NORTHRIDGE, Calif. —
Senior political science major Justin Wright
scored his fourth goal of the season in the 79th minute that proved to be the game-winner on Wednesday night, helping lift the fifth-seeded UC Davis men's soccer team to a, 3-2, victory over host and fourth-CSUN in a Big West Conference Tournament first-round match at Matador Soccer Field.
The victory propels the Aggies (11-4-3 overall) into Saturday's (Nov. 3) semifinals against top-seeded UC Irvine at 7 p.m. at Anteater Stadium, advancing to the semifinal round for the seventh time in the last 11 seasons and posting a 2-4 record in their previous six trips.
UC Davis and UC Irvine have met twice before in the semifinal round, with the Anteaters posting a 1-0 victory in 2008 and a 2-0 win in 2013 — both played in Irvine, Calif.
The Matadors, who held a slim 11-9 advantage in the shot column for the match, finished their regular season at 9-8-1 overall.
Michael Flores in the 16th minute for CSUN and freshman biological sciences major Kaleb Schirmacher
in the 31st minute sent the teams into the locker room deadlocked at the break, both scoring their second goals of the season. Schirmacher's tying goal came off a long throw in by sophomore managerial economics major Jacob Rudolph
, that was deflected by sophomore biological sciences major Jake Haupt
over to Schirmacher, who headed it home to level the match.
The score stayed that way until late in the second half when the Aggies went ahead for good on an own goal as an attempted clear by the Matadors' John Anderson off a cross by Adam Mickelson
flicked past goalkeeper Henrik Regitnig and into the left side of the net to make it 2-1.
Just five minutes later, Wright made it a two-goal cushion off a feed by Rudolph, who played it ahead to a streaking Wright down the right side, who took a couple touches before lacing a shot back across the box and into the left side netting for the 3-1 advantage.
CSUN would pull a goal back in the 82nd minute on Johnny Rodriguez's fifth score of the year, and the Matadors thought they had the match tied up with just over four minutes to play on a header from inside the six by Rodriguez, but the goal was called back due to offsides as the Aggies burned the clock, successfully defending one more corner by CSUN in the final minute, en route to the win.
Senior managerial economics major Matt Baringer
shared match-high honors with three shots on the night, while junior global disease biology major Wallis Lapsley
stopped three shots to set a new program single-season Division I record with 72 saves this season.
UC Davis Head Coach Dwayne Shaffer
"I thought it was an exciting game. I'm extremely excited and happy for my team and my program. I always give credit to my opponent. Terry has a great program and team. To come to Northridge and win a game is extremely difficult, but my team did it today."
On the match
"We scored three goals away. I thought we played extremely well in the first half. I thought we kept the game where we wanted. We came out in the second half with great energy and effort. We scored two goals to make it difficult on Northridge and that's exactly what happened."
"We scored a nice goal to get back into the game in the first half. In the second half, I told the guys to keep playing with greater energy and effort than them. We had one go our way in the second half. We could have had two or three more. (CSUN) had some great chances. Overall it was a great game. Terry has a great team and so do I. It was a great game between two quality teams in the Big West and it was great for our conference."
CSUN Head Coach Terry Davila
"Tonight, was a tough loss. We started our season off tough and it's been a long season. We've had to deal with a lot of things on and off the field."
On the match
"I thought we could have done a better job of transition defense off of UC Davis' set pieces. That hurt us tonight, especially on the third goal."
"I thought we responded well after going down two goals and I thought we tied it up since the ball was in the net, but it was a tight call (on the offsides) that didn't go our way."
ABOUT UC DAVIS
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, and among the top 10 public universities nationwide according to U.S. News and World Report, 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.