POMONA, Calif. -
The UC San Diego men's soccer team's eight-match unbeaten streak came to a halt as the Tritons fell, 2-1, to Cal Poly Pomona in California College Athletic Association (CCAA) play Friday afternoon in Pomona.
The loss moves UCSD to 6-5-4 overall and 6-4-3 in CCAA competition. CPP improves to 8-6-1 overall, 6-6-1 CCAA.
The Broncos set the tone early in the match, as Luis Gonzalez's pass through traffic found Tyler Reinhart in front of the Triton goal. Reinhart slotted his shot into the corner of the net, putting CPP up 1-0 just 10 minutes into the match.
UCSD's David Bakal
would have an opportunity to tie the score less than a minute later, but his shot from just inside the box sailed high. Andisheh Bagheri
and Kasra Sarabakhsh
each would put a shot on frame in the first half, but CPP goalkeeper Tony Iniguez preserved the Bronco lead going into the half.
Early in the second half it was Gonzalez who found himself behind the Triton defense on the end of a precise through ball from Anthony Salcedo. Gonzalez touched it past UCSD's Josh Cohen
, putting Pomona up, 2-0, in the 52nd minute.
UCSD would rattle off 12 shots in the second half, led by Brandon Yee
's three attempts at goal. Despite winning six corners in the half, it would not be until the 88th minute until the Tritons finally put one in the back of the net.
After UCSD's Gavin Lamming
's header nearly beat Iniguez, Cory Wolfrom
sent in a cross from the right side of the box, finding the head of Jared Kukura
. Kukura, the reigning CCAA Player of the Week, headed the ball back across the frame to the far post, beating Iniguez and getting the Tritons on the board. The score marked Kukura's third goal in seven days and his three goals on the season leads all Triton players.
With only moments to spare, Harris Rabin
would get off a shot to try and tie the match, but his attempt was well wide.
UCSD outnumbered CPP in shots and corner kicks, 18-12 and 7-4, respectively, while forcing eight saves out of Iniguez. Cohen recorded six stops on the afternoon.
The loss comes at an inopportune time for UCSD as it jockeys for a CCAA postseason birth. UCSD currently has the seventh-most points in the conference with 21, trailing Cal State Stanislaus by two for fourth-most in the CCAA. In the CCAA playoffs, the winners of the South and North Divisions, plus the next two teams with the most amount of points in either division, advance to a four-team single-elimination tournament to determine who will be granted an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II Championships.
If the regular season were to end today, Cal State San Bernardino (28 points, 1st Place, CCAA South), Cal State Dominguez Hills (26 points, 2nd Place, CCAA South), Chico State (24 points, 1st Place, CCAA North), and Cal State Stanislaus (23 points, 2nd Place, CCAA North) would be heading to Turlock for the CCAA postseason tournament. Sonoma State and Cal State L.A. are in third place in their respective divisions with 22 points apiece while UCSD follows close behind. CSULA and CSUDH face-off on Saturday in a match that UCSD will have interest in.
UCSD will look to redeem itself against No. 6 Cal State San Bernardino on Sunday, traveling to face CSUSB at 2:00 p.m. The teams played to a 1-1 tie in their previous tilt on Oct. 1 at Triton Soccer Field.