Tritons Hit East Bay for Six

    Michelle Jaconette / Guardian

    The UCSD Men’s Soccer team ended the season on a high note this weekend, completing a weekend sweep of Cal State East Bay with 2-0 and 6-0 victories.

    On Friday, the Tritons traveled to Hayward with a slim chance at a playoff birth, but results from elsewhere in the conference eliminated the squad despite its 2-0 win. Senior midfielder David Bakal opened the scoring for the Tritons, and freshman defender Gavin Lemming added his first goal of the season.

    Senior Tyler Zupan took advantage of his first minutes of the season by sending in a cross for Bakal in the 14th minute, and Bakal sent a header to the far post for his second goal of the season. Lemming got his head to a corner in the 53rd minute for the Tritons’ second goal.

    The Tritons returned home on Sunday to face East Bay in their season finale. Five different Tritons tallied their first goals of the year — including three seniors — as UCSD was dominant in their 6-0 thrashing of the Pioneers. Senior Josh Jackson had two goals and seniors Brandon Yee and Zupan added one apiece as each scored his first of the season. Jackson’s first goal came on a penalty kick, but his second was a magnificent effort from nearly 30 yards out.

    It is a great way to finish it up,” Jackson said. “I want to thank all the seniors and our whole team that made it possible. We got that first penalty kick, and there were a couple guys that wanted it. I asked them if I could have it, and they let me. That was a good moment for them to give me, and any one of those guys would have buried it I’m sure.”

    Freshman Andisheh Bagheri and sophomore Jordan Valenciano each added second-half goals, as the Tritons dominated the match from the opening whistle.

    “It really was a great way to end the season,” head coach Jon Pascale said. “It was a great way to send out a group of seniors that have really done a lot for this program. We’re a pretty good team, and I think today we showed that.”

    The Tritons finished their season 8-6-4, including 8-5-3 in the CCAA. The squad ended with 27 points — just four back of a playoff spot — and in third place in the CCAA. UCSD had a rough start to the season, having to wait until its seventh match to find a victory. But the Tritons rattled off an eight-match unbeaten streak, and won five of their final seven matches.

    “I think the thing I’m most happy about is that at a time when we were down — with an 0-4-2 start — it would have been really easy to throw in the towel and quit on the team and the season,” Pascale said. “But guys put in more work than ever before, and we went 8-2-2 in the final 12 games, and in this conference I think that’s something to be proud of.”

    Jackson said that the team’s good form in the second half of the season will boost the team next year.

    “I think this is going to be a good jumping point for the program to develop,” Jackson said. “We have a good young group, all of these guys are working hard and I’m excited to see what they’re going to do.”

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