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Men’s Soccer to Play for Championship Multiple Teams Join Football in a Season to Remember

By Dateline Staff on November 6, 2018 in University News

Our nationally ranked Aggie football team isn’t the only UC Davis squad on a roll.

• The men’s soccer team will take on UC Riverside for the Big West Conference tournament championship this weekend in a match to be played on the Highlanders home field. In the semifinal round last Saturday (Nov. 3), the fifth-seeded Aggies (3-3-1 in conference play) battled top-seeded UC Irvine (5-1-1) to a scoreless draw before taking the match on penalty kicks, 6-5, to advance to the tournament championship for the third time since 2012. Semifinal highlight: Jon Laughlin, coming off the Aggie bench to play goalkeeper with UC Davis and UC Irvine tied 5-5 on penalty kicks, denied Carlos Contreras on Irvine’s sixth attempt, just before Grant Fidler slotted home the winner for the Aggies. Championship match: 7 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 10). Watch it on BigWest.tv.

Aggie player on on knee, kicks ball.
Laura Nichol goes all-out for the ball in semifinal match against Long Beach State last Saturday. (Matt Brown)

• The women’s soccer team, unbeaten in its last five matches of the regular season, advanced to the conference tournament for the first time since 2011 (and second time ever). With a 4-2-2 conference record, the women entered the tournament as the No. 4 seed to take on regular-season champion Long Beach State (5-1-2) in a semifinal match that went to the 49ers, 1-0. Highlight: Goalkeeper Alexis Smith, who finished with five saves in her final match as an Aggie, kept her side close with a pair of stops on three attempts in a 13-second span in the 73rd minute.

• The men’s water polo team, 6-1 and tied for first place in the Western Water Polo Association, has been ranked in the national top 10 all season — as high as seventh. Last Saturday, Eric Martel and George Kuesis each scored two goals for UC Davis in a 10-8 loss to UC San Diego — the Aggies first conference defeat since 2014. The Aggies will play their regular season home finale this Sunday (Nov. 11) against Pacific.

• The women’s volleyball team won its seventh straight Big West match last weekend, improving to 8-5 in the Big West Conference and 16-9 overall. With Saturday's win at UC Riverside, coach Dan Connors matched his season record for victories — and his 2018 team still has three matches to go in the Big West, including home contests against Cal Poly this Thursday (Nov. 8) and UC Santa Barbara on Saturday (Nov. 10).

• The women’s cross country team finished third in the Big West’s 6K championship Oct. 27. Two Aggies finished in the top 10 (Eva Goodisson and Sarah Anderson) and four others in the top 25 (Mandy Wainfan, Haley Adel, Marin Chamberlin and Julia Lemak).

Aggie football players carries ball into endzone.
Tehran Thomas scores for the Aggies against Northern Arizona. (Wayne Tilcock/AggiePhoto.com)

Football showdown

The football team, meanwhile, won its sixth straight game, 42-20 over Northern Arizona at Aggie Stadium last Saturday — retaining sole possession of first place in the Big Sky Conference and jumping over conference rival Eastern Washington in the STATS FCS Poll: UC Davis moved up from sixth to fourth, while EW stayed put in fifth.

And guess who plays each other this weekend? UC Davis (8-1 in the Big Sky Conference play) and Eastern Washington (7-2), 1:05 p.m. kickoff Saturday, Nov. 17, in Cheney, Washington. You can follow the action in a number of ways:

UC Davis broke into the STATS top 25 Sept. 10, in the 23rd position — making Aggie football history with the program’s first national ranking in UC Davis’ Division I era. The Aggies have been in the top 25 every week since.

Last week the Aggies moved into the top 10 of the American Football Coaches Association FCS poll for the first time, taking the ninth spot — giving UC Davis another football first: two top-10 rankings in the national polls. This week the Aggies moved up to seventh, while Eastern Washington moved up from fourth to third in the coaches poll.

The Football Championship Subdivision Committee last week slotted the Aggies third and the Eagles ninth in the only rankings to come from the committee before its Selection Sunday (Nov. 18) announcement of the teams that will be in the national FCS playoffs. Twenty-four teams will make the cut; the top eight receive first-round byes while the other 16 will play one another for a chance to advance to the second round against the top eight teams.

All games in the single-elimination postseason tournament will take place at campus sites (not yet determined) until the final two teams meet Jan. 5 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.

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About the author(s)

Dateline Staff Dave Jones, editor, can be reached at 530-752-6556 or dljones@ucdavis.edu. Cody Kitaura, news and media relations specialist, can be reached at 530-752-1932 or kitaura@ucdavis.edu.

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