Men's soccer decreases postseason hopes with tie

    Heading into Saturday’s game, the UCSD men’s soccer team knew it would have to step up its level of play in the final three games of the regular season. Both the Tritons and their opponent, California State University San Bernardino, needed a win to remain in contention for the wildcard berth into the California Collegiate Atheletic Association Championship Tournament.

    Lyon Liew
    Guardian

    However, neither team managed to score in the match on Saturday at Triton Soccer Stadium, and the game ended with a 0-0 tie.

    The Coyotes and the Tritons had their fair share of scoring opportunities during the two 45-minute halves of regulation and 30 minutes of sudden-death overtime.

    The Tritons had several quality opportunities to break the tie. With 10 minutes remaining in the first half, Triton midfielder Sean Summers put the ball in front of the goal from the corner of the field to set up a header, but Coyote goalkeeper Joseph Kulm came up with a diving save.

    The second overtime period provided UCSD with its best opportunity. With eight minutes left, freshman midfielder David Ower cracked a quick shot 20 yards away from the Coyote goal, but it hit the left goalpost and went out of bounds. Ower, who led the Tritons in shots on goal, had three other attempts during the game.

    Throughout the match, the Tritons took good care of the ball, maintaining possession most of the time. The UCSD midfielders moved the ball well, getting by the defense with crisp passing and earning excellent scoring opportunities. In addition, players such as Ower and Summers controlled the midfield and were able to keep the pressure on San Bernardino.

    On the opposite side of the ball, the Triton defense looked strong and prevented the Coyotes from setting an offensive rhythm. San Bernardino’s forwards had a difficult time penetrating the UCSD defenders to get a good shot. Although sophomore Triton goalkeeper Jeremy Cookson was forced to make eight saves during the 120 minutes, he was never challenged with a threatening Coyote shot.

    Despite playing a solid all-around game, the Tritons lacked the one strong attack that would have given them the lead against the Coyotes. This game marks the fifth game of the season in which UCSD has been shut out offensively. However, its front line has been hindered by the absence of senior All-American forward Bobby Saadati, who has been sidelined the entire season with an injury.

    “”This is a real blow for us,”” Armstrong said. “”A win would have given us a chance and put us in a much better position.””

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