SEASIDE, Calif. - The 18th-ranked University of California San Diego men's soccer team played 110 scoreless minutes with Cal State Monterey Bay at the Otter Sports Complex on Saturday, falling agonizingly short of a second straight California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) regular-season title.
While UC San Diego was contesting its first of two 10-minute overtimes, Cal State LA found an overtime winner of its own to take a 1-0 home decision over Chico State. The Tritons needed a win in Seaside, and a Chico State loss or tie, to overtake the rival Wildcats. With that result in the book, UCSD could not muster a score in the remaining time. In the end, Cal State Dominguez Hills took advantage of both of those finishes, as well as Friday night's shock home loss for Cal Poly Pomona to Cal State San Bernardino. The Toros' 3-0 home defeat of Stanislaus State vaulted them from fourth at the start of the day, to the CCAA regular-season championship and subsequent top seed for this week's CCAA Tournament at UC San Diego.
The Tritons settle for the No. 3 seed and also miss out on a first-round bye that would have been assured with a victory over the Otters, regardless of the other games. They will thus play host to No. 6 seed SF State in primetime this Tuesday night, Oct. 31, with kickoff set for 7 p.m. at Triton Soccer Stadium on North Campus in La Jolla. SF State was a 1-0 victor at home over Sonoma State, clinching its first postseason berth since 1978.
With Saturday's draw, UC San Diego completed its regular season at 10-1-5 overall and 7-1-3 in the CCAA. The Tritons extended their unbeaten run to 8-0-3 over their last 11. CSUMB concluded its season at 3-11-2 overall and 2-8-2 in league play.
UCSD's freshman goalkeeper, Pedro Enciso (Vista/Rancho Buena Vista HS), collected two saves for his seventh individual shutout. Counterpart Jesus Ochoa had three stops. The Tritons outshot the Otters on the day, 15-5, and earned eight corner kicks to four.
Enciso had one big save, almost out of nowhere with the seconds ticking down to end the first overtime, diving to deny Makenna Pendleton.
For the Tritons, true freshman Brett Jones was turned away by the post in the 39th minute, moments after a header by senior teammate Uly de la Cal went high. Redshirt junior right back Jeff Powers also had a right-footer graze the bar after a short corner kick by Jones in the 74th.
The regular-season matchup between UC San Diego and SF State ended in a 1-1 deadlock on Senior Night in La Jolla on Oct. 6, Malek Bashti and Tariq Pulskamp's late goals over the final 10:07 of regulation cancelling each other out.
Triton Notes: UCSD leads the all-time series, 8-2-4, including 7-0-4 over the last 11 meetings ... The Tritons remain an unbeaten 5-0-3 on the road and 3-0-5 in overtime contests in 2017 ... UCSD is 8-0-19 over its last 27 overtime matches going back to 2014 ... Redshirt junior Jeff Powers returned at right back after missing the previous two matches due to injury, but junior holding central midfielder Matt Merrill missed his second straight game through illness.