49.9 F

Davis, California

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Men’s Soccer preview

Teams: UC Davis at Cal Poly; vs. No. 19 UC Santa Barbara

Records: Aggies 3-5-2(1-1-0); Mustangs 4-3-2(1-0-0); Gauchos 6-3-1(0-2-0)

Where: Alex G. Spanos Stadium – San Luis Obispo, Calif.; Aggie Soccer Field

When: Wednesday at 7 p.m.; Saturday at 3 p.m.

Who to watch: Junior John Joslin has split his time between midfield and forward but has not yet scored a goal this season.

Joslin totaled three goals last year, all coming in an explosion against Cal Poly in the final week of the 2010 season. The Mustangs have something to fear in Joslin, who has also recorded an assist this year.

Joslin also can contribute to the fight against UC Santa Barbara, as he has had considerable playing time against the Gauchos. As the young UC Davis roster takes on one of the top-ranked teams in the nation, Joslin’s experience may help the underdog Aggies.

Did you know? The Big West Conference is up in the air right now. Upsets across the league have brought the rankings to shambles.

UCSB dropped from 10th to 19th in the rankings after losing its first two league matches to UC Riverside and UC Irvine.

UC Irvine also dropped its first Big West contest, but its win over UCSB was enough to keep the Anteaters ranked seventh.

Preview: As the season progresses, each game is more important than the last. With the game at Cal Poly the Aggies must face their first Big West matchup away from their home soil. Then they play host to the UCSB Gauchos.

Back in the win column after a victory over UC Riverside, the Aggies hope to continue the string of upsets in the Big West. First, they face a strong Cal Poly team that pulled a 1-0 upset over UC Irvine. Though it is early, as it stands, Cal Poly is only one of two teams in the Big West with an undefeated conference record, standing at 1-0. Cal State Northridge is the other, holding a 2-0 record including a victory over UC Davis.

The Gauchos hold a 0-2 league record but a 6-3-1 overall record. Interestingly, they have nine international players and another seven from out of California.

But don’t count out the Aggies just yet. The have experience this season against high-ranked opponents.

Head coach Dwayne Shaffer knows his team has the ability to compete with any team, as they displayed when they took down UCLA, who was ranked sixth at the time.

“Our goal is to be in the top four teams in the Big West,” Shaffer said. He mentioned the conditions as possibly playing a factor in his team’s performance.

“When it’s not too hot and we have a good crowd, we have good energy,” Shaffer said. “UCSB has the highest fan attendance at their soccer games in the nation. If we can bring out a good crowd, it’ll help us out a lot.”

– Matthew Yuen


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