Men's soccer earns first tie of year

    The UCSD men’s soccer team had a chance to knock off its second top-11 opponent in one week when it faced No. 11 UC Davis at Triton Soccer Stadium on Oct. 5.

    Guardian file
    Draw: The Tritons tallied the first goal of the game against UC Davis but gave up a goal with just six minutes left in regulation, settling for a 1-1tie.

    However, that would be a tough task for the Tritons, who had on Sept. 28 beaten CSU Dominguez Hills, ranked No. 2 in the nation at the time. The Aggies came to San Diego with a school-record-setting streak of six straight shutouts; the UC Davis defense hadn’t allowed a goal in 477 consecutive minutes. The Tritons ended the Aggie scoreless streak and recorded a 1-1 tie.

    UC Davis gave up its first goal in seven games when UCSD earned a 1-0 edge on a corner kick at the 28:49 mark of the game. Sophomore defender Robert Stetina took the free kick and got the assist when sophomore midfielder Matthew Davey, who was standing near the front goal post, headed the ball back over his head and just underneath the crossbar. The score marked Davey’s fourth goal of the season.

    “”We got our goal, and we got the lead,”” UCSD head coach Derek Armstrong said. “”We basically spent the rest of the game trying to keep it.””

    UCSD tried to maintain its lead by taking care of the ball and keeping it on the Aggie side of the field. In a disappointing 3-1 loss to Chico State just two days prior to the UC Davis match, the Tritons didn’t take care of the ball and often gave it away. However, in the first half and throughout the majority of the second, UCSD managed the game well and kept pressure on the Aggie defense.

    The momentum of the game began to change, however, around the 70th minute. One time down the field, UC Davis junior forward Ryan Shaw took a pass in front of the UCSD goal. Triton goalkeeper Jeremy Cookson came out to challenge Shaw, but the Aggie tapped the ball past the sliding goalie and toward the corner. With Cookson still on the ground, Shaw centered the ball, but it was deflected out by a UCSD defender.

    Shaw finally got the equalizer at 83:26 when he took a pass from freshman defender David Keller near the left corner of the penalty box. From there, Shaw beat Cookson with a low shot in the left side of the net, and the goal would turn out to be the last one scored in the 1-1 tie.

    In the two 10-minute periods of extra play, Davey had the best opportunity to get the game-winning goal in the first overtime for the Tritons. Davey took a long pass from teammate Luke Russell, but his shot from the top of the box toward the far post was just wide to the left.

    “”We did get our confidence knocked in the previous game,”” Armstrong said. “”We started to get it back a little bit against Davis, and perhaps we need to get something good out of [the tie]. I guess we’re halfway back.””

    In the 1-1 game, UCSD took nine shots, while the Aggies had 15. Nine of UC Davis’ attempts came in the second half. Despite a fair number of shots in the game, neither Cookson nor Aggie goalkeeper Nic Platter had to make a save after the first half. Both goalies made two saves in the first.

    With the tie, the Tritons’ record moved to 5-3-1 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association and 6-3-1 overall. UCSD, which had been sitting in first place all alone for over a week, is now tied with Cal Poly Pomona for the top spot in the CCAA South at 16 points apiece. CSU San Bernardino sits three points behind in third.

    The Aggies are now 4-1-2 in the CCAA and 5-1-4 overall, and they are currently in the second position in the CCAA North behind Chico State. Davis is ineligible for the CCAA Championship because this is its final year as a member of Division II before a moving up to Division I.

    UCSD will now hit the road to take on CSU Stanislaus on Oct. 10 and CSU Bakersfield on Oct. 12, while the Tritons’ CCAA South division rivals Pomona and San Bernardino will each play a game against UC Davis and Chico State. Armstrong noted the importance of this weekend road trip.

    “”This will be a big weekend because if we don’t take care of business at Stanislaus and Bakersfield, and Pomona and San Bernardino each win their two games, we’ll be down in the gutter,”” he said.

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