LA JOLLA, Calif. - With highlight-reel plays and
consistent offensive pressure, UC San Diego and 16th-ranked Cal State San Bernardino gave
the electric crowd of 941 fans at Triton Soccer Field plenty of entertainment
Friday. In the end though, both squads were left wanting more as the scoreboard
read 1-1 at the final whistle.
"Our guys left it all out on the field," UCSD head coach Jon Pascale said. "The guys out there from the start, the guys coming off the bench, the crowd - everyone gave a tremendous effort. As entertaining as it was, you still want to get the win."
The Tritons, having gone 2-0-1 in their past three matches, now stand at 2-4-3 overall and 2-3-2 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association. Friday's draw ends CSUSB's streak of three-straight wins and the Coyotes currently hold a 6-2-1 overall record coupled with a 4-2-1 league mark.
The CSUSB attack broke through just one minute and 20 seconds into the match, as CCAA points leader Obi Agwu beat UCSD keeper Jesse Brennan to a bouncing ball and flicked it high into the net. The Tritons rallied for the equalizing score in the 35th minute, as Kian Malek and Scott MacBride combined on a wonderful give-and-go that ended with Malek blasting it over the head of Coyotes' netminder Tanner Olinger.
After the flick from D.J. Vigil led to Agwu's score in the 2nd minute, UCSD took control of the game's tempo despite facing the early 1-0 deficit. About five minutes after the CSUSB goal, the Tritons put together a run of impressive chances, including a header from Brandon Yee sent just wide, a low liner by David Bakal that hit the right post and a couple of point-blank shots from Cory Wolfrom that Olinger managed to send back.
In what likely stands as the top play for UCSD so far this season, Malek and MacBride combined with some wonderful passing to even the score. With a give-and-go leading them into the box, MacBride sent a flick off his right heel that settled at the feet of a charging Malek. With the keeper approaching, Malek sent a hard shot over his head to send the home crowd into a frenzy.
As the Tritons ended the first half with a 11-9 shot advantage, the Coyotes reversed a bit of the momentum in the second period when they outshot UCSD 10-6. Agwu and Albert Cabrera contributed a major portion of CSUSB's chances, with seven and five shots respectively. A short free kick from the left side in the 78th minute connected with Cabrera for a diving header, which glanced off the crossbar.
The first 90 minutes couldn't settle the affair and the match moved into extra time. The Coyotes earned three corner kicks in the later stages of the first overtime but couldn't produce a scoring result. In what might have been the best chance in the bonus time, UCSD freshman Andrew Keimach sent a pass into the box for Kasra Sarabakhsh, who spun and fired just left of the frame.
In the end, the South Division squads settled for the single point. Brennan matched a career-high in saves with six, while Olinger totaled four stops. CSUSB earned nine corner kicks, while the Tritons attempted five. The two teams combined for six yellow cards, four to UCSD and two to the Coyotes.
The Tritons return to action on Sunday when they host Cal Poly Pomona at 12 p.m.