With a rough start to the 2009 campaign, the Aggies dug themselves into a hole. After tying at Cal State Northridge and losing to UC Irvine at home, that hole is deeper.
With the tie and the loss, UC Davis slips further out of the Big West Conference Tournament picture. With a record of 5-11-1 (2-5-1) the Aggies are going to need some help from some other teams in the conference.
Before that, the Aggies need to help themselves by beating Cal Poly at Aggie Soccer Stadium on Halloween, and then claiming a victory at No. 6 UC Santa Barbara.
Wednesday – UC Davis 0, Cal State Northridge 0 (2OT)
The Aggies traveled to Northridge for their only match up of the season with Cal State Northridge.
In a closely contested game, neither team was able to score through nearly two hours of play.
UC Davis tested the Cal State Northridge keeper early, with shots from junior Julian Godinez and senior captain Paul Marcoux.
Though the Aggies would continue to put shots on frame all afternoon, they were unable to score on Matador keeper Michael Abalos.
“Their keeper probably had the game of his life,” Marcoux said. “He stone cold stopped six of our shots.”
Godinez led UC Davis with four shots. Aggie keeper Ryan McCown made five saves of his own in the scoreless tie.
Saturday – No. 22 UC Irvine 2, UC Davis 1
It was a beautiful day for soccer in Davis on Saturday. The Aggies matched the weather with good play for the game’s first 30 minutes.
“We exposed them early,” senior Chris Leer said. “We could see that Paul [Marcoux] and I could get in behind their defense really easily. Unfortunately, we couldn’t finish all of our chances.”
Leer did finish a chance in the 25th minute to give UC Davis the early 1-0.
“In the first 30 minutes there was no way their defenders could handle what we were throwing at them,” said Marcoux. “I think we were just happy with that one goal instead of pushing for another one.”
UC Irvine would respond with a goal in the 33rd minute to bring the game all square at 1-1.
For the next 45 minutes the two teams battled up and down the pitch, with both squads having chances but neither being able to capitalize.
The Aggies weren’t helped when McCowan had to leave the game at half time due to an injury. Redshirt freshman Matt Provencher replaced him between the posts for the remainder of the match.
“Matt came in and I thought he played really well,” coach Dwayne Shaffer said. “Matt’s only a freshman and he’s a good goal keeper.”
Provencher and the Aggie defense would keep the net empty until the 80th minute, when the Anteaters scored what would the game-winning goal.
UC Irvine held off UC Davis for the game final 10 minutes, handing the Aggies a 2-1 home loss.
The Aggies have a week until their next match, a road date with Cal Poly. The 1 p.m. start on Halloween will be a frightful one as it is a must-win game if UC Davis wants to see the Big West tournament. The game will be on GameTracker at ucdavisaggies.com.
JOHN S. HELLER can be reached at email@example.com.