LA JOLLA, Calif. - With about eight minutes to play in the final overtime period, Dominican dropped to 10 men after freshman forward David Mendez received a red card. The UC San Diego men's soccer team put together its best chances from that point forward but in the end, the score did not stray from 0-0.
"We feel like we were the better team tonight but the only statistic that matters is the one on the scoreboard and we were even in that category," Tritons' head coach Jon Pascale said. "I've got to give Dominican a lot of credit. They made things difficult on us and their keeper made a couple of really big plays, but we definitely feel like we should have got out of here with a win. We're definitely going to have to get better to be competitive in conference play."
At the 105:01 mark, Tritons' senior midfielder David Bakal ripped a hard shot to the bottom right corner of the net but Penguins' netminder Matthew Carlson made a splendid diving save to keep the match alive. Four minutes later, UCSD freshman Andisheh Bagheri launched a shot from the top of the box that sailed just over the crossbar.
Dominican (0-0-1) and UCSD (0-0-1) settled for the 0-0 season-opening draw, as the two squads combined for 43 fouls in a hard-fought match. Eight yellow cards were handed out.
The Tritons outshot the Penguins 9-1 in the first half, with the UCSD attack generating a handful of legitimate scoring chances.
In the 28th minute on a corner kick from Kasra Sarabakhsh, the ball sailed inside the top of the box and found Jared Kukura up in the air above his defender. Kukura's header landed over the net though and Dominican avoided the early deficit.
About 10 minutes later, Bakal combined with freshman Tsuk Haroush for quick touches in the box but Bakal's finishing shot was stopped by the Penguins' goalkeeper.
Dominican's best chance in regulation likely came at the 82:01 mark when UCSD goalkeeper Jesse Brennan attempted to rush out and grab a bending cross. Brennan couldn't reach the ball and it bounced to DU forward Rafael Garcia at the left of the box. With a crowd in front of him but Brennan out of position, Garcia's shot landed wide right.
Between the two overtime periods, the Tritons outshot the Penguins 8-2. Through the match, UCSD attempted nine corner kicks to Dominican's one. Nonetheless, the two squads each earned a draw.
Brennan, appearing in his first career match, totaled three saves through the 110 minutes of action. In the opposite net, Carlson also put in a strong performance and stopped all nine of UCSD's shots.
The Tritons continue their homestand Saturday with a 4:30 p.m. match against Notre Dame de Namur. Last September, the two teams played a overtime contest that ended in the 100th minute when a Shane Micheil score earned the 2-1 victory for the Tritons.