Teams: UC Davis vs. UC Santa Barbara; at Cal Poly
Records: Aggies, 5-8-0 (3-2-0); Gauchos, 8-3-2 (4-1-0); Mustangs, 4-5-3 (1-2-2)
Where: Aggie Stadium; Alex G. Spanos Stadium – San Luis Obispo, Calif.
When: Wednesday at 7:15 p.m.; Sunday at 1 p.m.
Who to watch: Freshman goalkeeper Omar Zeenni has been a brick wall in the net for the Aggies ever since taking over the starting keeper position.
The Arcadia, Calif. local has posted three straight shutouts and was named the Big West Conference Defensive Player of the week on Oct. 18.
Did you know? Eleven of UC Davis’ 13 games this season have been decided by a single goal.
The Aggies are 5-6 in one goal contests and have won three straight by a single score.
Preview: UC Davis is coming off three straight victories, but they will face a difficult challenge in this week’s matches.
On Wednesday, the Aggies will be pitted against Big West Conference leader UC Santa Barbara.
In the teams’ matchup earlier this season in Santa Barbara, the Aggies took the Gauchos to double-overtime before conceding the game-winning goal.
UC Davis is looking for a better result in this game and they plan to stick with the tactics they’ve used all year.
“We know how they’re a good team,” said coach Dwayne Shaffer. “We’re just going to stay true to our principles, and hopefully we get the win.”
The Aggies feel the home field advantage could make the difference.
“Their field is bigger than ours,” Shaffer said. “Our field is smaller and it keeps the game tighter. It means a quicker game.”
From there the Aggies will move on to play on the road at Cal Poly.
The Mustangs have just one loss at home this season and have tied both No. 8 UC Irvine and No. 17 UCLA in San Luis Obispo.
UC Davis knows Cal Poly will have extra motivation for that game.
“They’re fighting for the same thing we are: a spot in the Big West Tournament,” Shaffer said. “We’re going to see a very motivated team. It’s a really tough place to play.”
– Trevor Cramer