2018 Andy Velasquez vs. Pacific
Wayne Tilcock/AggiePhoto.com

Men's Soccer Jason Spencer, Assistant Director

Causeway rivals meet in regular season finale

Aggies and Hornets meet in Sacramento as battle for Big West berths enter final weekend

UC Davis (9-4-3, 2-3-1) at Sacramento State (4-10-2, 2-4)
Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018 | 2:00 p.m. | Hornet Field | Sacramento, Calif.

OPENING WHISTLE: This time, it counts. Causeway rivals UC Davis and Sacramento State clash for the second time this season but, now, a berth to the Big West Conference Tournament is on the line when the two meet at Hornet Field on the Sacramento State campus this Saturday (Oct. 27) at 2 p.m.

BE A FOLLOWER: Fans can keep up with the latest in UC Davis men's soccer by "liking" them on Facebook (/UCDavisMensSoccer) and following the Aggies on Twitter (@UCDavisMSOC).

IN THE POLLS: UC Davis is ranked No. 7 in the far west region according to the latest United Soccer Coaches poll released on Tuesday (Oct. 23)… Sacramento State is unranked.

AGGIES IN THE RPI: UC Davis is ranked No. 45 in the latest NCAA RPI rankings released on Oct. 22, standing third among Big West Conference schools standing behind only UC Irvine (No. 14)… The Anteaters are one of five Aggie opponents ranked among the top 50 in the RPI along with Saint Mary's (No. 7), Oregon State (No. 30), Creighton (No. 37), and UC Santa Barbara (No. 46).

Sept. 24: No. 31
Oct. 1: No. 14
Oct. 8: No. 30
Oct. 15: No. 37
Oct. 22: No. 45

ABOUT THE HORNETS: Sacramento State enters the week with a 4-10-2 overall record and a 2-4 mark in Big West play for seventh place in the league standings — just one point back of UC Davis, CSUN, and Cal State Fullerton, for a spot in the conference tournament… The Hornets enter the regular season finale losers of their last three straight, all via shutout, against Cal State Fullerton (1-0), Cal Poly (3-0), and UC Riverside (2-0), having not scored since the 67th minute of a 2-1 win over CSUN on Oct. 10… Sacramento State is 2-4 at home this season — both wins coming since the start of Big West play… Freshman Benji Kikanovic leads the team offensively with five goals and four assists for 14 points, while senior Dominic Scotti has also found the back of the net five times, combining to account for 10 of the team's 18 goals this year… Freshman goalkeeper Ryan Curtis and junior goalkeeper Nick Kubler have split time in net, with Curtis playing the majority of minutes and posting a 1.79 goals against average and 43 saves.

SERIES NOTES: UC Davis leads the all-time series with Sacramento State, 16-9-2, according to records that date back to 1990… The Aggies have won the last three consecutive meetings with the Hornets following a 2-1 non-conference overtime victory at Aggie Soccer Field earlier this year… That win gave UC Davis victories in four of the last five meetings, with the Aggies outscoring their rivals by an 11-4 count in that stretch… The Aggies are 9-4-1 in matches played in Sacramento — including a scoreless draw at the home of Sacramento Republic FC, Papa Murphy's Park (nee Bonney Field), in 2014… UC Davis has outscored its rival, 7-1, in the last three meetings dating back to a, 2-1, Hornet victory in Davis in 2016… The two teams have played to overtime four times, with the record favoring Sacramento State in those contests (2-0-2).

• A win on Saturday at Sacramento State and UC Davis will clinch a berth in the Big West Tournament for the eighth consecutive season — the only school to make the tournament every year in that span — last missing out on the field in 2010
• A draw could also advance the Aggies, but a loss coupled with wins or ties by CSUN and Cal State Fullerton will leave UC Davis on the outside looking in
• A win Saturday would also give UC Davis its 10th victory of the year, one shy of last season's total and hand the Aggies back-to-back 10-win seasons for the first time since 2007 (12) and 2008 (13)
• As it stands, the four defeats would also be tied for the fewest in the Division I history of the program, matching the 2014 squad that finished 7-4-9 overall, and tied for the third-fewest in the last three decades, standing just one shy of 1991 and 1999 squads which dropped only three matches
• With 11 saves last week against UC Santa Barbara and Cal State Fullerton, junior global disease biology major Wallis Lapsley increased his season total to 65, moving him to within four of Omar Zeenni's single-season Division I record set in 2012
• Lapsley, who is one of four goalkeepers with more than 100 saves in the program's Division I history, moved into seventh place on the all-time saves list with 131, passing Armando Quezada (2012-16) and standing just 27 back of Jason Pitts (1994-97) for sixth
• The 131 saves also places Lapsley third on the career Division I list, passing Quezada and moving him 35 back of Ryan McCowan (2007-10) for second
• Freshman managerial economics major Andy Velasquez needed just 54 seconds to score the first goal of the match against Cal State Fullerton last week — the fourth-fastest goal to start a contest in the program's Division I history
• It was also the fourth scored in under a minute and the quickest since Matt Wiesenfarth scored 52 seconds into a match against UC Riverside on Oct. 1, 2011
• Velasquez's strike is also the third-fastest in the Big West this season, trailing only Sacramento State's Benji Kikanovic (:25 vs. CSU Bakersfield) and UC Irvine's Ivan Canales (:52 vs. Cal State Fullerton)
• With an assist on Velasquez's goal, senior political science major Justin Wright tallied his third assist of the season — giving him a point in four of the team's last seven matches
• With his game-winner against Fullerton, freshman neurobiology, physiology, and behavior major Robert Mejia tallied his 10th point of the season, moving him into second place on the freshman single-season scoring list in the program's Division I history, trailing only Matt Wiesenfarth and his 13 points (5 goals, 3 assists) in 2011
• The two first-half goals against the Titans marked only the fifth and sixth scored by the Aggies before the break this season, scoring 18 of their 24 goals in the second half or later
• Seven different players have accounted for game-winning goals this season as only Justin Wright and Robert Mejia have multiple winners (two apiece)

WHERE THEY RANK… NCAA (Top 100 as of Oct. 22)
• LAPSLEY: shutouts (No. 34); goals against average (No. 34); save percentage (No. 8); saves per game (No. 55); saves (No. 13); minutes played (No. 6)
• MICKELSON: assists per game (No. 76); assists (No. 30)
• TEAM: scoring offense (No. 74); goals (No. 43); goals against average (No. 36); shutout percentage (No. 80); winning percentage (No. 47); shot accuracy (No. 59); assists per game (No. 61); saves per game (No. 49); points per game (No. 71); save percentage (No. 10); assists (No. 37); points (No. 44); shots per game (No. 70); shots on goal per game (No. 60)

• MICKELSON: shots (10th); points (t7th); points per game (t10th); assists (t1st); assists per game (1st)
• MEJIA: points per game (9th); assists (t4th); assists per game (2nd); game-winning goals (t3rd)
• WRIGHT: game-winning goals (t3rd)
• LAPSLEY: goals against average (2nd); save percentage (1st); saves (2nd); saves per game (4th); shutouts (t2nd); shutouts per game (3rd)
• TEAM: shots (3rd); points (3rd); goals (3rd); goals per game (3rd); assists (3rd); assists per game (3rd); goals allowed (2nd); goals against average (2nd); saves (t2nd); shutouts (t4th); fouls (4th); corners (5th); offsides (7th).

UC Davis senior managerial economics major Roy Boateng and freshman managerial economics major Connor Tipton are both ranked among the nation's top players according to Top Drawer Soccer's midseason top 100 lists. Boateng, who began the year ranked No. 42 on the website's preseason rankings, moved up three spots to No. 39 — the highest-ranked Big West Conference player on the list and one of only four from the league among the top 100. Meanwhile, Tipton, a midfielder from Sonora, Calif., is ranked No. 75 in the organization's midseason freshman rankings, one of 10 newcomers to the Big West among the top 100. Read the complete release here: https://ucdavisaggies.com/news/2018/10/15/mens-soccer-boateng-tipton-among-top-drawer-soccers-best.aspx?prl=636752254705599756

MEN'S SOCCER RECOGNIZED FOR ACADEMIC SUCCESS: Enjoying one of its finest seasons on the field, UC Davis was honored for one of its finest seasons off of it, recognized by for its work in the classroom by earning the United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award for the 2017-18 school year. The Aggies were one of 289 men's programs across all divisions — and the only Big West program on the men's side — to be honored, part of a larger group that saw a total of 773 men's and women's teams lauded for their academic success.

ABOUT THE AGGIES: UC Davis clinched the Big West North Division title and advanced to the league tournament championship match for the second time in the program's history, capping off a year that saw the Aggies finish 11-7-3 overall and 7-2-1 in Big West play… The 11 victories overall were the most wins since 2008 (13-5-4) and were the third-most in the program's history… Junior Adam Mickelson leads the returning group on offense after scoring four goals and assisting on seven others a season ago, pacing the squad with 15 points… Senior Matt Baringer also returns after scoring five times and finishing with 12 points on the year… Junior Wallis Lapsley is the incumbent in net, starting all 21 matches while posting a 1.32 goals against average and 58 saves to go with four shutouts.

AGGIES PICKED FOURTH IN BIG WEST PRESEASON POLL: The reigning Big West North Division champions received 40 points overall and a first-place vote to boot as the Aggies were picked to finish fourth in a revamped single eight-team league table according to a vote of the conference's head coaches. UC Davis was picked to finish behind reigning tournament champion Cal State Fullerton (57 points, four first-place votes), UC Santa Barbara (55 points, three first-place votes), and CSUN (47 points).

TRIO NAMED PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE: For the second straight season, the Aggies dominated the preseason all-conference team, placing a league-best three players on the 11-member squad in senior Roy Boateng, junior Adam Mickelson, and sophomore Nabi Kibunguchy. The trio becomes the sixth, seventh, and eighth, UC Davis student-athletes named to the preseason all-conference team since the league began the practice prior to the 2012 season. Read the complete release: http://www.ucdavisaggies.com/news/2018/8/16/mens-soccer-aggies-place-three-on-preseason-all-league-team.aspx.

2018: Roy Boateng, Adam Mickelson, Nabi Kibunguchy
2017: Noah Wilson, Kyle Higgins, Evan Barrett
2014: Ramon Martin Del Campo, Matt Wiesenfearth
2012: Matt Wiesenfarth

Providing a small-town community feel while providing a world-class academic experience, UC Davis is home to more than 37,000 students and centrally located between San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and the Napa Valley. The No. 5-ranked public university in the nation according to the Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education, UC Davis offers nearly 100 graduate programs and more than 100 academic majors across four colleges and six professional schools, ranking among the world and nation's best in numerous disciplines, including veterinary science, agriculture, and plant and animal programs.

Launched in 2017-18, the Aggie EVO System is UC Davis Athletics' investment in the primary mission of preparing student-athletes for a successful "launch" after graduation. Thanks to a collaboration of alumni, university resources, corporate partners, coaches and Student-Athlete Outcomes staff, all Aggies are guided over four years to acquire the skills, knowledge, opportunities and tools to better know and navigate the "World of Work" after graduating from UC Davis. Follow the Aggie EVO system on Twitter and Instagram at @AggieEVO.
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