Tritons Continue Unbeaten Run with 2-0 Win Over Stanislaus

    The Tritons got off to a strong start, opening the scoring in the first 15 minutes. In the 11th minute, senior David Bakal worked the ball through midfield to find fellow senior Shane Micheil at the edge of the goal box. The midfielder struck a well-hit left-footed shot toward the far post for a goal.

    The Tritons increased their lead in the 33rd minute, when 6’5” freshman forward Tsuk Haroush won a header between two defenders. Haroush flicked the ball on to freshman midfielder Adam Zernik, who collected the ball and put a hard strike into the net from 25 yards out.

    “[Haroush] headed a great pass to me and when I took my first touch, I expected a defender to step to me,” Zernik said, regarding his second goal of the season. “Then I realized the ball was sitting perfectly for me to volley it, especially given the slick wet field, and fortunately I struck with enough pace to beat the keeper to the far post.”

    The Tritons were able to protect their early 2-0 lead, but were under constant pressure from an aggressive Warrior attack that outshot the Tritons 8-3 in the second period. The most dangerous attempt from the Warriors came off a free kick awarded early in the second half, when a hard shot beat freshman goalkeeper Josh Cohen but careened off the crossbar. Cohen, who was called up to replace injured starter and fellow freshman Jesse Brennan, recorded five saves on the game and recorded his first career shutout.

    “Sunday’s game against Stanislaus started off really well for us,” captain and senior defender Jared Kukura said. “We played a good first half and were able to end the half 2-0. The second half definitely wasn’t our best soccer, but we were still able to preserve the shutout and close out another win.”

    With the pair of home victories, the Tritons move up in conference rankings to the third spot in the CCAA South Division. They have now notched three consecutive wins, and are undefeated in the past eight matches.

    “We moved ahead of three teams this past weekend to get into playoff position, which is great just to see in terms of results from our play over the last month,” Kukura said. “But we know that doesn’t mean anything unless we finish out this weekend the same as we did the last. That starts with our game against Pomona on Friday, which will be a huge step towards cementing our playoff position.”

    Zernik said the team will need to better its play despite Sunday’s win.

    “Throughout the game, there were moments when we got slightly lackadaisical in our defending, but on the ball we were smart and always dangerous,” Zernik said. “In the second half, I think we started playing a little too defensively and tried to sit on our lead rather than keeping them under pressure, something we can’t afford to against better attacking teams like Pomona and San Bernadino.”

    UCSD will look to continue its unbeaten record when the squad heads out this weekend to play Cal Poly Pomona on Friday, Oct. 22, and No. 6 Cal State University San Bernardino on Sunday, Oct. 24. The Tritons earned a 2-0 victory over Pomona in their first meeting of the season on Oct. 3, while San Bernardino was able to battle the Tritons to a goalless draw on Oct. 1.

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