Saturday night is the biggest soccer match in recent history for the city of Davis.
In only the second season, Football Club Davis has won the Golden Gate Conference title and is seeded second in the West Region for the 2019 NPSL National Playoffs.
Their opponent, third place regular season finisher Academica SC, is a club with rich history in California. Founded in 1972, the Turlock organization has won numerous California titles and qualified for the 2019 US Open Cup.
On the pitch, Davis and Academica met only once this season, a 2-2 draw in Turlock that took place during one of the worst downpours in recent central valley memory. The weather provided for a wild, up and down game with players flying all over the pitch.
While the game was memorable due to the conditions, the final score was also memorable, as Academica was one of only three teams to take points off the Lions all year. Something only Sonoma Sol and Sacramento Gold accomplished this season.
The Turlock club play a very similar style to Davis. Both teams like to go forward with numbers and use a trio of strikers to put the ball in the back of the net.
That showed on the stats chart at seasons end. Davis led the conference with 34 goals while Academica finished second at 27.
With the firepower both teams possess, a low scoring game is highly unlikely.
On the opposite side of the ball, the clubs are nearly even. Davis has conceded 18 goals and Academica surrendered 19.
After an injury filled season, Davis will achieve full health for the first time since April. A run that saw hamstring, toe, knee, shoulder and back aliments keep players out for matches.
With a full squad available, the Lions will look to make a deep run in the NPSL National Playoffs, furthering their footprint on the national stage.
When the Lions take the field on Saturday night, it will be a historic night for the soccer community. One that every soccer player, parent, and fan can be proud of.