Men’s Team Unable to Catch a Break This Weekend

Men’s Soccer Suffers Tough Road Losses

It may be cliché to say, but the men’s soccer team has certainly had a roller coaster season. The squad didn’t get its first win until the seventh match in the season, by which time they had sunk so far in the standings that a playoff bid seemed impossible.

But the Tritons rallied, rattling off an eight-match unbeaten run that included six victories. Going into the penultimate weekend of the season, the Tritons sat in fourth place with a legitimate chance of stealing a playoff spot. Fate, however, was not on their side, and the Tritons suffered two  close losses to Cal Poly Pomona and No. 6 Cal State San Bernardino.

While the Tritons are not mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, they need to win both matches against East Bay this weekend and get a lot of help to sneak into the postseason. Nevertheless, the Tritons should be proud of their play this season. They never backed down from anyone, and earned a win or draw over every ranked team in the conference. The CCAA has always been one of the top conferences in Division II, with teams such as San Bernardino routinely ranked in the top 25. Most years, UCSD had difficulty with these squads.

“With this team, this is the first year since I’ve been here that we’ve been able to go on the road — to San Bern, to L.A., to Dominguez Hills — and play them straight up and go for the win,” head coach Jon Pascale said. “And we left feeling like we were just as good as them.”

The Tritons are not as talent-laden as these other teams, and have sometimes struggled in the final third of the pitch after good build-up play. But they have been difficult to break down even for the league’s best attackers, and their ability to give every team a tough game kept their season alive.

Chance for Top Spot for Women’s Soccer

The women’s soccer team caught fire around the same time as the men’s squad, but kept up their excellent form for 11 unbeaten matches. The Tritons have now won eight straight, and have put themselves in position to battle for the top seed — and home field advantage — in the CCAA tournament.

The Tritons earned victories over Cal Poly Pomona and Cal State San Bernardino last weekend, but will be turning to exactly these teams for help this weekend. Pomona and San Bernardino will play Cal State L.A., who currently sits atop the standings with 32 points. UCSD is one point back, and will need good results from its own games with East Bay, while hoping for a CSULA loss or draw in at least one of its matches. Regardless, the Tritons should have a playoff spot wrapped up after this weekend, as anything but a pair of wins against bottom dwellers East Bay would be a disappointment.