One and done: men’s soccer falls to UCD in first round of Big West Tournament

Courtesy of UCR Athletics
Courtesy of UCR Athletics

November 12, 2013

Aggies 3 – Highlanders 1

 After an uplifting come-from-behind win against the Cal State Fullerton Titans a week ago, the UCR men’s soccer team seemed to regain the swagger and momentum they had been searching for during their slump in conference play. It came at an opportune time, with the postseason just around the corner.

 However, the UC Davis Aggies brought that momentum to a screeching halt on Tuesday night, closing the book on the team’s 2013 season and sending the Highlanders packing from the tournament just as soon as they got there with a 3-1 victory.

 Aggie Matt Sheldon connected with Kevin Schulte for the first goal of the match, just three minutes and 30 seconds after the opening whistle. The Highlanders were able to get the score back, though, when Romario Lomeli’s cross set up a Jonathan Tovar goal in the ninth minute, tying the score at 1-1.

Just as it had all season, the UC Riverside offense struggled throughout, as UC Davis outshot them 8-3 in the first half. UCR’s defense held for much of the period, until Ian Palmer’s rebound off the left post found Dashiell MacNamara, who slid the ball into an open net to give the Aggies a 2-1 lead going into the half.

It didn’t take long for the Aggies to get on the scoreboard again. Three minutes after the break, Palmer found Nick Grigoriev to put UCR in a deja vu-situation, with a two-goal deficit in the second half.

There would be no comeback victory this time, however, as the Highlanders couldn’t get on the board in the second half, sending UC Davis to the second round in a 3-1 decision.

UCR’s men’s soccer team finishes with a winning record for the third straight year, posting a 9-8-3 record under the direction of Interim Head Coach Tim Cupello. This year’s appearance also marks the second time in three years that the team has made the Big West tournament, though they exited winless on both occasions.

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