Tritons Extend Unbeaten Streak With Draw

Playing in front of a home crowd of close to 1,000, the Tritons did well to equalize before halftime off a goal from sophomore midfielder Kian Malek. Both sides put pressure on their opposing defenses, but neither could find a winner before the end of the second period of extra time.

The Tritons got off to a disastrous start after the Coyotes made the initial breakthrough in only the second minute of the match. Redshirt freshman keeper Jesse Brennan rushed off his line to gather a loose ball, but Coyote striker and CCAA points lead Obi Agwu beat him to it, and the striker lifted the ball over the keeper for the opening goal.

The Tritons managed to pull themselves together and prevented the Coyotes from running away with the game. Malek capitalized off a beautiful give-and-go with sophomore forward Scott MacBride, scoring in the 35th minute of play. MacBride sent a well-placed flick off his heel into the path of Malek, who coolly finished past the charging San Bernardino keeper. The teams went into the half with the score tied at 1.

Coach Jon Pascale emphasized the importance of finding the equalizer early on in the match.

“Goals help you get some energy and momentum,” Pascale said. “It’s certainly easier when you’re not chasing a goal.”

Both sides had chances in the second half, including a diving header by Coyotes striker Albert Cabrera, who hit the crossbar in the 78th minute. But neither the Tritons nor the Coyotes could pull out another goal, and the game moved on to extra time.

San Bernardino earned three corners in the first period of extra time, but the UCSD defense was able to deal with all of them without incident. UCSD’s best chance in the extra period came from senior forward Kasra Sarabakhsh, who sent a shot just wide after a through ball from freshman defender Andrew Keimach.

Even with 44 shots between the two teams, each side had to settle for just a point from the draw.

On the Triton’s side, experienced senior players led the strong defense.

“Dave Bakal and Jared Kukura put so much energy and effort into their game, Pascale said. “You’ll get so much out of them. Those two guys have really been doing great.”

Kakura — who has earned all-CCAA honors in each of the last three seasons — anchored the back line that gave up just one goal in 23 shots. The Tritons were also able to prevent the Coyotes from scoring on any of their nine corners. Brennan provided six saves for the Tritons.

The draw brings the team to 2–3–2 CCAA standings. The Tritons are now unbeaten in their last three games.

The Tritons will return to action next weekend by traveling to Cal State Dominguez Hills on Oct. 8, followed by a trip to Cal State Los Angeles two days later.