Men's Soccer Falls Short of Postseason

    The UCSD men’s soccer team started the season with hopes of playing in the NCAA championship tournament, but Cal State Bakersfield dashed those dreams on Oct. 15 at Triton Soccer Stadium. In a match that featured plenty of offensive chances for both teams, the Roadrunners got the best of the Tritons, handing them a 2-1 loss in the final home match of the season.

    Erik Jepsen/Guardian
    Freshman defender Daniel Pavitt moves the ball up the flank past Cal State Bakersfield midfielder Sammy Hernandez in the Tritons’ final home game of the season on Oct. 15.

    The loss dropped the Tritons’ California Collegiate Athletic Association record to 5-7-2 and their overall record to 7-8-2. The crushing loss ended UCSD’s streak of three consecutive postseason appearances, including last year’s playoff run that was cut short by Sonoma State in the semifinals. With the win, Cal State Bakersfield stands in second place in the CCAA South Division with 23 points, only one ahead of third place Cal State Dominguez Hills.

    On a day when the fans honored the seven seniors on this year’s team, senior defenseman Dustin Tannenhaus opened the scoring only 10 minutes into the first half. Tannenhaus took a corner kick from junior midfielder Tom Winkler and blasted it into the back of the net to give UCSD the early lead.

    “It was exciting to get an early goal to fire up the crowd on senior day,” Tannenhaus said.

    However, the good vibrations would not last, as the Roadrunners struck back only three minutes later with a goal by Ryan Gay. Both teams traded shots for the rest of the match, but in the 63rd minute, Cal State Bakersfield’s Javier Barba beat freshman goalkeeper Joshua Vasquez for the game-winning score.

    UCSD mustered 12 shots on the night, but only two of those shots were on goal.

    “A lot of times we had guys take shots when they could have easily passed it off for an easy score,” sophomore goalkeeper Luis Salazar said. “We definitely were not creative enough up front.”

    Tannenhaus, a co-captain for the team, described the disappointment he felt after losing the match and watching the team’s playoff dreams go down the drain.

    “The loss stinks, I never want to stop playing and I did not want to lose on senior night,” Tannenhaus said. “We had a lot of talent on our team and we were never able to play up to our potential.”

    Salazar, who has two years of eligibility left, was frustrated after the loss, but is optimistic about the future.

    “Our goal was to make it to the NCAA playoffs this year, and it will be the same thing next year,” Salazar said. “We had a lot of young guys play well and gain a lot of experience and we will come back stronger next year.”

    Despite the bad feelings following the loss, the Tritons got some exciting news on Oct. 17. Vasquez was named the Brine/CCAA men’s soccer player of the week for the week of Oct. 9-15. The freshman recorded 19 saves in only his third and fourth collegiate starts, and recorded a shutout in the Tritons’ double overtime victory against Cal State Los Angeles on Oct. 13. Vasquez also kept UCSD in the match against Cal State Bakersfield, making eight important saves.

    The seniors honored at Triton Soccer Stadium before the match were defenseman Devon Cook, midfielder Chase Douglas, defenseman Matt Horne, midfielder Patrick Kelly, midfielder Mark Moreira, Tannenhaus and Ryan Velasquez.

    “It was cool to have a lot of fans there for senior day,” Tannenhaus said. “The seniors on this team have become some of my best friends during my years here.”

    The Tritons will look to shake off the disappointing loss with two wins as they finish their season with a weekend road trip. The team will travel north to play San Francisco State and Cal State Monterey Bay on Oct. 20 and Oct. 22, respectively.

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