Loss Keeps Men’s Soccer Out of CCAA Playoffs

    MEN’S SOCCER — The Tritons hit the road to take on California Collegiate Athletic Association foes Cal State San Bernardino and Cal Poly Pomona on Oct. 31 and Nov. 2, respectively, earning mixed results, losing to San Bernardino 2-1 before thrashing Pomona 4-0. The split decision means the squad will finish the year with an overall record of 10-6-2 and a CCAA record of 6-6-2. With 20 conference points, UCSD will finish in fourth place in the CCAA South Division.

    The Tritons looked to extract some revenge against a Cal State San Bernardino squad that handed them a 3-0 loss at Triton Soccer Field on Sept. 28. However, the Coyotes struck first as sophomore forward Jose Godinez was able to put home a deflected cross that landed right in front of him in the match’s 22nd minute. The Tritons regrouped after the slow start and found an equalizer early on in the second half. In the 55th minute, sophomore defender Aaron McDowell played a ball into the box that senior forward Tony Fernandez volleyed over the keeper for his sixth goal of the season. Later in the second half, Godinez sprang free for a strike after a through ball from Coyote sophomore midfielder Obi Agwu. Godinez’s second goal of the match put the victory out of reach for the Tritons.

    The conditions in San Bernardino made the game tougher on the Tritons.

    “It’s in the middle of the desert and it is always a hard place to play,” senior goalkeeper Peter Akman said. “I think we outplayed them, but sometimes the dice don’t roll our way.”

    With their postseason hopes gone with the loss, the Tritons traveled to Cal Poly Pomona to take on the Broncos at Kellog Field. UCSD netted three goals in the first half and tacked on another in the second half to rout the Broncos 4-0. Sophomore midfielder Joe Shah opened the scoring with the first goal of his career in the 11th minute, heading home a cross from sophomore defender Josh Jackson. Shah was again involved in a score in the 18th minute, assisting on a goal by sophomore defender Brandon Yee that put the Tritons up 2-0. Junior midfielder Tony Choi connected on a penalty kick in the 41st minute to increase the lead.

    In the second half, Fernandez continued his scorching play in the 84th minute as he connected on a header for his seventh goal of the season. Fernandez, who tallied five goals in the final five matches of the season, was assisted on the play by senior midfielder Ali Shams.

    While the Tritons fell short of the postseason, Pascale said his first campaign as head coach was a successful one.

    “My goal was to create a winning culture where we take each day seriously and get the most out of ourselves,” Pascale said. “They did their best all season and from that standpoint I can be happy.”

    Akman said he believes the program will be in good hands going forward under Pascale’s leadership.

    “I think [Pascale] is going to bring the best out of his players for years to come,” Akman said.

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