LA JOLLA, Calif. -
The UC San Diego men's soccer team fell in its first home contest of the season, 1-0, to St. Martin's on Saturday evening at Triton Soccer Field.
Against the run of play, Austin Kelley pounded home a rebound off a deflection by Triton goalkeeper Josh Cohen in the 83rd minute. Cohen came out to punch away a dangerous cross from SMU's Tony Armitage and then made a quick save on Kelley's first attempt.
However, the ball dropped right back to Kelley's feet, giving the senior a second crack from about 16 yards out. UCSD defender Harris Rabin got his foot to the shot, but it deflected into the top corner of the side-netting.
"Every team at this point of the season is trying to find an identity and we're doing the same thing," said UCSD head coach Jon Pascale. "I'm actually more pleased with how we played tonight as supposed to last Thursday, so there are some positives to take from this."
Pascale was referring to the Tritons' 2-1 win over Cal Baptist in Riverside, a match in which CBU controlled the tempo and dictated most of the contest. UCSD was able to mold much of the match on Saturday night against St. Martin's, however, could not break through the Saints' defense.
In the first half, Alex Portela laced a shot from 26 yards away that broke through SMU goalkeeper J.J. Olson's hands, but the ball deflected slightly over the crossbar. Sam Ball and Franco Cruz created fits for the Saints' defense with their speed and Adam Zernik put a solid shot on frame, however, Olson was up to task each time.
"There were a number of times we had guys in front of goal," said Pascale. "We created a lot of good chances and it was unfortunate not to come away with a goal.
UCSD's best chance came with 12 minutes remaining in regulation, when Rabin sent a long ball to the back post from the right flank. Elan Gefen got on the end of Rabin's cross and was unlucky to crack a diving header straight into the chest of Olson.
The Tritons would win a series of corners with less than five minutes remaining. Gavin Lamming sent in a low cross, but Keimach's volley was deflected by a SMU defender over the bar. Lamming then tried a short corner with Jacob Valadez, who sent a low cross to the top of the box for Ball. Ball one-timed the cross firmly, but it sailed high and wide.
UCSD drops to 1-1 on the year while St. Martin's improves to 1-1. The Tritons will be back in action on Friday, September 9, when they travel to Los Angeles to take on Cal State L.A. at 4:30 p.m. UCSD's next home contest will be against Cal State San Bernardino on September 25 at 2:30 p.m.