LA JOLLA, Calif. - Third-seeded UC San Diego and sixth-seeded Cal State Stanislaus played to a 0-0 deadlock through 90 minutes of regulation and 20 minutes of overtime in a California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Men's Soccer Championship first-round match Sunday afternoon at Triton Soccer Stadium, before the visiting Warriors advanced past the host Tritons via penalty-kick tiebreaker, 5-4.
UCSD's 2014 campaign is likely over with an overall mark of 10-4-5. The Tritons hold a very slim hope of an NCAA Championship berth, with that announcement coming on Monday, Nov. 10. They were making their second straight CCAA Championship appearance, as 2013 finalists.
Cal State Stanislaus (6-8-4) advances to the CCAA Championship semifinals, with its own venue, Warrior Stadium in Turlock, the site for the final two rounds next weekend. The Warriors will take on second-seeded reigning conference tournament champion Cal State L.A. on Friday night, Nov. 7.
The official result of Sunday's match goes down as a 0-0 draw.
The penalty-kick tiebreaker began in favor of the visitors as Carlos Gavino led off with a conversion and Triton captain Brandon Bauman saw his effort saved by Clint Long, with the senior goalie diving low to his right.
The next three tries were all true for each side, with Warriors Gerardo Cazares, Brady Taylor and Matthew Waldron all finding the target ahead of successful attempts by Malek Bashti, Eric Young and fourth-year senior Jacob Valadez, who had drawn a second straight start at a forward spot for the ailing Tritons.
Jose Acosta then stepped up knowing that he could send Stanislaus into the next round, but junior goalkeeper Cameron McElfresh kept UCSD alive by going down to his short left to parry the ball away.
Having to convert, senior right back Matthew McClure did just that, coolly to his left, and on to the sixth round of kicks they went.
Finally, Stanislaus freshman Rafael Chavez shot into the upper left corner, and Long dove to his left to deny A.J. Beloff and put his team through.
In the first half of Sunday’s contest for CSUS, Jaime Ceja whizzed his left-footed blast narrowly over the crossbar just 2:09 in, and Josue Barajas had his shot blocked in the 34th.
UCSD did not register its first shot until the 40th minute, when in quick succession, Sean Pleskow was blocked and Bashti was denied from close range by Long.
The Tritons almost got on the scoreboard a mere 22 seconds after the second-half whistle, as Bashti navigated his way to the end line on the left side and provided a cross that Sam Palano shot at the near post, only for Long to be properly positioned.
UCSD freshman Charlie Keating came up empty on back-to-back attempts in the 80th minute, with the first one blocked and the rebound put wide to the left. Acosta then almost grabbed a sure winner at 86:29 with a wicked shot low from the left side that appeared destined for the far corner, but McElfresh got his left hand out to make an incredible save out to a corner kick.
Stanislaus also came closest to ending the drama in the extra periods. A little over three minutes into the first one, Jose Ramirez crossed from the right for Barajas to get his head to from point-blank range, but the ball took a deflection on its way into the waiting arms of McElfresh.
McElfresh made three saves over the 110 minutes. The junior played every minute in goal for the Tritons in 2014, with Sunday marking his ninth shutout.
Long finished with two stops for Stanislaus, which held a 15-9 advantage in shots.
The regular-season meeting between the sides had also ended in a tie, 1-1 on that occasion, in La Jolla back on Oct. 10.
Bauman, Beloff, McClure and Valadez all made their final appearances in a Triton uniform, as did starting left back Nick Roberts. A sixth senior, striker Alessandro Canale, was unavailable due to a season-ending injury suffered last month.