Tritons’ Winless Ways Continue at Home

Senior defenseman Dustin Tannenhaus tried to downplay the added importance of the UCSD men’s soccer team’s match against Sonoma State on Sept. 29.

Arash Keshmirian/Guardian
The Tritons could not slip through the resilient Humbolt State Lumberjacks’ defense, failing to deliver any goals in the scoreless tie on Oct. 1. It was the fourth-consecutive match that ended without a win for UCSD, as the team’s record fell to 6-4-2 overall.

“We try to approach every game the same way and just execute the game plan,” team co-captain Tannenhaus said.

Despite these wise words, it’s hard to believe that the Tritons were not looking for some revenge against the team that knocked them out of the California Collegiate Athletic Association semifinals last year. To add even more fuel to the fire, the Seawolves came into the match with a perfect conference record of 7-0-0, while the Tritons were looking to get back on track after suffering two straight conference losses.

Unfortunately, the Tritons were unable to hand the Seawolves their first conference loss, falling 2-1 at Triton Soccer Stadium.

Arash Keshmirian/Guardian
Freshman midfielder Tony Choi pushed past the Humbolt State defenders but was stonewalled in the draw against the Lumberjacks. Choi registered just one shot on the game, and the Tritons could only manage five shots on goal.

After a scoreless first half, UCSD was able to take the lead when sophomore forward Tom Caplan headed a pass from sophomore midfielder Michael Grubic for his second goal of the season. After their lone goal, a series of unfortunate circumstances led to the Tritons fumbling away what would have been a huge victory. Shortly after Caplan’s goal, Tannenhaus was ejected after being hit with his second yellow card of the game, forcing the Tritons to play one man down for the remainder of the match. The Seawolves took advantage of their extra player and an untimely slip by a Triton defenseman, when Seawolf Andrew Bailey took a perfect pass from Casey Dayton and deposited it in the back of the net. Sonoma State finished the Tritons off when Mike Travis deflected a shot off of senior defenseman Devon Cook in the 86th minute.

Tannenhaus said he received his second yellow card when he had some less-than-kind words for the Sonoma State sideline.

“One of their assistant coaches was talking to me the whole game, I had just gotten fouled and I said something back to him, and the referee overheard it,” Tennenhaus said. “I know I should not have said anything, but I was in the zone and I allowed them to get to me.”

Tannenhaus plans to use the incident as future motivation. “Hopefully we will meet Sonoma State again in the playoffs,” he said.

The loss was certainly a disappointing one for the Tritons, and the job didn’t get any easier when they took on CCAA newcomer Humboldt State on Oct. 1.

Like many of their previous matches, the Tritons were able to produce plenty of scoring chances against the Lumberjacks, but failed to score any goals. Luckily, the Triton defense stayed solid and the match ended in a 0-0 tie. With Tannenhaus serving his mandatory one-game suspension for receiving a red card, other members of the defense were forced to step up.

“We had a lot of guys playing out of position, but they played hard and got the job done,” Tannenhaus said.

Although UCSD was able to salvage one point from the match, many of the players were disappointed in the draw. “We played very well, but we just couldn’t finish any chances,” freshman forward Tony Choi said. The Tritons outshot the Lumberjacks 16-7 in the match, but suffered some bad luck with three shots hitting the post.

“It is always unlucky when you hit the post three times in one match, but you have to give credit to Humboldt State, [which] came out and played extremely hard on defense,” Choi said.

With the loss to Sonoma State and the draw against Humboldt State, the Tritons’ record fell to 4-3-2 in CCAA conference play and 8-3-2 overall. The team currently stands tied for second place with Cal State Bakersfield in the CCAA South Division.

Despite their poor play of late, the Tritons are looking forward to their upcoming road trip and the rest of the season.

“We have a chance to prove ourselves and go out and win games in order to make the playoffs,” Tannenhaus said.

Choi echoed his teammate’s sentiments. “We have three big away games coming up so we can’t dwell on the past,” he said.

The Tritons’ three-game road trip began with No. 23 Cal State Dominguez Hills on Oct. 4 and includes stops at Cal Poly Pomona on Oct. 6 and Cal State San Bernardino on Oct. 8.