Photo by: Jimmy Gekas/Sideline Studios
(From left) Malek Bashti, Gavin Lamming and Alec Arsht are back in the friendly confines of Triton Soccer Stadium this weekend.
No. 22 Tritons Back Home to Host Jacks, Seawolves
Release: Wednesday 09/25/2013 

Match 7
Humboldt State (3-2-1, 1-2-1 CCAA)
Friday, Sept. 27 • 4:30 p.m.
Triton Soccer Stadium • La Jolla
Live Stats

Match 8
Sonoma State (4-1-1, 3-1 CCAA)
Sunday, Sept. 29 • 11:30 a.m.
Triton Soccer Stadium • La Jolla
Live Stats

Having completed a season-long four-match road stretch to begin the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) portion of its 2013 schedule, No. 22 UCSD (4-1-1, 2-1-1 CCAA) makes its return to the friendly confines of Triton Soccer Stadium this weekend. The Tritons play host to North Division opponents Humboldt State on Friday, Sept. 27, at 4:30 p.m., and Sonoma State on Sunday, Sept. 29, at 11:30 a.m. Each contest will serve as the opener to doubleheaders with the UCSD women's team. Both games will have live stats. Admission to all regular-season matches at Triton Soccer Stadium is free.

The first 500 UCSD students with valid identification who attend this Friday's doubleheader with Humboldt State at Triton Soccer Stadium will receive a free Gameday t-shirt to wear loud and wear proud at UCSD Athletics events throughout the year, courtesy of Toyota. With classes beginning Thursday for the fall quarter, Friday will provide a first look for the general UCSD student population of the 2013 Triton soccer programs. Don't miss out!

In its first in-season installment of 2013 on Sept. 10, UCSD entered the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) national rankings, at No. 25, for the very first time under sixth-year head coach Jon Pascale. The Tritons' previous national ranking is believed to have occurred in 2005, when they began the CCAA Championship at No. 19. After falling out of the top 25 on Sept. 17, UCSD jumped right back in and up to No. 22 in this Tuesday's poll. The Tritons are No. 3 in the West Region, up from No. 6.

Fourth-year senior center back Gavin Lamming was named the Wilson/CCAA Player of the Week Tuesday after anchoring the Triton defense to a pair of 1-0 shutout road victories over two divisional foes who each entered the weekend with undefeated records. In addition, the San Juan Capistrano product headed in a 27th-minute corner kick from junior teammate Jacob Valadez for the lone goal at Cal State San Bernardino on Sunday. The weekly conference award is a first for Lamming, an All-CCAA Second Team selection in 2012.

The UCSD defense has largely picked up where it left off in 2012. The Tritons led the entire nation in the NCAA Division II a year ago in team goals-against average (0.44) and shutout percentage (0.71). This season, UCSD has kept three clean sheets over its first six matches, including back-to-back 1-0 shutouts away from home last weekend. The team has only given up one goal in each of the other three contests, and boasts a 0.48 GAA, 15th nationally. The Tritons have surrendered no more than one goal over their past 10 games going back to the end of the 2012 season.

In blanking then-No. 14 Chico State and Cal State San Bernardino 1-0 away from home last Friday and Sunday, UCSD completed its first sweep of a CCAA road weekend since 2010. That year, the Tritons edged Cal State Monterey Bay, 1-0 in Seaside, on Friday, Sept. 24, before blanking San Francisco State, 2-0, two days later. Through six matches, UCSD already has as many road wins, three, as it did for each of the past two seasons.

Having secured the maximum six points from last weekend's difficult road trip, UCSD moved from a tie for last place in the South Division, to a tie for third with Cal State L.A. at seven points apiece. The Tritons sit two points back of leader Chico State and one behind Cal State Dominguez Hills. Sunday's opponent, Sonoma State, paces the North at nine points. Senior All-American goalkeeper Josh Cohen is fourth in goals-against average (0.48) and fifth in save percentage (.850).

At 4-1-1 (.750), UCSD is off to its best six-game start in terms of winning percentage, since 2009, when it began the year 3-0-3 (.750) ... The four wins are the Tritons' most through six games since they went 5-0-1 in Pascale's first go-around in charge in 2008 ... Cohen and redshirt freshman right back Brett Sampiere (Solana Beach/Torrey Pines HS) are the only Tritons to have played all 563:57 ... Cohen handled his 100th career save early in the opener at California Baptist (9/5), and with his three shutouts thus far in 2013, has a total of 15 for his career ... The 2-1 victory at CBU was UCSD's first of the come-from-behind variety since a 4-1 home defeat of SF State on Oct. 28, 2011 ... UCSD produced five 1-0 victories in 2012 and now has two so far in 2013 ... The Tritons are still in the middle of a season-opening schedule of seven of 10 contests away from home.

Jon Pascale, the 2012 CCAA Coach of the Year, has posted a 48-34-15 (.572) overall record in his sixth season in charge of the UCSD men's soccer program. He is two wins shy of No. 50.

Humboldt State is currently 3-2-1 overall and 1-2-1 in CCAA play. The Lumberjacks split a pair of home matches last weekend, blanking Cal State East Bay 2-0 in a steady rain on Friday before dropping a 3-2 decision at defending CCAA champion Cal State Stanislaus Sunday. HSU rallied from a two-goal halftime deficit in that one, only to fall late in overtime. Senior Zach Hammond leads the team with his five goals, though both of sophomore Chuck Pitts' strikes have been game-winners, with two assists to boot. Junior Javier Torres (1.88 GAA, 28 saves, one shutout) has played all but one half in net. Humboldt State, 2-1-1 on the road this year, has tallied 13 goals as a team and has yet to be shut out in 2013. Fred Jungemann is in his first season in charge of the Lumberjacks after spending the previous six years at Barry University in Florida.

UCSD has never lost to Humboldt State, leading the all-time series, 3-0-4. The teams did not meet a year ago. Previously, the Tritons edged the Jacks, 3-2, in La Jolla on Oct. 16, 2011. Senior All-American center back Alec Arsht nabbed the 67th-minute winner in that one, redirecting a Tsuk Haroush pass from close range to complete the only two-goal brace of his career as UCSD overturned a 2-1 halftime deficit. The Tritons have won two straight home match-ups, both by one-goal margins, since a scoreless draw in 2008.

Sonoma State enters the weekend at 4-1-1 overall just like UCSD, and is 3-1 in league play. The Seawolves are atop the CCAA North Division. Also like the Tritons, they are coming off of successive shutout victories last weekend, 2-0 at home over Cal State Stanislaus and 1-0 at Cal State East Bay. In the latter match on Sunday, moved from Rohnert Park to Hayward due to weather concerns, freshman Raspreet Sandhu notched the double-overtime winner from 15 yards out at 107:30 to mark his first collegiate goal. Six different players have provided just the six total goals for Sonoma State in its six games to date. Senior starting goalkeeper Beau Diaz (14 saves, four shutouts) has allowed only two goals and is second in the CCAA with a 0.31 GAA. Marcus Ziemer is in his 23rd season at the helm of his alma mater. The Seawolves, 2-1 away from home, play at Cal Poly Pomona on Friday evening before heading further south into La Jolla on Sunday.

Sonoma State leads the all-time series, 11-3-1. The Tritons knocked off the Seawolves in Rohnert Park a season ago on Oct. 5, 2-0, through a 10th-minute own goal and a 32nd-minute strike from Haroush. Cameron McElfresh was not called upon to make a single save in net to earn the shutout. Sonoma State managed just four shots in the match, its lowest total since 2005. It marked just the second time UCSD has ever won in Rohnert Park. The Tritons also took the most recent meeting in La Jolla, 2-1 in double overtime in 2011.

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UCSD is back on the road next weekend, traveling north to Cal State Stanislaus on Oct. 4 and Cal State East Bay on Oct. 6. That trip leads into a season-long six-match homestand over the remainder of the month of October.


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