Tritons Drop Fourth Straight

    Despite the losses, the Tritons remain in fourth place in the South Division standings, but the team is now eight points behind third place CSU Los Angeles and with very little hope of a postseason appearance.

    On Friday, UCSD allowed three early goals against No. 13 CSU Los Angeles. The Tritons fought back to a 4-2 finish, but were unable to overcome the deficit.

    “The result was pretty disappointing,” head coach Jon Pascale said. “I think how we came out was really disappointing. [CSU Los Angeles] is a great team. We needed to be at our best, and we weren’t.”

    The Golden Eagles went up 1-0 less than five minutes into the game, when forward Jason Swope got past the Triton backline. Swope sent a cross to forward Timo Schwar who struck the ball past UCSD sophomore goalkeeper Jesse Brennan.

    Ten minutes later, CSU Los Angeles put the game at 2-0, scoring off a counter attack started from a punt from CSU
    Los Angeles goalkeeper Waleed Cassis. The Golden Eagles stretched their lead to three with a well-struck ball from 20 yards out in the 34th minute.

    Just before half time, sophomore midfielder Andisheh Bagheri finished a left-footed volley off a pass from freshman forward Franco Cruz, bringing the score to 3-1.

    UCSD was only outshot by the Golden Eagles 16 to 13, but the Tritons struggled in the attack with the loss of sophomore forward Sam Ball, who was forced to sit out against CSU Los Angeles after he accrued five yellow cards in his 12 conference matches.

    The Golden Eagles netted another goal before the end of the game, as did UCSD’s sophomore forward Tsuk Haroush, but it wasn’t enough to collect a win.

    “We missed ours and they made theirs,” Pascale said. “We tried to get back into it with a goal, but [CSU Los Angeles] was just a much better team than we were tonight.”

    The Tritons fell to CSU Dominguez Hills on Sunday in much the same way.

    UCSD went down by three goals in the first half and were outshot by CSU Dominguez Hills 10-5.

    After allowing three goals and recording only one save — denying Dominguez Hills a penalty kick — UCSD goalkeeper Brennan was replaced in favor of sophomore goalkeeper Josh Cohen. Statistically, Cohen fared better, recording three saves while keeping the net clean for the remainder of the game.

    The Tritons had a difficult time in the attacking third as well. UCSD couldn’t seem to break down the Toro backline, which played up high and smothered forwards Ball and junior Evan Walker.

    UCSD continued to push and with 10 minutes left were granted a penalty kick. Sophomore midfielder Cory Wolfrom converted from the spot.

    Less than a minute later, junior midfielder Alex Portela sent a free kick to the feet of sophomore defender Alec Arsht who put the ball past CSU Dominguez Hills goalkeeper, bringing the Tritons to within one with nine minutes left to play.

    “The guys started slow and dug themselves a hole, and did well to fight to get out of that,” assistant coach Eric Bucchere said. “But against a good team you find that that’s just not enough.”

    With a 6-8-0 overall record (5-7-0 in the CCAA) and only four games left in conference play, the Tritons will be hard-pressed for a post-season berth.

    “Looking forward we’re just trying to improve,” Bucchere said. “We’re going to use these next four games as opportunities for growth and to get better. We’re going to try and plug away and play the spoiler.”

    The Tritons will face off against bottom of the league Humboldt State on Friday, Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. On Sunday, Oct. 23, UCSD will look for the upset against top-ranked Sonoma State.

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