LA JOLLA, Calif. - The 22nd-ranked UC San Diego men’s soccer team got a first-half Andisheh Bagheri goal via free kick and went on to defeat Sonoma State University by a 1-0 scoreline in a California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) match Sunday at Triton Soccer Stadium.
With the victory, UCSD improved to 6-1-1 overall and 4-1-1 in the CCAA. Sonoma State fell to 4-3-1 overall and an even 3-3 in league play.
The result marked a fourth straight win for the Tritons, all in shutout fashion, as senior All-American goalkeeper Josh Cohen and company have gone 403:59 without surrendering a score since allowing an early second-half decider at Cal State L.A back on Sept. 15.
Combined with No. 14 Cal State Dominguez Hills’ 2-1 home loss to Chico State later Sunday, UCSD has now moved into a first-place tie atop the CCAA South Division with Cal State L.A. at 13 points apiece.
Bagheri’s free kick from straight on deflected off a defender, misdirected Seawolf goalkeeper Beau Diaz and found the back of the net at 30:45 for the contest’s only goal. It was Bagheri’s second on the season, both of them now game-winners.
UCSD narrowly missed out on a chance to double its advantage in the 65th minute, when freshman forward Gerrit van Zyll corralled the ball outside of the penalty area on the left side, looked up, sized up the frame, and rattled the crossbar with a right-footed blast. Within 10 minutes, van Zyll was put in one on one by a deft pass from junior teammate Elan Gefen, but Diaz got the timing right and made the save.
In between, Sonoma State’s best opportunity to equalize came in the 72nd minute, as Raspreet Sandhu played the ball from left to right to a wide-open Taylor Varnadore, who saw his hard right-footed shot come back off the right post.
Cohen wound up with two saves, while Diaz had three stops in the opposing net. It was a fifth clean sheet for Cohen in 2013, giving him 17 for his career.
The Tritons held an 18-8 shot advantage in the match, with the visitors not registering their initial attempt until the 37:46 mark. Bagheri and van Zyll led the way with five apiece, the latter player’s coming in just 17 minutes of second-half reserve action.
The result meant career win No. 50 for sixth-year Triton head coach Jon Pascale. This is UCSD’s first four-game win streak since the final four matches of the 2011 campaign, and the fourth shutout stretch of 400-plus minutes since the beginning of the 2012 season.
UCSD is on the road next weekend, heading north to first pay defending CCAA champion Cal State Stanislaus a visit on Friday, Oct. 4, at 4:30 p.m.