Tritons Unable To Find the Goal and Fall to San Bernardino

John Hanacek / Guardian

MEN’S SOCCER — The men’s soccer team suffered a disappointing end to the weekend, losing a tight 1-0 match to No. 6 Cal State San Bernardino on Sunday.

Jose Godinez was the lone scorer for the Coyotes, putting away a rebound in the 41st minute after Julio Ayala’s shot careened off the post.

“[San Bernardino] is probably the best team in the conference — they certainly have the best record — and we walked away from that saying we were every bit as good as them on the day,” head coach Jon Pascale said. “But they got the goal, and that was the difference.”

The match was fairly even throughout, with the Coyotes holding a 9-8 advantage in shots.

“They have a very talented squad with some kids that are very good on the attacking end,” Pascale said. “They got on the end of one chance deep in our end and they made the most of it. We had a number of chances in front of their goal, but they finished one chance and that was one more than we did. You take that chance away and I think it was a pretty even game.”

The Coyotes have the top record in the CCAA at 12-3-1 overall, and 10-3-1 in conference play. CSUSB is also on top of the CCAA South Division standings with 31 points.

The Tritons fell to fourth place in the South Division with the loss, and their 21 points puts them four points behind both Cal State Los Angeles and Cal State L.A. for the final spot in the CCAA postseason tournament.

UCSD will play a home-and-home series against Cal State East Bay this weekend, beginning in Hayward on Friday and returning home on Sunday. To make the postseason, the Tritons will need to win both games and get some help in other CCAA matches. It would take two losses from CSUDH, and both Cal State L.A. and Cal Poly Pomona could not take full points from their last two matches.

“One thing we talk about a lot on our team is making sure we have a professional approach to what we’re doing,” Pacale said. “Whether it’s conference finals, the first game of the season or a spring game, we want to make sure we have the same mindset all the time. So we want to really get after East Bay and beat them both times.”

The Tritons went into their weekend matches riding an eight-match unbeaten streak, but suffered a 2-1 loss to Cal Poly Pomona before their loss against San Bernardino.

“We created a number of chances this weekend and we just weren’t sharp enough in front of goal,” Pascale said. “In stretches, we played as best as we’ve played all season. We need to continue to build on that and just be a little bit sharper in front of the goal.”

Although the Tritons’ postseason chances are slim, UCSD hopes to win both of its matches against East Bay — a team on an eight-match losing streak and just one win in CCAA play.

“I think everybody really enjoys playing on this team,” Pascale said. “We have a great group of guys, good team chemistry, great work ethic and I think the guys really bring the best out of each other. We’re looking forward to a good week of practice and going to East Bay looking to make it happen.”

UCSD will face East Bay on Friday at 7 p.m. in Hayward before returning home for an 11:30 a.m. kickoff on Sunday.