Men’s Club Soccer Wins National Title

Competing in the West Coast Soccer Association, the Tritons face off against other Southern California collegiate club soccer teams in their regular season. UCSD advanced to the regional tournament after finishing with a 12-3-1 conference record.

The Tritons took a second place finish in the regional tournament, getting two wins and a tie before falling 0-2 to UC Berkeley in the regional final. But without the regional title, UCSD missed out on the automatic bid to the 24-team national tournament.

Instead, the Tritons registered in the 16-team open division.

In their first match on Thursday, Nov. 17, UCSD faced University of Texas at Austin. Plagued with recent roster changes, the Tritons fell 2-1 in their tournament opener. On the same day, UCSD was able to regroup to beat UCLA 1-0. On Friday, Nov. 18, the Tritons rounded out their preliminary play with a 2-1 win against the Colorado School of Mines.

The two wins were enough to propel UCSD into the quarterfinal round where they faced familiar foe, San Diego State. The Tritons played the Aztecs to a 2-2 draw in regulation. But UCSD broke the draw in penalty kicks, taking a 4-3 win.

Advancing to the semifinal round, the Tritons took on USC on Saturday, Nov. 18. Again, UCSD forced a draw, ending the regulation time period with a 0-0 tie. Junior goalkeeper Alejandro Escobar gave UCSD the edge, lifting the Tritons to a 5-4 win.

In the conference championship on Sunday, Nov. 19, the Tritons went into a rematch against the University of Texas at Austin.

Having gone the distance with a new set of starters, the Tritons adjusted to their new roster and picked apart the Longhorns, beating the University of Texas at Austin 5-0.

“The easiest way to describe the final was that we systematically destroyed them,” said team captain Stephen Lyon. “We came out to win even though no one expected us to do well.”

For their inspired performance in the national tournament, four Tritons were named to the All-tournament team: junior Josh Tatsuno, sophomore Connor Grant, Lyon and Escobar.

Sophomore Jamie Somerville was named the tournament MVP.

This was the first time the Tritons have made an appearance at the national tournament, and Lyon said that head coach Mathew Berson has been a large part of their success this year.

“Having a coach has brought the team together,” Lyon said. “We’re a lot more structured than we have been in past years. Having a coach really took us to the next level.”

UCSD is now looking to move out of the second division and move up to the premier league.

Their next game is slated for Dec. 3 against Cal State Northridge.

Readers can contact Rachel Uda at [email protected]