LA JOLLA, Calif. - On an evening that otherwise looked like it might not go the Tritons' way, redshirt junior winger Andy Sartor's moment of brilliance rescued No. 23 University of California San Diego in a non-conference men's soccer match Sunday at Triton Soccer Stadium, 1-0 in double overtime over Occidental College.
UC San Diego was coming in off the high of another overtime victory over 19th-ranked city rival Cal State San Marcos on Friday night. Occidental, a member of the NCAA Division III, had just played a league game at home in Los Angeles on Saturday. Still, through 90 minutes of regulation and 10 minutes of the first extra period, the Tritons could not find a way through.
Finally with under six minutes left to play, the home side earned a free kick on the right touch line. Sophomore central midfielder Jón Veigar Kristjánsson sent it into the penalty-area mixer, where it looked like the ball contacted the head of the Tritons' freshman center back, Noah Sonenstein, and then also that of Oxy's Jasper Brannon. David Paine's clearance attempt then put the ball straight at Sartor's feet.
Sartor took one steadying left-footed touch forward, before unleashing a wicked left-footed shot head on from just inside 25 yards, that found the upper right netting past diving Tiger goalkeeper Scott Drazan. It was a second goal on the 2018 season for the fourth-year Triton, and first collegiate game-winner. Sartor had missed the entire 2017 campaign through injury, and also the first four contests this year.
The match was a third straight that went to overtime for UC San Diego, and fourth in all. Head coach Jon Pascale's Tritons remain unbeaten over their last 31 overtime contests, now at 11-0-20 going back to their last such loss in 2014. Pascale, in his 11th season in charge, took control of his 200th match.
With the victory in its non-conference finale, UC San Diego improved to a still-undefeated 7-0-1 overall. Occidental, of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC), dropped to 5-3.
Pedro Enciso (Vista/Rancho Buena Vista HS) needed to make a single save to earn his fourth individual clean sheet on the year. Drazan wound up with four stops.
UC San Diego largely trudged through the contest, though it did complete it with a 15-7 shot advantage. The Tritons' best chance to score prior to Sartor's decider, was via penalty kick early in the second half. Kiefer Cooksey was fouled on the left diagonal by Ethan Glass. The senior winger stepped up to take the Tritons' first spot-kick try of 2018, only for his left-footed effort to his right, to be saved by Drazan.
Occidental nearly stole it with four ticks left in the first overtime, as Nicolas Eble tried his luck from a distance greater than 25 yards, and had his ambitious attempt bang off the crossbar.
UC San Diego now returns to California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) play for good, and concludes its 10-match season-opening homestand next week, hosting Sonoma State in primetime on Friday, Sept. 28, at 7 p.m., and then Humboldt State on Sunday, Sept. 30, at 2 p.m. Admission into Triton Soccer Stadium on North Campus in La Jolla is free, or fans can watch on UCSDtritons.tv.
Triton Notes: UC San Diego remains a perfect 13-0 against Occidental all-time, including 8-0 in La Jolla ... The Tritons had also blanked the Tigers at home a year ago, 3-0, with the first 11 meetings coming during days as Division III rivals prior to 2000 ... Andy Sartor now has four career goals and Pedro Enciso 11 career shutouts.
M⚽️: No. 23 #UCSanDiego needed this moment of brilliance with time winding down midway through double overtime from redshirt junior winger Andy Sartor to get past @OxyAthletics, 1-0, and move to 7-0-1. 🚀🔱#GoTritons #Tritons #CCAAws #D2SOC #NCAAD2 #SCtop10 @NCAADII @goccaa pic.twitter.com/5mV65hFFFU— UCSD Athletics (@UCSDtritons) September 24, 2018
About UC San Diego Athletics
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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