MORAGA, Calif. -- UC Davis sophomore Ryan Gross converted a 42nd minute penalty that proved to be the difference as the Saint Mary's men's soccer team dropped a 1-0 decision to the Aggies Thursday at Saint Mary's Stadium.
Saint Mary's falls to 2-2 on the season and returns to action Saturday in a 4 p.m. kickoff against Sacramento State. UC Davis returns home for a Sunday afternoon match against the University of San Francisco.
The two teams spent most of the first half trying to find a way to break down their opponent's defense. The Aggies owned a slim 5-4 edge in shots, while Saint Mary's was whistled for 11 fouls during the first 45 minutes.
In the 42nd minute, a UCD player controlled the ball just outside the right side of the penalty area in the Gaels' end of the field. He cut back into the area and was fouled on a sliding tackle by SMC sophomore defender Austin Allison.
Gross, a Davis native, stepped to the spot and placed the ball past SMC goalkeeper Andre Rawls for the only goal of the game.
The Aggies outshot Saint Mary's by a slim 9-7 margin, despite coming into the game with a 2-1 edge over their first four opponents. Both teams attempted four corner kicks and Saint Mary's finished the game with 19 fouls, compared to 13 for UCD.
Three Gaels were issued yellow cards in the match. Will Kendall earned a caution in the 22nd minute, while Ever De La Torre was shown a card in the 43rd minute and Cory Schmidt drew a yellow in the 87th minute of the match. UCD's Ramon Martin del Campo, playing with a large cast on his arm, was shown a yellow card in the 86th minute.