LA JOLLA, Calif. - The 17th-ranked UC San Diego men’s soccer team and California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) South Division rival Cal State Dominguez Hills traded second-half penalty-kick goals and shared the points in a 1-1 draw Friday at Triton Soccer Stadium.
The result moved UCSD to 9-2-2 overall and 7-2-2 in the CCAA. Cal State Dominguez Hills is now 8-2-3 overall and 6-2-3 in league play. The contest matched UCSD’s defense, statistically ranked No. 1 in the NCAA Division II, against a Toros side that began the day a winner of three straight with 14 goals scored during that stretch.
The teams maintained their spots in third and fourth place, respectively, in the division standings, as leader Chico State and second-place Cal State L.A. each also tied in their matches Friday. The Tritons are two points ahead of the Toros.
Senior Andisheh Bagheri stepped up and converted his third penalty kick in as many opportunities this season at the 85:54 mark following a handball call against a Toro defender in his own penalty box.
That goal answered a 66th-minute penalty by CSUDH midfielder Alejandro Covarrubias following a foul adjudged by the officiating crew to have occurred just inside the UCSD box.
The scores were the fifth on the year for both Bagheri and Covarrubias, with Bagheri now leading UCSD in that category by himself.
Josh Cohen made three saves in goal for UCSD, while senior counterpart Markus Dickerson finished with two clutch second-half stops for the Toros.
Cal State Dominguez Hills held a significant advantage in shots, 25-10, including 10-0 during the two 10-minute overtime periods. The 25 attempts were a season high by a Triton opponent for the second straight match, and the most let up by UCSD since Cal Poly Pomona generated 26 in a 3-0 loss in La Jolla on Sept. 26, 2008.
The visitors produced the best scoring opportunity of the first half, as Jio Santana’s low, right-footed effort pinged off the left post and away in the 21st minute.
Earlier, within five minutes of the opening whistle, UCSD had done some good work down the right wing through Brandon Bauman and Cory Wolfrom, only for Bagheri to shoot narrowly wide to the left. Bauman’s right-footed volley in the 12th minute also went left of the target.
Following the halftime interval, Dickerson came up big twice to maintain the scoreless deadlock. First, Triton senior Taylor Wirth (Escondido/La Costa Canyon HS) had his right-footed curler denied as it headed toward the upper right corner in the 50th. In the 57th, junior left back Matthew McClure stung a powerful shot off a feed from his right, but Dickerson dove to his left and slapped the ball away.
Covarrubias came close to nabbing a brace and a winner in the 98th, with a long-distance effort that seemed harmless at first being tipped over the bar by Cohen.
A season-long six-match homestand continues this Sunday, Oct. 20, against another divisional opponent in Cal Poly Pomona. Kickoff at Triton Soccer Stadium is set for 11:30 a.m., preceding the women’s game at 2 p.m.
Triton Notes: CSUDH leads the all-time series, 16-4-6 ... The teams played to a 1-1 draw in this season’s earlier meeting as well, in Carson on Sept. 13 ... UCSD entered the game 4-1 at Triton Soccer Stadium this season with just a single goal allowed in 452:09 ... The Tritons still have not let up more than one goal in any of their last 17 matches since a 3-0 loss to CSUDH in Carson late in the 2012 campaign ,,, Senior midfielder Will Pleskow returned to action for the first time since suffering an injury during the first half of UCSD’s home opener against Point Loma on Sept. 7.