Davis High graduate Jalil Anibaba will play in the first Major League Soccer playoff game of his career on Wednesday when his Chicago Fire meet the Houston Dynamo at 6 p.m.
The Eastern Conference playoff matchup, which features the fourth-place Fire against the fifth-place Dynamo, will be televised on EPSN2.
Anibaba, a second-year defender, led Chicago in games started (32) and minutes played (2,868) this season.
Tyler Raber — a DHS graduate — shot a 4-under 68 to tie for sixth, while Jonny Baxter was 3-under to tie for ninth as the Aggies were in fifth place after the first day of action at the SCVB Pacific Invitational, hosted by Pacific at the Brookside Country Club in Stockton.
UCD was tied with Colorado State after shooting a collective 9-under 279. The 54th-ranked Aggies were within five shots of the co-leaders, Pacific and Kansas State.
Aggie Matt Seramin was tied for 19th after shooting a 2-under 70, while Matt Hansen was even to tie for 33rd. Will Scarlett, a Woodland High graduate, made his UCD debut on Monday and finished with a 76 in a first round highlighted by three birdies and 10 pars.
Raber got out to a strong start on Monday, quickly moving to 3-under by opening with three birdies in his first five holes. He closed out the front nine with four straight pars, then continued the streak into his back nine to remain at 3-under through 12 holes.
His fourth birdie of the round moved him to 4-under, but a bogey on the par-4 sixth hole briefly took him back to 3-under. He immediately regrouped with a birdie on the very next hole and closed out with two more pars for a season-low 68.
Round 2 was set to begin Tuesday morning.
Matt Sheldon scored the equalizer with just three seconds left in the first half, then put away the game-winner in the 95th minute to lead the Aggies to a 2-1 victory over UC Santa Barbara on Sunday at Harder Stadium.
With the win, UCD (8-5-4, 6-2 Big West) remains in first place in the North Division with 18 points, ahead of Sacramento State, which is in second with 16.
With the win, the Aggies got a sweep of the Gauchos for the first time in program history after also topping UCSB, which was ranked eighth at the time, in Davis on Oct. 13.
“It’s a great win for the team,” said UCD head coach Dwayne Shaffer. “They’ve worked their tails off and right now they’re playing with confidence. They’re playing good soccer, they’re creating numerous opportunities to score and we’re playing to our strengths. We’re on top of the Big West standings again just like last year so we’re doing the right things with the right kids in our program who are playing hard.”
With his team trailing 1-0 at the time, Sheldon’s first goal came just three seconds before the halftime buzzer. After a long throw-in into the box by DHS graduate Ryan Gross, Gaucho defender Peter Schmetz headed the ball away to the left sideline and back to Gross, who crossed the ball in to Ramon Martin del Campo. In the midst of a scramble in front of the box, Martin del Campo had his back to the goal with two defenders on him, but found a way to slip a pass to Sheldon, who slotted a shot into the lower left corner of the goal.
The teams stayed knotted through the rest of the second half as goalie Omar Zeenni and the UCD defense warded off 26 total shots from UCSB, 12 of which came in the second half. Zeenni finished with six saves.
Midway through the first overtime period, Sheldon sealed the win for UCD. Another long throw from Gross forced Gaucho goalkeeper Austin Mansker to come out and punch the ball away, but he was unable to get a handle on the ball. It fell to Sheldon, whose first shot was deflected away by defenders Daniel Welsh and Peter McGlynn as they guarded the goal. The rebound off of Welsh came back to Sheldon, who ran onto the ball and put it away in between the two defenders.
“Sheldon had a great day and he has really turned his game up to another level in the past couple of weeks, which has been great and has helped our team tremendously,” said Shaffer.
For his efforts, Sheldon picked up his second career Big West Conference Offensive Player of the Week honor on Monday
UCD closes out the regular season with two home games, hosting Cal Poly on Wednesday before finishing at home against Sacramento State on Saturday. Both games begin at 3 p.m. at Aggie Soccer Field.
Ashley Edwards headed in a long cross from Kirstin Holmberg for the game-winning goal in the 83rd minute on Sunday as the Aggies rallied with two second-half scores to upend UC Riverside, 2-1, at Aggie Soccer Field in the 2012 season finale.
UCD, which ended a five-match winless streak, capped its season with an 8-9-2 overall record and a 3-5-1 mark in the Big West Conference.
Taylor Duffner scored the Aggies’ equalizing goal in the 64th minute, when she took a ball on the left side from Lindsey O’Tousa and chipped it into the back of the net.
After Edwards’ goal in the 83rd minute, goalie Taylor Jern made the UCD lead stand up. Jern had come on to relieve Kathleen Brandl, one of three seniors playing their final game.
Brandl was honored in pregame ceremonies along with Allison Kelly and Katie Webb as the three seniors brought their Aggie careers to a close.
Senior Nadia Namdari had two goals and an assist and the Aggies broke an early tie with three unanswered scores to beat visiting Pacific, 4-1, on Sunday and clinch second place in the NorPac Conference West Division.
The win, which snapped UCD’s five-game losing streak, improved the Aggies to 7-11 overall and 3-3 in the NorPac. They’ll enter the NorPac Tournament at Longwood University as the No. 2 seed from the West and face Davidson, the No. 3 East seed, at 8 a.m. in Thursday’s quarterfinals.
The Aggies, who edged Pacific in overtime on Sept. 23, got the early score in Sunday’s game when Casey Wollbrinck — one of 11 seniors honored during pregame ceremonies — took a ball off of a penalty corner, dribbled in and fired a shot that found the back of the cage in the 11th minute
Then, after the Tigers tied things up, Namdari then had a hand in each of the next three goals for UCD, including two in the first half. She scored in the 19th minute off an assist from Cloey LemMon, making it 2-1, while her shot from five yards in the 32nd minute gave her team a 3-1 advantage.
Namdari completed her day with another shot from the left that was tipped in by senior Marissa Hughes in the 63rd minute. It was Hughes’ seventh goal of the year.
Goalie Conley Craven had four saves for the Aggies.