UCSD CONCLUDES ROAD STRETCH WITH TWO MORE DIVISIONAL TILTS
UCSD is back on the road for a second straight weekend, paying visits to two more California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) South Division foes. The Tritons first play at 14th-ranked Chico State on Friday, Sept. 20, at 4:30 p.m., and then Cal State San Bernardino on Sunday, Sept. 22, at 11:30 a.m. UCSD has another tall order ahead as a challenging early-season schedule continues, with the Wildcats and Coyotes still currently undefeated. Both games will have live stats.
STINGY ON DEFENSE AGAIN
The UCSD defense has largely picked up where it left off in 2012. The Tritons led the entire nation in the NCAA Division II a year ago in team goals-against average (0.44) and shutout percentage (0.71). Though UCSD has only kept one clean sheet over its first four matches, it has only given up one goal in each of the other three contests, and boasts a 0.70 GAA. The Tritons have surrendered no more than one goal over their past eight games going back to the end of the 2012 season.
BACK IN THE NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT
In its first in-season installment of 2013 on Tuesday, Sept. 10, UCSD entered the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) national rankings, at No. 25, for the very first time under sixth-year head coach Jon Pascale. The Tritons' previous national ranking is believed to have occurred in 2005, when they began the CCAA Championship at No. 19. UCSD fell out of the national poll this week, but is rated No. 6 in the West Region, down from No. 4.
AROUND THE CCAA
With one point from its first two league matches, UCSD is tied for fifth in the South Division with Cal Poly Pomona. Seventh-ranked Cal State L.A. and this week's two road opponents, No. 14 Chico State and Cal State San Bernardino, all have the full six points and share the top rung in the South. No. 25 Cal State Monterey Bay is the only team in the North on six points.
UCSD is 7-5-2 in CCAA openers following a 1-1 draw at CSUDH last Friday night ... Through four games, senior goalkeeper Josh Cohen and redshirt freshman right back Brett Sampiere (Solana Beach/Torrey Pines HS) are the only Tritons to have played all 383:57 ... Cohen handled his 100th career save early in the opener at CBU (9/5), and kept his 13th career shutout vs. Point Loma (9/7) ... UCSD won its first two games of the season for the first time since 2009 ... The 2-1 victory at CBU on Sept. 5 was UCSD's first of the come-from-behind variety since a 4-1 home defeat of SF State on Oct. 28, 2011 ... The Tritons are still in the middle of a season-opening schedule of seven of 10 contests away from home.
HEAD COACH JON PASCALE
Jon Pascale, the 2012 CCAA Coach of the Year, has posted a 46-34-15 (.563) overall record in his sixth season in charge of the UCSD men's soccer program.
ABOUT THE WILDCATS
No. 14 Chico State enters the upcoming weekend at 4-0 overall and 2-0 in CCAA play. All four wins have come on the road, with the Wildcats now finally awaiting their home opener this Friday night against the Tritons. They are coming off of back-to-back road successes to open league activity, 2-1 at Cal State East Bay on Friday and 3-1 Sunday at Cal State Stanislaus. Chico State is led by sophomores Justin Walmsley and J.P. Medina, each with two goals. Junior set-piece specialist Octavio Guzman has three assists. Senior James Stroud (Encinitas/Torrey Pines HS) has two shutouts and a 0.50 goals-against average as the 'Cats' starting goalkeeper. The Wildcats are new to the South Division this year, swapping spots with San Francisco State in the CCAA's two-year rotation. Chico State lost 3-2 to Cal State Stanislaus in Carson in the 2012 CCAA Championship final. Felipe Restrepo is in his sixth season in charge of the Wildcats.
UCSD leads the all-time series, 8-5-2. The teams played to a scoreless draw last Oct. 21 on Senior Day in La Jolla, with Cohen making a pair of stops over the 110 minutes for the shutout. The 'Cats edged the Tritons, 2-1, in the last match-up in Chico in 2011. UCSD is 0-1-1 in Chico since last winning there on Oct. 12, 2008, by the final score of 2-0. The Wildcats will travel south to play at Triton Soccer Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 13 (2 p.m.).
ABOUT THE COYOTES
Cal State San Bernardino has gotten off to a hot start to the season at 4-0-2 overall and 2-0 in league play. The Coyotes have yet to surrender a single goal in those six contests (583:10). They played four games in five days on a trip to Hawaii to begin the year, going 2-0-2. They subsequently posted back-to-back 1-0 triumphs at Cal State Stanislaus last Friday night and at Cal State East Bay on Sunday. Tigran Tiraturyan, Juan Gonzalez and Raul Gomez have accounted for two goals apiece offensively, with Gomez nabbing the overtime winner at East Bay. Sophomore goalkeeper Jeff Salt has four individual shutouts among his five starts. Lance Thompson is in his second season in charge of the CSUSB men. The Coyotes host Cal Poly Pomona in their home opener on Friday afternoon prior to entertaining the Tritons Sunday.
UCSD holds a narrow edge in the all-time series, 17-16-6. The teams played to a 1-1 draw in San Bernardino last Sept. 16 before a 2-0 Triton victory in La Jolla two weeks later. UCSD swept both matches in 2011, with the Coyotes last winning at home on Oct. 24, 2010, by the score of 1-0. UCSD will host CSUSB at Triton Soccer Stadium on Friday, Oct. 11 (7 p.m.).
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FOLLOW THE TRITONS
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THE BIG PICTURE
We want to reward you for posting your creative photos. Tweet and Instagram your pics from any UCSD Athletics event and include our #TritonsRising hashtag. At the end of every month, we'll pick our favorite photos and dole out some swag to the winners!
After concluding its current four-match road string this Sunday, UCSD returns home next weekend, hosting Humboldt State on Friday, Sept. 27 (4:30 p.m.) and Sonoma State on Sunday, Sept. 29 (11:30 a.m.). Admission for regular-season contests at Triton Soccer Stadium is free.