LA JOLLA, Calif. - A battle of nationally-ranked and previously-unbeaten city and California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) men's soccer rivals went to No. 23 University of California San Diego, 3-2, in an overtime thriller over No. 19 Cal State San Marcos at Triton Soccer Stadium on Friday night.
The visiting Cougars stormed back from a 2-0 deficit to force extra soccer thanks to a pair of shock goals within a span of 56 seconds heading into the final 10 minutes of regulation. It was junior Jonathan Stoop, starting a second straight game at center back, who made it all right for the hosts, heading Jón Veigar Kristjánsson’s right-sided corner kick into the back of the net at 91:14 to end a classic San Diego derby.
With the dramatic win, UC San Diego improved to 6-0-1 overall. Cal State San Marcos, which had matched the best six-game start in program history, suffered its first defeat to fall to 6-1. With Friday losses by CSUSM and San Francisco State, the Tritons are left as the lone remaining unbeaten in the CCAA.
Friday's matchup was a non-conference affair, as this year's CCAA meeting between the sides will take place in San Marcos on Wednesday, Oct. 3.
The game was played in front of a raucous crowd of 408, due in large part to a combination of UC San Diego students finally moving in this week and weekend, and a solid traveling contingent from North County.
The Tritons' sophomore goalkeeper, Pedro Enciso (Vista/Rancho Buena Vista HS), finished with three saves. CSUSM redshirt junior Justin Tesar had five stops.
Brett Jones, who had been knocking on the door over a goalless first six matches, finally saw the fruits of his supreme labor in the 22nd minute, opening the scoring on the night, and his account for 2018. Enciso hit an exquisite free kick deep down the right flank, which Jonathan Sabouri (Carlsbad/San Dieguito HS Academy) expertly corralled right around the end line. He played it back to his fellow starting sophomore forward, and Jones took it from there, splitting a pair of defenders into the area, and just before reaching the penalty spot, slotting a left-footed shot into the bottom right corner. Sabouri was given his second assist on the year.
Just over five minutes into the second half, the advantage was doubled. Senior winger Christian Cordell earned a corner kick with a right-sided cross attempt. That came mere moments after Jones was unable to get his head around on an accurate cross from redshirt freshman left back Darragh Buckley, seemingly missing an opportunity to pad the lead. Sophomore playmaker Jón Veigar Kristjánsson took the corner, and Jones redeemed himself, being first to it at the near post as the ball appeared to deflect off a defender and past the reach of Tesar. It was credited as Jones' goal, with a first collegiate assist for the Icelandic transfer from USC Upstate.
The tables rather suddenly turned in the 79th and 80th minutes. First, Cougar winger Juan Camilo Salazar sent a left-footed cross from the right, that fellow freshman Josh Mendez chested down. At the top of the box, senior David Martin volleyed into the bottom left corner, despite a touch from Enciso. It was Martin's third to tie Mendez for the team lead, while Mendez and Salazar each got assists.
Within a minute having elapsed on the scoreboard clock, it was tied. Senior Bryan Morrison lofted a free kick from the deep left diagonal, toward the far post. The ball looked to have possibly been contacted there by senior center back and captain Andrew Stalboerger, before freshman Collin Wagstaff clattered it across the goal line for the first of his college career.
Neither team could muster a winner over the final 10:13 of regulation, but it took Stoop and company just 74 seconds to send the fans home after the first of two potential 10-minute overtime periods had commenced. Once again, it was a right-sided Cordell cross that netted a corner kick. And again, Kristjánsson was the man to take it, with Stoop rising above the rest and heading straight down around the center of the six-yard box, the ball taking one bounce into the left corner.
For Stoop, it was a second goal on the season, both now game-winners off set pieces. Kristjánsson had himself a two-assist night.
Jones finished with game and season highs of six shots, and four shots on goal. As a team, UC San Diego held a slim 13-11 edge in shot attempts.
The Tritons were ahead 2-0 in the 66th minute when Enciso made a terrific save of a Stalboerger header, going full extension to his right on a ball that appeared to be destined for the upper left corner.
UC San Diego continues its 10-match season-opening homestand while concluding non-conference activity this Sunday, Sept. 23. Kickoff against Division III foe Occidental College (4-2) is set for 5 p.m. at Triton Soccer Stadium on North Campus in La Jolla. Parking and admission are free, or fans can watch on UCSDtritons.tv.
Triton Notes: UC San Diego leads the all-time series, 7-2, with three successive wins, all by one-goal margins ... UC San Diego is an undefeated 10-0-20 over its last 30 overtime matches going back to 2014 ... Jonathan Sabouri's assist was the fourth of his career ... Four of Brett Jones' five collegiate goals have now come against CSUSM, having notched his first career brace in San Marcos in last year's non-conference matchup, as his second was the double-overtime (105:34) winner in a 3-2 victory ... Jones had six shots and a career-high five shots on goal in that contest ... UC San Diego surrendered more than one goal for the first time in 2018, and first time since the 3-2 double-overtime win at CSUSM last Oct. 20.
M⚽️: Here's Brett Jones' 2nd. Headed Jón Veigar Kristjánsson's corner kick off defender and in. Brett was getting closer and closer. Finally opened his 2018 account with a BIG brace tonight, the 2nd of his college career, both 🆚 CSUSM. 🔱 #GoTritons #CCAAms #SDDerby @goccaa pic.twitter.com/sbVKVpXzkD— UCSD Athletics (@UCSDtritons) September 22, 2018
M⚽️: An early look at Jonathan Stoop's OT winner at 91:14. 2nd of season, both winners, both getting on end of set pieces, this one a Kristjánsson corner. With losses by SFSU and CSUSM today, No. 23 #UCSanDiego is lone unbeaten left in @goccaa. 🙌🔱 #GoTritons #CCAAms #SDDerby pic.twitter.com/Mf4AqSwiXy— UCSD Athletics (@UCSDtritons) September 22, 2018
M⚽️: Highlights from No. 23 #UCSanDiego's 3-2 OT victory over No. 19 @CSUSMcougars in a thrilling #SDDerby last night. A great game and a terrific atmosphere! We'll see them again in the #CCAAms matchup in #SanMarcos on Oct. 3 at 3 p.m. 🔱 #GoTritons #Tritons #D2SOC @goccaa pic.twitter.com/xa4cS9j6N4— UCSD Athletics (@UCSDtritons) September 22, 2018
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With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country. The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in summer 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference. UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's preeminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent. A total of 80 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 36 have earned prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships. In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.
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