UCSD LOOKS TO LOCK UP POSTSEASON BERTH AT HOME
The 18th-ranked Tritons, currently still in third place in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) South Division at 10-2-2 overall and 8-2-2 in league play, conclude a season-long six-game homestand this weekend. UCSD takes on both the top and bottom of the CCAA North, hosting last-place San Francisco State in primetime on Friday night, Oct. 25, at 7 p.m., and first-place Cal State Monterey Bay on Sunday, Oct. 27, at 2 p.m. Both games will serve to cap doubleheaders with the UCSD women, and have live stats. UCSD is 5-1-1 with just two goals surrendered, both on dead balls (free kick, penalty kick), in 652:09 of home action in 2013. All regular-season matches at Triton Soccer Stadium are free to attend.
TRITONS ROCK HUNGER
The Triton Athletes' Council is joining with other campus organizations to collect canned goods and other non-perishable food items this week. Items collected will be donated to the San Diego Food Bank. Red barrels will be located at Triton Soccer Stadium, Canyonview Pool and RIMAC Arena during this week's home events, as well as the main RIMAC lobby, and all fans are invited to join in the Tritons Rock Hunger effort.
PUMPKIN CARVING CONTEST
The doubleheader at Triton Soccer Stadium this Friday, Oct. 25, will feature The Great Pumpkin Carving Contest, sponsored by Greek Life and the Triton Athletes' Council and open to all UCSD students. Students must bring their own carved pumpkin to the contest tent above the soccer field by 6 p.m. to register. Registration will begin at 5 p.m. Pumpkins may be of any size or shape, but only one entry per person will be accepted. Two winners will each receive $200 gift certificates to Chick-fil-A.
Free posters featuring both the UCSD men's and women's soccer teams together, sponsored by UCSD Dining Services and Pepsi, will be available at Triton Soccer Stadium over the final three home dates of the 2013 season this Friday, Oct. 25, Sunday, Oct. 27, and Sunday, Nov. 3.
UCSD dropped one spot from No. 17 to No. 18 in this week's National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll, released Tuesday. The showing at No. 6 on Oct. 8 was the program's highest ranking of the Division II era (since 2000). Before ascending from No. 22 to No. 10 on Oct. 1, the Tritons previously were as high as No. 15 on Sept. 13, 2005. UCSD was last as high as sixth in any poll on Nov. 11, 1996, when it was No. 6 in the final Division III ranking of the 1996 regular season. The Tritons remain third in the NSCAA's West Region list, behind Canadian outfit Simon Fraser and league foe Cal State L.A. In its first in-season installment of 2013 on Sept. 10, UCSD entered the NSCAA national rankings, at No. 25, for the very first time under sixth-year head coach Jon Pascale. The Tritons' last appearance before that occurred on Nov. 1, 2005, at No. 19 ahead of the CCAA Championship. On Oct. 15, Pascale and the program were featured on NSCAA TV.
TRITONS THIRD IN DEBUT OF NCAA REGIONAL POLLS
The NCAA's first regional polls were announced on Wednesday afternoon, with UCSD ranked No. 3 in the West behind division rivals Cal State L.A. and Chico State, and ahead of Simon Fraser, Cal State Dominguez Hills, Seattle Pacific, Sunday's home opponent Cal State Monterey Bay, and California Baptist. The top six in the final edition earn qualification into the 2013 NCAA Championship.
TRITONS CLOSING IN ON FIRST CCAA TOURNEY BERTH SINCE 2005
If the regular season ended today, UCSD will have qualified for its first CCAA Championship since 2005. In third place with 26 points, UCSD still trails 24th-ranked South Division leader Chico State by two points and No. 12 Cal State L.A. by just one, as all three squads won one and tied one last weekend. The Tritons now have a five-point cushion over fourth-place Cal State Dominguez Hills. Cal State Monterey Bay still leads in the North by two points over Sonoma State. The two division winners, and the next two teams with the highest point totals, regardless of division, will make up the four-team CCAA Championship field in Turlock, Nov. 8-10. With four matches left, the two wild card teams will almost definitely come from the South, with the Tritons currently occupying the fourth and final spot. Three wins out of four would put UCSD in. A berth could be clinched this weekend depending on results in La Jolla and elsewhere.
NATION'S PREMIER DEFENSE
The Tritons lead all of the NCAA Division II in both goals-against average (0.34) and shutout percentage (0.64), for the second year in a row. Last season, they recorded final totals of a CCAA-record 0.44 and 0.71, respectively. UCSD, which is also No. 1 in save percentage (tied with Post, 0.884), has kept nine clean sheets out of 14 matches in 2013, including a stretch of seven straight shutout triumphs around which it did not surrender a goal over 766:07, that was snapped on Oct. 13. It marked the program's longest shutout streak in Division II, second-longest ever (845:12 in 1988) and fourth of 400-plus minutes since the start of the 2012 campaign. Individually, senior All-American goalkeeper Josh Cohen, No. 1 nationally in 2012 in goals-against average (0.397) and save percentage (.898), is currently third in GAA (0.345) and fourth in save percentage (0.881). The Tritons have given up only one goal in each of their other five contests, and have allowed no more than one score over the past 18 games going back to a 3-0 loss at Cal State Dominguez Hills on Oct. 14, 2012. UCSD has posted 21 shutouts over its last 30.
CCAA STAT LEADERS
Cohen paces the CCAA in save percentage (0.881) and shutouts (nine), and is second in goals-against average (0.34) and least goals against (tied-five). Fellow senior Andisheh Bagheri is tied for third with six goals and 13th with 29 shots. Brandon Bauman is tied with four others for second with a team-best five assists. Fellow junior newcomer Alessandro Canale is tied for 10th with four goals and tied for 15th with 26 shots.
BACK-LINE MATES AND WEEKLY CCAA HONOREES
UCSD's fourth-year senior center back tandem of Alec Arsht and Gavin Lamming have both earned Wilson/CCAA Player of the Week selection for UCSD this season. Arsht was named on Oct. 7. He led a pair of shutout road victories as the Tritons let up just 12 shot attempts over 180 minutes, and added his first goal of 2013 to cap a 2-0 triumph at Cal State East Bay on Oct. 6. Lamming was chosen back on Sept. 24, similarly after anchoring the defense to two shutout road wins, over divisional foes who each entered that weekend undefeated. Lamming also headed in a 27th-minute corner kick from junior teammate Jacob Valadez for the lone goal at Cal State San Bernardino on Sept. 22.
In blanking then-No. 14 Chico State and Cal State San Bernardino 1-0 away from home on Sept. 20 and 22, respectively, 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. UCSD repeated the two-game road sweep three weekends ago, achieving comfortable 2-0 scorelines at defending CCAA champion Cal State Stanislaus on Oct. 4 and Cal State East Bay on Oct. 6. At 5-1-1, the Tritons have their most road wins since 2005, when they went 5-4-2 outside of La Jolla.
UCSD is a perfect 9-0 when scoring first in 2013 and 8-0 when leading at halftime ... At 8-1-1, UCSD was off to its best 10-game start of the Division II era, and best since an unbeaten 9-0-1 opening to its 1988 Division III national championship season ... The 6-1-1 CCAA start was also UCSD's best ever ... The seven-game win streak earlier this year was the Tritons' best in Division II, and longest since a nine-gamer in 1996 ... Cohen and redshirt freshman right back Brett Sampiere (Solana Beach/Torrey Pines HS) are the only Tritons to have played all 1306:06 ... Arsht, Lamming, Sampiere and junior left back Matthew McClure have made up the back four in front of Cohen for a large majority of the current campaign and virtually every minute of the seven-game shutout stretch ... Cohen handled his 100th career save early in the opener at California Baptist (9/5), and his career-best nine shutouts in 2013 give him a career total of 21 ... Bagheri paces the team with six goals, 13 points, 29 shots, 11 shots on goal and four game-winning goals ... Bagheri's winners have come on an overtime penalty kick at CBU, a free kick vs. Sonoma State (9/29), a 74th-minute penalty vs. CSUSB (10/11) and a 38th-minute penalty vs. Cal Poly Pomona (10/20) ... Bauman's team-leading five assists are the most by a Triton since senior Cory Wolfrom set up eight scores in 2011 ... Bauman collected two assists each vs. Point Loma (9/7) and at Cal State East Bay (10/6) ... Both of Wolfrom's goals in 2013 have been game-winners ... 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 has five more in 2013, with Bagheri accounting for the lone goal in the last three of them.
HEAD COACH JON PASCALE
Pascale, the 2012 CCAA Coach of the Year, has posted a 54-35-16 (.590) overall record in his sixth season in charge of the UCSD men's soccer program. The 1-0 home victory over Sonoma State on Sept. 29 gave him career win No. 50, while the 2-0 triumph at Cal State Stanislaus on Oct. 4 marked his 100th match at the Triton helm.
ABOUT THE GATORS
San Francisco State is 3-10-1 overall and 2-9-1 in the CCAA. The Gators, in last place in the North, have lost their last seven, getting outscored 15-1 in the process. They have just nine goals on the year in 14 matches. Sophomore midfielder Sam Merritt leads the squad offensively with seven points from three goals and an assist. Freshman forwards Andrew Ogilvy (El Cajon/Valhalla HS) and Cameron De Jong have two goals each. Colt Reichl (1.50 GAA, three shutouts) has been the regular SF State goalie. The sophomore's 74 saves lead the league. Head coach Joe Hunter is in his 17th season in charge of the Gators, who are 2-5 outside of San Francisco in 2013.
UCSD leads the all-time series, 9-4-3. Last season, the Tritons won 1-0 in La Jolla before the sides played to a scoreless stalemate in San Francisco. Current UCSD volunteer assistant coach Adam Zernik tallied the decider in the initial meeting off a free kick in the 84th minute. The teams faced each other twice in 2011 as well as fellow members of the CCAA South, with the Tritons pulling off a sweep. UCSD is an unbeaten 5-0-2 against SF State over the last seven match-ups, with two straight wins in La Jolla since a scoreless draw in 2009. The Gators have not scored against UCSD over the last 280:14.
ABOUT THE OTTERS
Cal State Monterey Bay enters the weekend at 8-4-2 overall and 6-4-2 in CCAA play. The Otters were in last in the North when UCSD trounced them 5-0 in Seaside in the 2012 finale for both teams. One year removed, they top the North, and are coming off of a home split last weekend. CSUMB was edged 2-1 in double overtime by defending CCAA champion Cal State Stanislaus on Friday before getting past Cal State East Bay by that same score on Sunday. The overtime winner in that one came off the left foot of Servando Perez at 91:08. Perez, a senior midfielder, leads the Otters with 15 points from six goals and three assists. Alberto Anguiano has provided four goals and a team-best five assists, while fellow junior Max Madrigal has added four goals and four assists. As a team, CSUMB is second behind CSUDH (32) in the CCAA with 27 goals scored. Sophomore Evan Drake (1.51 GAA, 62 saves, three shutouts) is the regular Otter goalkeeper. Rob Cummings is in his third season in charge in Seaside. Cal State Monterey Bay, 2-2-1 away from home in 2013, plays at Cal Poly Pomona on Friday afternoon prior to paying Triton Soccer Stadium a visit Sunday.
UCSD leads the all-time series, 5-2-2. The Tritons are unbeaten in their last six (4-0-2) against the Otters, with the three wins preceding the most recent 5-0 triumph a year ago, all of the one-goal variety. The last time they played in La Jolla in 2011, UCSD came away with a 1-0 decision courtesy of an 80th-minute Alex Portela strike off assists by Arsht and Wolfrom. UCSD is 2-0-2 against the Otters at Triton Soccer Stadium all-time, without conceding a goal in 400 minutes. The Tritons have won three straight over the Otters regardless of venue, with CSUMB scoreless against the Tritons over the last 447:31 of soccer.
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THE BIG PICTURE
We want to reward you for posting your creative photos. Tweet and Instagram your pics from any UCSD Athletics event and include our #TritonsRising hashtag. At the end of every month, we'll pick our favorite photos and dole out some swag to the winners!
UCSD wraps up the regular season next weekend at Cal Poly Pomona (Nov. 1, 4:30 p.m.) and then at home against Cal State L.A. on Senior Day (Nov. 3, 11:30 a.m.).