Tritons move into first

    The UCSD men’s soccer team had to face double jeopardy in its hunt for a California Collegiate Athletic Association playoff berth.

    Guardian file photo

    First, the Tritons had to beat a Cal State San Bernardino team that defeated them earlier this season. Not a problem: UCSD won the Oct. 26 match 3-2.

    Still in danger of losing a berth into the postseason, the Tritons’ next challenge was an away game against top-ranked Cal Poly Pomona three days later.

    Once again, the Tritons played an incredible game and brought themselves one step away from postseason play, defeating the Broncos 4-3 in a double-overtime thriller. To make the victory even sweeter, the Tritons beat the Broncos in their final home game of the season and stole the top spot in the division.

    Cal Poly Pomona forward Geoff Bachanas scored a goal for the Broncos in the seventh minute of the game before the Tritons exploded with three unanswered goals to take a 3-1 lead. UCSD midfielder Jon Krupansky scored the first goal (his third of the season) with an assist from Sean Summers at 19:30, and midfielder Matthew Davey, the Tritons’ free-kick specialist, scored his fifth goal of the season when UCSD was awarded a penalty kick at 44:40.

    Later on, Triton forward Tiago Venturi kicked off the second half by tallying a goal in the 65th minute with an assist from midfielder Ryan Blair. After the Tritons took a 3-1 lead, play intensified and UCSD ended up on the short end, getting only one corner kick to the Broncos’ seven during the second half.

    “”It was disgusting. The referees turned on us and were very biased,”” said Triton head coach Derek Armstrong.

    The Broncos were able to come back and tie it up 3-3 in the second half when midfielder Kory Felix started it off by scoring an unassisted goal at 79:36 to make it 3-2.

    Bachanas left his team shorthanded after receiving a red card in the 85th minute, but the Broncos were able to tie it up and force overtime when forward Peter Wallace kicked one in with less than two minutes remaining in regulation.

    Despite losing their lead and being outshot 11-3, the Tritons fought hard.

    Only two minutes into double overtime, Venturi, the Tritons’ top goal scorer, scored the game winner for his eighth goal of the season.

    The victory places UCSD at the top spot in the CCAA South Division, while Cal Poly Pomona falls to second place. The Broncos have an overall record of 8-8-1 and 7-5-1 in conference play after the loss. With the victory, the Tritons improve their record to 10-5 overall and 8-5 in the conference.

    The Tritons still must at least tie their final regular season game to secure a spot in the playoffs. Fortunately for UCSD, its final match-up is against CCAA South bottom-dweller Grand Canyon University on Nov. 2.

    “”[The Grand Canyon game] will be good because they have nothing to lose, but we have to earn it ourselves,”” Armstrong said.

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