Tritons Drop Two Games on the Road

After trailing 1-0 for most of the game, UCSD was awarded a penalty kick when Chico fouled sophomore midfielder Cory Wolfrom. The foul was one of 40 for the game.

With just 23 minutes remaining, junior midfielder Alex Portela — the Tritons’ top scorer — put away the penalty kick to tie the game at 1-1, pushing the game into overtime.

“Cory Wolfrom did a great job of getting to the top of the box,” head coach Jon Pascale said. “Chico took him down, and after Portela put it away we just continued to push forward.”

The Tritons rallied, matching Stanislaus with two shots on goal in the first overtime period. The two teams retired after 100 minutes, with the score still at 1-1.

“I thought we really dominated the second half,” Pascale said. “I thought we really had them on the ropes at the end of the [regulation time period].”

Sophomore forward Sam Ball nearly won it for UCSD at the start of the second overtime period with a shot that deflected off of the left post.

But with just two minutes remaining, and in need of offense, Stanislaus put freshmen Austin Schwalbach and Paul Oei onto the pitch. Just 36 seconds later, Oei found Schwalbach in front of the net, and
the freshman finished the golden goal opportunity to end the game.

“The game against Stanislaus was at the tail-end of a very long road trip,” Pascale said. “We give Stanislaus a lot of credit. Their style of play is to disrupt your rhythm, and in the first half we had a tough time breaking them down. Unfortunately, into overtime, they kind of caught us on our heels, and it was just one of those games that we just let slip away from us.”

On Friday, the Tritons played Chico State to another close 2-1 finish.

Again, UCSD was forced to come back from behind, when a scramble in the 18-yard box resulted in an own-goal off a corner kick to put the Wildcats up 1-0.

UCSD equalized in the 60th minute, with another own goal in favor of the Tritons. Running down field, Wolfrom found Ball. Looking to cross, Ball sent the ball towards the goal, which bounced off a Wildcat
player and snuck past Chico goalkeeper Sam Evans.

Just five minutes later, Chico midfielder Chris Akwaja recorded the game winner, after getting around a defender and sending the ball past sophomore goalkeeper Jesse Brennan.

“The game against Chico was pretty evenly matched, it kind of went back and forth,” Pascale said. “I thought our guys did a great job in the second half by coming out and attacking Chico. But [Akwaja]
is a great player, he made a great play to give them the lead, which was completely against the run of play. And it was a little bit of a heartbreaker for us.”

The Tritons are still looking to position themselves for a spot in the conference playoffs. UCSD will finish off the regular season with their remaining six games at home, against stiff conference competition.

“We’re a little bit on the outside looking in, but we’re by no means out,” Pascale said. “But we will be playing Dominguez, [Los Angeles], Sonoma, and Pomona, all the teams that we’re in competition with in the standings. I think if we can get a couple favorable results, we’ll be right in it.”

UCSD is set to face off against CSU Los Angeles this Friday, Oct. 14, and CSU Dominguez Hills on Sunday, Oct. 16.