LA JOLLA, Calif. - The 22nd-ranked UC San Diego men’s soccer team produced its third straight shutout victory, 2-0 over Humboldt State University, in a California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) match Friday at Triton Soccer Stadium.
With the win in front of 771 spectators, UCSD improved to 5-1-1 overall and 3-1-1 in the CCAA. The Tritons sit in a two-way tie for second place in the South Division standings with Cal State L.A. at 10 points apiece, one behind leader Cal State Dominguez Hills. Humboldt State dropped to 3-3-1 overall and 1-3-1 in league play.
The Tritons found the one goal they needed with just 17 ticks left in the first half, as junior left back Matthew McClure’s throw-in was met by a back-flicked header by redshirt freshman right back Brett Sampiere (Solana Beach/Torrey Pines HS) near the left edge of the penalty area. The ball fell to senior Cory Wolfrom, who spun around and shot low. The ball deflected off of Jacks defender Connor Wilkinson and went into the back of the net for a 1-0 halftime edge.
McClure and Sampiere each earned the first assist of their careers on the play.
UCSD firmed up the result with great combination play in the 73rd minute. Senior midfielder Taylor Wirth (Escondido/La Costa Canyon HS) played a deep ball toward the left corner, where freshman Gerrit van Zyll hit a cross for junior strike partner Alessandro Canale to shoot low into the far netting. The goal was Canale’s team-leading third. Wirth and van Zyll were both credited with their first assist of the season, with van Zyll’s marking the first point of his college career.
Senior All-American Josh Cohen was called upon to make five saves in keeping his third successive clean sheet, fourth of 2013 and 16th of his career. With the scoreboard reading 2-0 in favor of the Tritons, Cohen prevented the Jacks from inching back into contention when he dove to his short right to smother a penalty-kick attempt by HSU's leading scorer, Zach Hammond, in the 77th minute.
Javier Torres and Ryan Ades each played a half in net for Humboldt State and made one stop apiece.
Wolfrom’s header from an Elan Gefen pass was slapped away nicely by a diving Torres in the 22nd. Senior forward Tsuk Haroush had a goal disallowed due to an offside call, one of 10 for UCSD, in the 59th minute. Gefen put his effective header off the post in the 76th from a fine feed by fellow junior midfielder Brandon Bauman.
The Tritons created numerous chances throughout the first half after intercepting poor passes in the HSU defensive third, namely by Wolfrom and freshman Malek Bashti.
UCSD held a 19-12 advantage in shots on the evening, led by senior playmaker Andisheh Bagheri with a game- and career-high eight.
UCSD hosts Sonoma State this Sunday afternoon, Sept. 29. Kickoff at Triton Soccer Stadium is set for 11:30 a.m., with the women’s teams following at 2 p.m.