Home Turf Defended! No. 13 Tritons Conclude 10-Match Season-Opening Homestand at 9-0-1 After 3-1 Win Over Jacks
LA JOLLA, Calif. - Thirteenth-ranked University of California San Diego trotted out to leads of 2-0 by halftime and 3-0 late and beat Humboldt State, 3-1, in California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) men's soccer action Sunday at Triton Soccer Stadium.
UC San Diego thus wraps up a season-opening 10-match homestand still undefeated at 9-0-1 overall and 3-0-1 in the CCAA. The Tritons completed their first perfect six-point weekend of the conference slate, having blanked Sonoma State on Friday night, 2-0. They move into third place in the CCAA table, with two games in hand. Humboldt State, coming off a 1-0 upset victory Friday at No. 23 Cal State San Marcos, split its trip south and fell to 4-4-2 overall and 1-3-2 in league play.
First-half goals for the home side came from seniors Christian Cordell and Nathaniel Bloom (Encinitas/San Dieguito HS Academy). Bloom's second goal in as many games, having not scored since Sept. 8, 2015, entering the weekend, proved to be his second game-winner in a row.
Sophomore Jonathan Sabouri (Carlsbad/San Dieguito HS Academy) clinched all three points in the 78th minute, though redshirt sophomore winger Hunter Fields did most of the legwork beating four Lumberjack defenders on the deep left side, down to the end line, before providing a cross that Sabouri merely had to tap into the empty net at the far post.
The goals were the second on the season for Cordell, Bloom and Sabouri.
Sophomore Pedro Enciso (Vista/Rancho Buena Vista HS) got his hands to a career-best seven saves for the Tritons, though a late penalty-kick goal ended his bid for a third successive shutout. The first of those stops was a big one, just 1:52 into the game, as Isaiah Dairo galloped down the left flank and got off a close-range, left-footed shot that Enciso was able to parry. Robert Quintero had one stop for HSU.
Cordell got things going at 20:29, expertly contorting his body to get his right foot out in front of his defender in order to knock in fellow senior winger Kiefer Cooksey's left-sided cross. Jón Veigar Kristjánsson had passed the ball out wide to Cooksey, with the two Tritons gaining credit for a third and first assist, respectively.
Having scored at 41:37 two nights prior, Bloom made it 2-0 at 41:04 on Sunday. Redshirt freshman left back Darragh Buckley intercepted a pass on his chest, and with his second touch, sent a left-footed pass forward. True freshman forward Nick Cirrito controlled it on his chest with his back to goal, and also with a second touch, lifted a great right-footed pass over the top. Bloom's defender made contact, but could not redirect the ball nearly enough to avert the danger, as the Encinitas product continued on and flicked a right-footed shot past the charging Quintero and into the bottom right corner. Buckley and Cirrito both picked up assists.
In the 78th minute, Fields split two defenders in the left corner, and cut past two more to get to the end line. Sabouri only had to get his shin on the square cross for the score. The assist was the first of Fields' season and second of his college days.
Just 79 seconds later, however, it was 3-1. Dairo was adjudged to have been fouled in the box by redshirt senior right back and captain Jeff Powers. Senior Daniel Allred rattled the upper right corner of the frame with his right foot for his first goal, but that was all from the Lumberjacks, who actually procured a 15-8 shot advantage.
Having completed the longest homestand in known program history, UC San Diego hits the road for the very first time in 2018 in the week ahead. The Tritons are at aforementioned 23rd-ranked city and CCAA rival Cal State San Marcos on Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 3, at 3 p.m.
Triton Notes: UC San Diego remains unbeaten in the all-time series, at 7-0-6 ... The Tritons have yet to allow a first-half goal in 2018 ... UC San Diego is unbeaten through 10 games for the first time under 11th-year head coach Jon Pascale, and first time in its Division II history, since 2000 ... The Tritons are off to their best 10-game start in 30 years, having also opened up 9-0-1 in 1988, when they went on to the program's first of three Division III national titles.
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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