UC Davis men’s soccer team starts four-game homestand with tie.
After a slow start in the first half, the UC Davis men’s soccer team propelled their game into a high speed, back-and-forth competition against California State University, Northridge, in a Big West Conference game. Although the match ended in a 1-1 draw, the Aggies outshot their opponents 22 to 11.
A humid and overcast day greeted the two teams as they met on the field for the first time this season. The Aggies started with a 4-4-2 formation that displayed their offensive strategy right off the bat. Cal State Northridge took possession of the ball for most of the quarter, but great saves by senior goalkeeper Kris Schultz gave the Aggies many chances to make counter-attacks. The defense kept the Aggies in the game, with redshirt freshman defender Roy Boateng and redshirt junior forward Dashiell MacNamara eating up and deflecting any shots that came their way.
At the 36th minute, one of the Cal State Northridge players made a breakaway, scoring off a shot to the left post that was unguarded by the goalkeeper. The Aggies turned this setback into motivation and came back with more momentum, though they were unable to turn it into a goal. With a minute left in the game, sophomore midfielder Noah Wilson made a corner kick that was caught by the keeper, ending the first half.
The second half was characterized by strong offensive play from the Aggies, which resulted in a fivefold increase in shots to the goal.
“We’re a fast team, and we definitely use that to our advantage,” sophomore forward Evan Barrett said.
The equalizer came eight minutes into the second half when freshman forward Kristian Heptner, finding himself free, passed the ball to Barrett who quickly made a shot to the opposite post that found the net in front of a cheering home crowd.
Possession increased for the Aggies as a wide range of players including senior forward Matt Wiesenfarth and senior midfielder Lucas Mohageg, Heptner and freshman midfielder Justin Wright contributed offensive shots that resulted in near goals. However, it was still not enough to get past the Cal State Northridge defense and the clock sounded as a resounding end to second half.
Thus the game went into overtime under a cloudy sky. The first ten minutes were action-packed with aggressive plays from both teams and resulted in a large amount of near misses. With many heart-stopping moments and the audience cheering loudly on the bleachers, the score still remained 1-1 at the end of overtime.
Second overtime was equally eventful, with a great shot attempted at the goal by Wiesenfarth to cap it off. By the time the clock ran out, though, both teams were goalless and the game ended in a draw.
“I thought that by the end of the game we were doing everything necessary to win,” said Head Coach Dwayne Shaffer. “Evan [Barrett] scored a great goal and I thought he was a dominant player on the field.”
The Aggies will be playing against UC Irvine to close out the Big West Conference on Saturday, at the Aggie Soccer Field.