Sophomore Forward Brett Jones Sweeps United Soccer Coaches National and CCAA Player of the Week Awards
KANSAS CITY, Mo., and SAN RAMON, Calif. - University of California San Diego sophomore forward Brett Jones was announced Tuesday morning as the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Men's Soccer Player of the Week for the week of Oct. 15-21.
On Tuesday afternoon, Jones (Mission Viejo/Laguna Hills HS) added United Soccer Coaches Division II Player of the Week distinction. He is just the second national weekly honoree for the UC San Diego men, the other being former goalkeeper Cameron McElfresh as an All-American redshirt senior on Oct. 4, 2016. The coaches' association only began recognizing a Division II selection since the 2013 season.
Jones was in on two gigantic goals as then-No. 24 UC San Diego produced a huge sweep of its final home weekend against top southern rivals. On Friday evening against then-No. 9 Cal State LA, he assisted on the game's lone score, pouncing on a failed clearance by the Golden Eagle center back, taking two touches toward the right end line, and providing a cross on the ground that fellow sophomore forward Jonathan Sabouri (Carlsbad/San Dieguito HS Academy) knocked in at 84:22. It sent Cal State LA to its first league defeat, and first loss since Sept. 6.
On Sunday against Cal State Dominguez Hills, the Tritons went down a man and immediately surrendered the tying goal in the 37th minute. They hung tough for over an hour, through the remainder of regulation and into overtime, until Jones found the winner at 98:37. He split two defenders into the penalty area on the left edge, and after his initial shot was blocked by a defender, tucked home the rebound for the unassisted winner. It was his third goal of 2018, and first decider.
UC San Diego thus completed its regular-season home schedule an unbeaten 11-0-1.
Jones shares the team lead with four assists, and is tied for second in goals scored.
Jones is the second Triton to earn CCAA Player of the Week recognition in 2018. Senior reserve forward Nathaniel Bloom (Encinitas/San Dieguito HS Academy) was named on Oct. 2 following a pair of game-winning goals in another weekend home sweep, over Sonoma State on Sept. 28 and Humboldt State on Sept. 30.
UC San Diego (12-2-2, 6-2-2 CCAA) flies to Sacramento on Wednesday morning to round out the regular season. The Tritons are at Stanislaus State on Thursday, Oct. 25, at 4:30 p.m., and rival Chico State on Saturday, Oct. 27, at 2 p.m.
Despite the Tritons' perfect weekend, they remained exactly where they started on Friday, in sixth place, and have yet to clinch a CCAA Tournament berth, which would be a program-best sixth straight. They need a solitary point from this road trip to guarantee postseason action, and have positioned themselves to potentially earn more home activity.
In the latest United Soccer Coaches polls, also released on Tuesday, UC San Diego moved up from No. 24 to No. 17 nationally, and from No. 4 to No. 3 in the West Region, behind top-ranked Canadian side Simon Fraser (14-0) and No. 8 Azusa Pacific (12-1-1), whom the Tritons defeated 3-1 at home back on Sept. 1.
UC San Diego's Friday triumph over Cal State LA was also particularly significant, as the Golden Eagles were situated just ahead of the Tritons, in third, in last Wednesday's first edition of the all-important, official NCAA Division II West Region poll. The top six teams in the region will qualify for the NCAA Championship. The second listing will be unveiled on Wednesday, with UC San Diego almost assuredly taking over the No. 3 spot ahead of Cal State LA.
M⚽️: #UCSanDiego down to 10 men. Just over a minute left in 1st OT. Sophomore forward Brett Jones gathered on edge of penalty area, split 2 defenders into box, had initial attempt blocked, and made no mistake with the rebound. 🔱 #GoTritons #Tritons #CCAAms #D2SOC @goccaa @NCAAD2 pic.twitter.com/hoxE6zCfuk— UCSD Athletics (@UCSDtritons) October 22, 2018
M⚽️: The pass by Brett Jones. The run by Jonathan Sabouri. The sophomore starting forwards combine on dramatic winner in front of the alumni as No. 24 #UCSanDiego posts critical 1-0 win for 2nd Friday in a row. #GoTritons #Tritons #CCAAms #D2SOC #RoadToPittsburgh @goccaa @NCAADII pic.twitter.com/BTsfKsCo6t— UCSD Athletics (@UCSDtritons) October 20, 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.
Follow the Tritons
For complete coverage and information regarding UC San Diego Athletics, follow the Tritons online at UCSDtritons.com and through social media on Twitter (@UCSDtritons), Instagram (@ucsdtritons) and Facebook (UCSDtritons). For more information on UC San Diego Men's Soccer, follow on Instagram (@ucsdmenssoccer) and Facebook (UCSanDiegoMensSoccer).