Four Wins Close Out Men’s Season

Senior defender Josh Levy scored UCSD’s first goal in only the 10th minute against the Coyotes on Oct. 30. (Sanh Luong/Guardian)

After a horrible start to the season, the UCSD men’s soccer
team has made a remarkable turnaround in its second half, which was capped off
by a 2-1 win against California Collegiate Athletic Association opponent Cal
State San Bernardino on Oct. 29.

The win improved the team’s overall record to 5-9-3, 4-6-3
in CCAA play and extended its undefeated streak to four games.

In their first game back after the wildfires, the Tritons
took an early lead, as senior captain Josh Levy scored his first career
collegiate goal on Senior Day.

Levy had little to say about scoring his only goal on the
last game of his collegiate career, but it was clear that he had been hoping to
for a while.

“It’s about time,” he said.

The game was tied 1-1 late into the second half and seemed
destined for overtime until junior forward Tom Caplan scored after his shot
deflected off a Cal State San Bernardino player and into the goal with just
under four minutes left in the game.

Interim head coach Paul Holohan praised the team’s effort
during the game and throughout the second half of the season.

“I thought the team did very well,” Holohan said. “Their
commitment has been excellent and I couldn’t ask for any more. The young ones
that we got playing are all doing really well and I just think that there is a
bright future ahead.”

With the squad eliminated from the playoffs last weekend,
the team tried to make the most of its last match by finishing the season
strong.

“Obviously we were pretty bummed,” Levy said. “We all knew
that we should have had the playoffs in our hands and not rely on other teams.”

Holohan echoed his veteran defender’s sentiment.

“We knew that we had to win all our games,” he said. “It was
disappointing at the time but we were relying on other people as well.”

Despite posting a sub .500 record for the second consecutive
season, the team still has a positive outlook toward next season.

“We were definitely a lot better,” Levy said. “We were a lot
more focused and had a goal to win as many games as we could. It was definitely
a great end of the year and — especially for the young guys — they should
be solid next year.”

With the end of a very tumultuous season that included
former head coach Derek Armstrong’s sudden retirement midway through the year,
the biggest question going into the offseason will be the head coaching
vacancy.

Athletic Director Earl Edwards said that while Holohan has
done a good job with the team, the athletic department will still conduct an
extensive search.

“Paul did a good job as the interim head coach and we’re
really pleased with the way we finished at the end of the season, particularly
for the seniors,” Edwards said. “I’m actually really pleased looking at the
future of our program because it’s obvious we have some good athletes, but as
far as the head coaching position is concerned we will do a national search and
see how that plays out for us. But I’m really happy with the way we ended and
the fact that we are going to have a number of good players coming back to the
program next year.”

Edwards did, however, give Holohan a vote of confidence
based on the Tritons’ outstanding finale.

“Paul probably will be one of the candidates,” Edwards said.
“He did a good job at the end of the season. As far as being part of the
process, I’m sure he’ll be one of the top candidates and we’ll see how he
compares with the rest.”

Holohan said he understood the school’s position but added
that he wants the job.

“I understand that they have to do a national search,”
Holohan said. “I would really love the opportunity. On the soccer field, I think
it’s shown that we did really well on the soccer team.”

Holohan certainly has support from his former players to
continue into next season as head coach.

“He did really exceptional,” Levy said. “He took a team that
was shocked after [Armstrong] retired and lost a lot of games. We were kind of
getting down and he brought us up and we won our first game with him. He gave
us great pre-game speeches. It’s great to have a young coach who we can relate
to. It could be a good thing for the program to get fresh faces but Paul did a
great job. The team is a close-knit team, so whoever it is it’ll be a strong
team.”

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