Woes Continue for Men’s Soccer as Winless Streak Reaches Six Games

    After two tough home losses, the UCSD men’s soccer team looked to right the ship on the road against No. 23 Cal State Dominguez Hills and Cal Poly Pomona. The Tritons played well, but were unable to come up with any wins, losing both matches 1-0. The two matches followed a formula that is becoming all too common for the Tritons: a strong defensive front and an inability to finish scoring chances. After the twin losses, the Tritons’ record fell to 6-6-2 overall and 4-5-2 in California Collegiate Athletic Association play. With only five CCAA matches left, UCSD will need a strong finish if it hopes to make the conference playoffs.

    The Tritons began their road trip in Carson, Calif. where they were faced with the task of beating No. 23 Cal State Dominguez Hills for the second time this season. UCSD won the previous match against the Toros in a double-overtime thriller at Triton Soccer Stadium. However, Cal State Dominguez Hills got an early goal off of Jesse Graham and were able to keep UCSD off the board for the entire match.

    “They were able to take advantage of our one big mistake of the half and we were never able to rebound from it,” sophomore goalkeeper Luis Salazar said.

    The Toros outshot the Tritons 18-9, as UCSD was only able to put two shots on goal the entire match. The loss was the third straight for the Tritons, who hoped to regain their winning ways in their next match against Cal Poly Pomona.

    The Tritons’ Oct. 6 match against Cal Poly Pomona at Kellogg Field seemed like a recurring nightmare for UCSD. The Tritons were able to hold their opponents down defensively, but again failed to put any balls in the back of the net, losing in double overtime, 1-0. It was a turnaround from their previous match when UCSD overtook the Broncos in double overtime. Cal Poly Pomona got a golden goal from Armando Galvan with only 4 minutes, 43 seconds left in the second overtime to send the Tritons to their fifth loss in six matches. Senior midfielder Chase Douglas was whistled for a controversial foul, giving the Broncos a free kick that led to Galvan’s deciding goal.

    “It is frustrating when we are playing well and losing so many close games the same way,” Salazar said.

    In an attempt to jumpstart the offense, the coaching staff played senior defenseman Matt Horne as a forward for most of the match.

    “Matt played well as a forward and was able to create a lot of chances, but we could not get him any support,” Salazar said. “We had several balls pass directly in front of the goal but there was nobody to punch it in.”

    UCSD has managed only one goal in its last six matches and must find a way to put points on the board if the team hopes to charge towards the playoffs.

    “It is just a matter of execution and getting people in the right spots at the right times,” Salazar said.

    With the recent stretch of tough losses, the Tritons’ confidence has understandably taken a significant hit.

    “Our confidence is a little shaky right now,” Salazar said. “It is always tough when you are losing such close matches.”

    The Tritons will conclude their road trip on Oct. 8 against Cal State San Bernardino and then return home for matches against Cal State Los Angeles and Cal State Bakersfield on Oct. 13 and Oct. 16, respectively.

    With the season winding down and the chances of making the playoffs fading fast, Salazar and the rest of the Tritons know that a sense of urgency will set in.

    “We have to play every match like it is our last — it is do or die time,” Salazar said.

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