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Davis, California

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Men’s Soccer preview

Headline: Men’s Soccer preview

Teams: UC Davis vs. Cal State Northridge; vs. UC Riverside

Records: Aggies, 2-4-2; Matadors, 3-4-1; Highlanders 5-2-1

Where: Aggie Soccer Field

When: Wednesday at 3 p.m.; Saturday at 3 p.m.

Who to watch: Though the Aggies’ defense has been lights out, their offense has struggled to find the goal. Freshman Matt Wiesenfarth may provide some answers to the predicament.

The Sacramento native has earned regular playing time and even started in the game against Sacramento State, during which he scored his first goal of the season.

Wiesenfarth has totaled six shots on goal over the past three games and is a part of a very dangerous offense that threatens to score at any moment.

Did you know? The Aggies have been playing more than their fair share of minutes. They have already gone into overtime six times this season in their first eight games, with 10 remaining.

Since 2004, only three times (’05, ’07 and ’08) has UC Davis had six games carry into overtime over the course of a full season season.

Preview: And so it begins. Despite the Aggies’ 2-4-2 record they have every reason to enter Big West Conference play with confidence. Cal State Northridge will be the first test.

It really just seems like just a matter of time before the Aggies get the ball rolling. Each of their defeats has been by the slim margin of one goal. Three out of their four losses have been by a score of 1-0, while the other was 3-2.

They have the talent and the motivation, and head coach Dwayne Shaffer refuses to get down on his team. Lauding his team with tributes to their hard work, Shaffer’s confidence in his team is not misplaced.

“They’re a young group of kids that keep getting better everyday,” Shaffer said. “We’ve been working hard and I know it’ll bounce our way soon.”

After a tough double-overtime loss to Sac State, the Aggies are not entering conference play discouraged. UC Davis is aiming to improve on last season’s fifth-place finish.

“The top four teams in the conference get to play for the Big West championships,” Shaffer said. “That’s our goal right now – hopefully we will be one of those teams.”

The games are beginning to have increasing significance, and this matchup against CSU Northridge will set a precursor for the Aggies as they enter conference play in one of the best college soccer leagues in the nation.

Matthew Yuen


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