wednesday would have gone any differently, Thursday was not the Aggies’ day as they fell to No. 3 UC Santa Barbara 3-0.

Two days later, the Aggies traveled to Cal State Fullerton, looking for a little redemption. Just a week before, the Titans came into Davis and stole a 3-2 win in double overtime.

UC Davis was unable to get the win as the 1-0 loss capped a tough week for the Aggies. With three straight losses, two of which came to Cal State Fullerton, UC Davis is at risk of slipping out of Big West tournament contention.

Thursday – No. 3 UC Santa Barbara 3, UC Davis 0

The Aggies wrapped up their three-game home stand against rival UC Santa Barbara.

The No. 3 Gauchos got on the board early, scoring in just the 3rd minute of play.

The Aggies played well for the rest of the half, but were unable to get on the scoreboard.

“When you play teams in the Big West everybody is good,” Coach Dwayne Shaffer said. “At home you should never give up a goal in the third minute and not even make them earn it. We put ourselves in circumstances we couldn’t overcome.”

Things got more difficult for the Aggies just three minutes into the second half when junior defender Chris Beville was handed a red card by the head referee.

The last time the same referee managed a UC Davis match, he issued three red cards, including one to head coach Dwayne Shaffer.

Despite being a man down, the Aggies were able to hold off a talented Gauchos team for more than 25 minutes before UC Santa Barbara would add to its lead.

Danny Barrera capitalized on a UC Davis defensive miscue, putting the ball into the lower left corner of the net. Barrera also recorded an assist on the day.

“I wouldn’t take anything away from them,” co-captain Paul Marcoux said. “They’re a great team and we were in a tough position, having to throw guys forward early and spreading ourselves thin.”

In the 88th minute, the Gauchos added a third goal to add some insurance to their lead.

“I thought we played a little better than the 3-0 score shows,” Marcoux said.

Saturday – Cal State Fullerton 1, UC Davis 0

Cal State Fullerton was only able to get three shots on frame, but the Titans’ goal in the 15th minute would prove to be enough to beat the Aggies.

Sophomore striker Rene Cuellar led UC Davis with three shots and junior Jason Santos got off two shots of his own in the loss.

Despite being the beneficiary of an 11-on-10 advantage in the 64th minute after Titan defender Jonathan Birt was red carded, the Aggies were still unable able to put a ball in net.

The Aggies drop to 5-10 on the season with a 2-4 record in Big West Conference play.

UC Davis will next travel to take on Cal State Northridge on Wednesday at 3 p.m.

JOHN S. HELLER can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.


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