UC Davis, UC Riverside Advance to Tourney Finals
Photo by John Fajardo
No. 5 seed UC Davis defeated top seeded UC Irvine in a penalty kick shootout, while No. 2 seed UC Riverside dethroned reigning tournament champion Cal State Fullerton in Saturday's semifinals of the Big West Men's Soccer Tournament.
Aggies Upset UC Irvine to Advance to Big West Championship
For the third consecutive year, UC Davis' season hung in the balance, coming down to penalty kicks after playing to a draw following 110 minutes. However, after coming away empty handed in each of the last two seasons, the story would be different in 2018.
Senior managerial economics major Jon Laughlin came off the bench and denied Carlos Contreras on UC Irvine's sixth attempt of the night, just before freshman chemical engineering major Grant Fidler slotted home the winner to the lower left side, advancing the Aggies, 6-5, on penalty kicks following a scoreless draw with the top-seeded Anteaters on Saturday night in a Big West Conference Tournament semifinal at Anteater Stadium.
Fifth-seeded UC Davis improves to 11-4-4 overall and moves on to face second-seeded UC Riverside in the championship match on Saturday (Nov. 10) at a time to be announced in Riverside, Calif. The Aggies are into the championship match for the third time in the program's history, but are still looking for their first win after falling to CSUN (1-0) in 2012 and Cal State Fullerton on penalties, 4-3, in 2017 following a scoreless draw.
No. 19 UC Irvine, the league's regular season champion which defeated UC Davis, 2-1, earlier in the season at Aggie Soccer Field, moved to 11-5-3 overall with the draw.
Photo by Matt Brown
UC Riverside Reaches First Big West Tourney Final
Daniel Castaneda emerged from a scrum in the box to poke a shot past the Cal State Fullerton 'keeper and give No. 2 seed UC Riverside a 3-2 win in the semifinals of the Big West Men's Soccer Tournament Saturday at UCR Soccer Stadium.
The goal, coming at the 98:35 mark of overtime, assured the Highlanders a spot in the tournament championship game. UCR will host No. 5 seed UC Davis on Saturday, November 10 at 7:00 p.m.
UCR trailed 2-1 going into the final 10 minutes of regulation, but a Titan foul in the Highlander 18-yard box created a penalty kick situation. Dusan Keca stepped to the spot for UCR and calmly tied the score at 2-2. The match stayed even until Antonio Lokossou chased his own header, and with multiple Titan defenders and the 'keeper seeking to clear the ball out of harm's way, were unable to as Castaneda got possession and slotted one home.