Six Straight

Six Straight

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With six wins in a row, the UCSD men’s soccer team is now ranked No. 6 in the country and first in confidence

For a team that hasn’t qualified for the conference tournament in eight seasons, the Tritons now find themselves in unfamiliar territory — ranked No. 6 nationally and sitting in first place in the California Collegiate Athletics Association standings.

With last weekend’s pair of shutout wins against Cal State Stanislaus and Cal State East Bay, the Tritons improve to 8-1-1 overall and 6-1-1 in the CCAA.

“It was not an easy road trip, facing both the defending conference tournament champions and an East Bay team that’s been hot,” UCSD head coach Jon Pascale said. “We’ve had problems playing [at Stanislaus] in the past, and I thought the guys did a great job and did what we needed to do.”

On Friday, the Tritons topped last season’s CCAA tournament champions Stanislaus 2–0. In the 22nd minute, senior midfielder Cory Wolfrom tucked away a goal on a ball played from junior midfielder Brandon Bauman. The Tritons followed up with a goal from senior midfielder Andisheh Bagheri early in the second half to seal the win.

“We played a really solid game against Stanislaus,” UCSD senior goalkeeper Josh Cohen said. “We had a lot of opportunities to score, and Stanislaus didn’t really put too many chances together. We played our style and put together a good performance.”

In similar fashion — relying on a defense that hasn’t let a goal slip by since mid-September and the strength of a veteran attack — the Tritons took the 2–0 win against Cal State East Bay. In the 27th minute, Bauman — an offense-minded winger and a nice new addition in Pascale’s starting 11 — found junior transfer Alessandro Canale in the 16-yard box. From 10 yards out, Canale put away his fourth goal of the season in just seven appearances.

Barely a minute later, Bauman worked his way down the sideline and crossed a ball to senior defender Alec Arsht — named the CCAA Player of the Week — who found the back of the net.

“The one thing that I thought we did well with this weekend was not getting complacent,” Cohen said. “We’re always staying hungry. The wins we’ve got now were hard-fought wins, and we’re not going to let up.”

UCSD is now halfway through its conference schedule and is preparing to double-back on its CCAA opponents. And with eight games left in the regular season, Pascale says he hasn’t “seen the best of [his] team yet.”

“I don’t think [the second half of the season] will be too much different,” Pascale said. “Every game we’ve played has been really challenging and very much a grind-it-out kind of game. We’re a veteran team, and the guys all know that there are no days off, no easy games and no one’s just going to hand us the win.”

This weekend, the Tritons will return home to face Cal State San Bernardino (4-6-2 overall, 2–6 in the CCAA) on Friday. On Sunday, UCSD will face Chico State — just one point behind the Tritons in the conference standings.

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