Tritons drop two in a row

    Just a week ago, everything was under control for the Tritons, but with a recent two-game slide, UCSD can’t afford to lose many more. Losses to Cal State Dominguez Hills on Sept. 29 and surprisingly to Chico State on Oct. 4 make the road more difficult for the men’s soccer team to make the playoffs. The good news is the Tritons, now 6-4 overall and 4-4 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association, still are on top in the South Division with plenty of games left in the season.

    The trip to Dominguez Hills has never been easy for the Tritons, especially this year, with the Toros playing undefeated. CSU Dominguez Hills played like the better team when they blanked the Tritons 4-0. It was a tough loss because it showed UCSD how it matched up with the best.

    In the game, the Toros led 3-0 at halftime. They came out and scored quickly when CSU Dominguez Hills’ Scott White and Eduardo Serrano scored in the first 15 minutes of play. Juventino Morfin and Chris Wimmer added goals later on to put the game out of reach.

    With the loss to the Toros still fresh on their minds, the Tritons traveled north to face Chico State.

    UCSD began strongly, and UCSD’s David Ower scored his first goal of the season to give the Tritons a 1-0 lead when the Wildcat goalkeeper tried to clear the ball; it went underneath a Chico State player’s foot and right to Ower. However, the Wildcats never laid down — instead, they fought back and tied the game on Rusty Phillips’s goal to start the second half.

    With the game tied at 1-1, the Tritons were called for a hand-ball penalty in the 63rd minute of play, and Wildcat player Chris Wondolowski was left with a direct kick. With a nice shot to the corner, Wondolowski was able to get it passed the Triton goalkeeper. Chico State managed to hold off the Tritons and win the game 2-1.

    It was a heartbreaking loss for the Tritons because it was the first Wildcat victory against UCSD since they joined the CCAA in 2000.

    Next up for UCSD is UC Davis, after which the Tritons come back to San Diego for four-straight home games. With UCSD’s desire to win and its strong work ethic, the playoffs are still within its grasp. It is now a crucial time in their schedule to make a push for the playoffs, or come November the Tritons will be sitting at home thinking about what could have been.

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