With a second successive defeat this weekend on the heels of a six-match unbeaten stretch, UCSD dropped to 7-4-2 overall and 6-3-2 in the CCAA. In winning their fifth straight, the red-hot Toros improved to 8-5-1 overall and 8-4 in conference play. Their current run began following a 1-0 loss in La Jolla in the first meeting between the teams on Sept. 28.
CSUDH entered the day with a one-point edge over the Tritons in second-place in the CCAA South Division, having played one more game.
The first shot of the match by either side did not come until the 9:20 mark as the Toros' junior defender, Jordan Hatanaka, had his effort saved by Cameron McElfresh, the freshman making his fifth start in a row in the Triton goal.
UCSD's initial attempt came off the foot of Cory Wolfrom in the 14th minute, with sophomore Toro net-minder Juan Quiroz turning the junior midfielder away.
The home side got on the scoreboard at 19:29 as senior defender Dimitri Aurelus latched onto a long through ball and beat McElfresh one-on-one for his first goal of 2012. Tony Alfaro and Jose Vaca were each credited with assists.
The Toros came close to doubling their advantage in the 37th minute, as Wyatt Stucker saw his header clang off the crossbar. A mere 32 seconds later, however, CSUDH did indeed find its second goal. It was Stucker again, finding the back of the net from 12 yards after another long through ball, this time by Jio Santana.
The Tritons attempted to mount a comeback early in the second half, but junior midfielder Andisheh Bagheri had his header saved by Quiroz.
Later it was Cal State Dominguez Hills who put the cap on the scoring, getting an 81st-minute strike from Richard Molina. Aaron Salazar provided the headed pass toward the penalty spot, with Molina's one-touch finish earning him his second goal of the year.
"We gave up an unfortunate early goal," remarked UCSD head coach Jon Pascale. "It was a good counterattack by them. Then they just outplayed us the rest of the way. It was a poor performance by us in the first half. We responded with a better work ethic in the second half, but ultimately, our soccer wasn't good enough. When you're not on your game against a good team like Dominguez Hills, you're going to lose."
McElfresh and junior Josh Cohen each played a half for UCSD and came up with two and three saves, respectively. Quiroz had two stops for Cal State Dominguez Hills, with Trey Mitchell taking over for the final 3:23 and making one grab.
The Toros held a decided advantage in shots for the match, 13-5.
UCSD is back in home action next weekend, welcoming Cal State Stanislaus and Chico State to Triton Soccer Field. Kickoff against the Warriors on Friday night, Oct. 19, is slated for 7 p.m.
-- UCSDtritons.com --