LA JOLLA, Calif. - Jared Kukura pounded home his second goal of the match with less than a minute remaining in the first overtime period as the UC San Diego men's soccer team came back to upset No. 14 Chico State, 3-2, in California Collegiate Athletic Association play Friday night at Triton Soccer Field.
With the win, UCSD improves to 5-4-4 overall, 5-3-3 in the CCAA while Chico State falls to 9-4-0 and 7-4-0 in conference play. The Tritons are 5-0-2 over their last seven matches.
In the 99th minute, UCSD won a free-kick at the top of the penalty box on a foul by Chico State defender Mike Janjigian. UCSD's Adam Zernik took a shot from the dead ball, forcing a save from the goalkeeper. On the ensuing rebound, Kukura crashed the six-yard box, rocketing home the game-winner into the side netting.
It marked just Kukura's third goal of the year. If it weren't for some last minute heroics in regulation time, Kukura's shot would have never happened.
After Ferid Celosmanovic of Chico State scored his second goal of the second half to give the Wildcats a 2-1 lead with only 2:30 remaining, things seemed quite dire for UCSD. However, on the Tritons' next possession in Wildcat territory less than a minute later, UCSD's David Bakal would head-in the equalizer to force overtime.
UC San Diego will take the win despite being outshot, 16-11. Chico State also had more corner kicks with 10 compared to UCSD's seven.
After a scoreless first half, UCSD forced its fourth corner of the match off the second half kickoff. Alex Portela sent a low ball to the top of the box to Andisheh Bagheri, who cracked a low shot that forced a save from a CSUC defender sitting at the far-post. The ball bounced to the foot of Kukura, who calmly slotted the shot home for the game's first goal.
Kukura's goal seemed to ignite the Chico State attack, as Celosmanovic and Chris Akwaja forced pressure in the UCSD box.
Celosmanovic would tie the match at 1-1 by capitalizing on a poor clearance by the Triton back line, volleying home a bouncing ball at the edge of the penalty box. In the 88th minute, Celosmanovic would help Chico State take the lead, freeing himself about 25 yards out and lacing a left-footed shot over the outstretched goalkeeper, Josh Cohen.
However, that 2-1 lead would last less than 60 seconds, as Bakal's goal ended CSUC's high hopes by forcing overtime.
The rest, well, is history.
UCSD returns to action on Sunday, October 17 at 2:00 p.m. The Tritons will host the Warriors of Cal State Stanislaus at Triton Soccer Field.