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Soccer

UCSB Edged by UC Davis in Regular-Season Finale

A late offensive flurry by UC Santa Barbara came up empty as UC Davis claimed the final spot in the Big West Conference Tournament with a 1-0 win at Harder Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The win by the Aggies (8-9-2 overall, 4-6-0 in Big West) allowed them to pass Cal Poly and qualify for the league tournament. The loss had no bearing on the Gauchos' position as the No. 1 seed in the tournament.

Trailing 1-0, UCSB (10-6-3 overall, 6-1-3 in Big West) had several good scoring chances as the game came to an end, including a dangerous shot by Ahinga Selemani that was blocked by a scrambling Dashiell MacNamara. There was also a centering pass that Nick DePuy tried to head home, but the ball narrowly eluded the Gaucho forward.

The Aggies claimed a 1-0 lead in the 9th minute when Onah Power dribbled down the far right side of the box and cracked a cross to the front of the goal where Noah Wilson headed it to the left of UCSB goalkeeper Brandon Berke.

Selemani had a pair of golden opportunities to tie the score. In the 13th minute, he slipped past the Davis defense, but his shot was collected by Armando Quezada. The second, in the 23rd minute, Selemani broke free and had an open opportunity from just inside the top of the box, but once again his blast was stopped by Quezada.

The Aggies had a handful of dangerous challenges in the first half. In the 26th minute Kristian Heptner got his head on a cross from Power, but his attempt went right into Berke's chest. Another scare came in the final seconds when Greg Salazar powered a long pass from 30 yards out on the left side to the right corner right post. The ball got behind Berke but the Davis attackers couldn't get a solid shot off and the Gaucho defenders finally cleared it as the first half clock ticked down to zero.

Berke made some huge saves in the second half. In the 59th minute, Steven Guzman got an open look just inside the right side of the box but the Gaucho goalkeeper dove to his right to keep the score at 1-0. Two minutes later, Berke came up with an even bigger save when he dove to his right to block a Wilson penalty kick.

Making his first start of the season, Berke was outstanding with seven saves. Quezada stopped all four of UCSB's shots on goal.

UCSB will have a bye in the first round of the Big West Tournament and will play a semifinal match on at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 9 at Harder Stadium. The opponent will be determined in the quarterfinal matches to be played this week

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