Men's soccer struggles early in the season

    The UCSD men’s soccer team came into the year with high expectations. The athletes were coming off an impressive freshman season in Division II play in which they captured the South Division of the always-tough California Collegiate Athletic Association.

    Unfortunately, they have encountered a case of the sophomore blues and are struggling as the 2001 season opens this year.

    Picked by the coaches to repeat as the South Division champs, the Tritons opened this season by taking on Western Washington at Triton Soccer Stadium on Aug. 30.

    Despite a phenomenal effort in goal by junior Ryan Weirich, Viking sophomore Cody Hagler headed home the game winner at almost six minutes into the first sudden death period to give Western Washington the slim 1-0 victory.

    UCSD looked to rebound in its CCAA conference opener Sept. 4. on the road against California State University San Bernardino, picked to finish last in the Southern Division.

    The surprising Coyotes were riding a two-game winning streak to open the season and were very confident as they upset the Tritons 2-1.

    CSUSB senior Travis Miller delivered the game-winning goal off an assist from Jason Koza with 12:36 to go in the match. Koza also assisted on the Coyotes’ first goal, a shot from Salvador Sandoval from 30 yards out that hit the back of the net with 8:41 left in the first half.

    UCSD’s lone goal came off the foot of team captain Kris Chiles, with 27:51 left in the second period.

    The Tritons did have two chances to knot the game at two in the waning minutes, but were denied by CSUSB goalie Matt Keane, dropping UCSD to 0-2 on the year.

    The two-game skid continued with a 3-1 loss to nonconference opponent Seattle Pacific on Sept. 6 at Triton Soccer Stadium.

    After a scoreless first half, the two teams errupted in a four-minute flurry of offense early in the second half.

    Falcon sophomore Michael Schefter scored two goals in a minute’s span to give Seattle Pacific a 2-0 lead.

    UCSD got back into the game with a goal from sophomore Sean Summers off a cross from Tyler Girimonte.

    The Falcons put the game away when Bobby Schefter, the older brother of Michael Schefter, connected after a long kick from Seattle Pacific goalie James Ward.

    Seattle Pacific, ranked No. 13 in the NCAA Division II Preseason Poll, improved to 3-3 on the season while the Tritons fell to 0-3.

    UCSD was able to fight through its early-season struggles for a convincing 2-0 victory over Cal Poly Pomona, Sept. 8 at Pomona.

    The Tritons struck first with a goal from Chiles in the 23rd minute of the game. The team struck again five minutes later with a goal from Ali Managhebi off of a pass from David Ower.

    Weirich held strong in the goal for UCSD, posting the shutout.

    In the wake of Tuesday’s tragic terrorist attacks, the Tritons dropped a Wednesday match against conference-rival Grand Canyon 5-2 at Rose Mofford Sports Complex in Arizona.

    UCSD took the early lead with a goal from Managhebi, but the ‘Lopes struck back twice to give GCU a 2-1 lead heading into the half.

    The Tritons knotted the score at two with another goal from Managhebi.

    ‘Lopes freshman Luiz Araujo answered Managhebi’s goal 30 seconds later with one of his own. GCU added goals from Eric Bass and Luca Muslin to cement the victory.

    Triton players and coaches have been unavailable for comment following Tuesday’s terrorist attacks.

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