LA JOLLA, Calif. - Alex Portela
registered the game-winner in the 80th minute as the UC San Diego men's soccer team defeated Cal State Monterey Bay 1-0 on Friday night at Triton Soccer Field in California Collegiate Athletic Association play.
The win improves the Tritons to 5-4 overall and 4-3 in CCAA play. CSUMB falls to 3-4-1 overall and 3-3-1 in CCAA play.
"Tonight we saw two good teams play a really good game," said UCSD head coach Jon Pascale. "Monterey Bay was very skilled, tough to break down and dangerous on the counter attack. We did a great job to keep them at bay."
In the 80th minute, Cory Wolfrom collected a deflected shot by Evan Walker at the top of the goal box. Wolfrom slid a pass over to Alec Arsht, who faked like he was going to dribble at an Otter defender. CSUMB bit on the fake, giving Arsht just enough space to slip a pass to his right onto the stride of Portela. Portela took a touch, picked his head up, and fired a shot low and to the front post. The ball slipped through CSUMB goalkeeper Cory Calder's hands and into the side-netting for the match's only goal.
Calder was making his first appearance this season for the Otters after subbing-in for an injured Sam Campanelli. Campanelli left the match with what appeared to be an upper left-arm injury in the 64th minute.
"I thought our team created more chances, so it was really a great team effort," said Pascale. "We brought on Jordan Valenciano and Adam Zernik pretty late in the game in a tough situation and I really think those guys added to the game and helped us win."
UCSD net-minder Jesse Brennan did well to keep the match scoreless at the 72nd minute mark. CSUMB's Eric Pratt beat a pair of defenders along the left flank and delivered a square-ball to the penalty spot. Ray Connor slid to meet the ball, placing a shot on-frame to the far post. Brennan dove low and to his left to catch the shot and extinguish the danger.
UCSD out-shot CSUMB 14-6 and put four shots on-frame. Andrew Keimach nearly scored from 35 yards out in the 74th minute, but his knuckler was parried wide by Campanelli.
UCSD moves into a tie for third place with 12 points in the CCAA South with Cal State L.A.
The Tritons return to action at Triton Soccer Field at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. The Tritons will face Cal State East Bay (1-8, 0-7), who is winless in conference play.