UCSD WELCOMES RIVAL TOROS IN ON FRIDAY
The 17th-ranked Tritons, now in third place in the stacked California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) South Division at 9-2-1 overall and 7-2-1 in league play, continue a season-long six-game homestand this weekend. UCSD takes on rival Cal State Dominguez Hills, fourth in the South just two points back, on Friday, Oct. 18, at 4:30 p.m., followed by fifth-place Cal Poly Pomona on Sunday, Oct. 20, at 11:30 a.m. Both games will serve as openers to doubleheaders with the UCSD women, and have live stats. UCSD is 4-1 with just one goal surrendered in 452:09 of home action in 2013. All regular-season matches at Triton Soccer Stadium are free to attend.
FREE PIZZA FRIDAY
UCSD students attending the doubleheader this Friday, Oct. 18, at Triton Soccer Stadium, will get free pizza in between matches, courtesy of Papa John's Pizza. The 17th-ranked men face off with Cal State Dominguez Hills at 4:30 p.m. The women follow against the Toros at 7 p.m.
UCSD dropped from No. 6, it's highest ranking of the Division II era (since 2000), to No. 17 in this week's National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll released Tuesday. Before ascending from No. 22 to No. 10 on Oct. 1, the Tritons previously were as high as No. 15 on Sept. 13, 2005. UCSD was last as high as sixth in any poll on Nov. 11, 1996, when it was No. 6 in the final Division III ranking of the 1996 regular season. The Tritons fell from No. 1 to No. 3 (tied with Chico State) in the West Region, behind Canadian outfit Simon Fraser and league foe Cal State L.A. In its first in-season installment of 2013 on Sept. 10, UCSD entered the NSCAA national rankings, at No. 25, for the very first time under sixth-year head coach Jon Pascale. The Tritons' last appearance before that occurred on Nov. 1, 2005, at No. 19 ahead of the CCAA Championship. Also this week, Pascale and the program were featured on NSCAA TV. (Segment starts around the 23:52 mark.)
The Tritons lead all of the NCAA Division II in both goals-against average (0.33) and shutout percentage (0.76, tied with Lander), for the second year in a row. Last season, they recorded final totals of a CCAA-record 0.44 and 0.71, respectively. UCSD, which is also No. 1 in save percentage (0.897), has kept eight clean sheets out of 12 matches in 2013, including a stretch of seven straight shutout triumphs around which it did not surrender a goal over 766:07, snapped on Oct. 13. It marked the program's longest shutout streak in Division II, second-longest ever (845:12 in 1988) and fourth of 400-plus minutes since the start of the 2012 campaign. Individually, senior All-American goalkeeper Josh Cohen, No. 1 nationally in 2012 in goals-against average (0.397) and save percentage (.898), is currently second in both categories (0.325 GAA, 0.895). The Tritons have given up only one goal in each of their other four contests, and have allowed no more than one score over the past 16 games going back to a 3-0 loss at Cal State Dominguez Hills on Oct. 14, 2012. UCSD has posted 20 shutouts over its last 28.
AROUND THE CCAA
In third place with 22 points, UCSD trails 25th-ranked new South Division leader Chico State by two points and No. 13 Cal State L.A. by just one. The Tritons are only two ahead of Friday's opponent, Cal State Dominguez Hills. Cal State Monterey Bay still leads in the North by three points over Sonoma State. Cohen paces the CCAA in save percentage (0.895) and shutouts (eight), and is second in goals-against average (0.33) and least goals against (four). Brandon Bauman is tied with four others for second with a team-best five assists. Fellow junior newcomer Alessandro Canale and senior playmaker Andisheh Bagheri are each tied for sixth with four goals apiece. Bagheri is also 12th with 26 shots.
BACK-LINE MATES AND WEEKLY CCAA HONOREES
UCSD's fourth-year senior center back tandem of Alec Arsht and Gavin Lamming have both earned Wilson/CCAA Player of the Week selection for UCSD this season. Arsht was named on Oct. 7. He led a pair of shutout road victories as the Tritons let up just 12 shot attempts over 180 minutes, and added his first goal of 2013 to cap a 2-0 triumph at Cal State East Bay on Oct. 6. Lamming was chosen back on Sept. 24, similarly after anchoring the defense to two shutout road wins, over divisional foes who each entered that weekend with undefeated records. Lamming also headed in a 27th-minute corner kick from junior teammate Jacob Valadez for the lone goal at Cal State San Bernardino on Sept. 22.
In blanking then-No. 14 Chico State and Cal State San Bernardino 1-0 away from home on Sept. 20 and 22, respectively, UCSD completed its first sweep of a CCAA road weekend since 2010. That year, the Tritons edged Cal State Monterey Bay, 1-0 in Seaside, on Friday, Sept. 24, before blanking San Francisco State, 2-0, two days later. UCSD repeated the two-game road sweep two weekends ago, achieving comfortable 2-0 scorelines at defending CCAA champion Cal State Stanislaus on Oct. 4 and Cal State East Bay on Oct. 6. At 5-1-1, the Tritons have their most road wins since 2005, when they went 5-4-2 outside of La Jolla.
At 8-1-1, UCSD was off to its best 10-game start of the Division II era, and best since an unbeaten 9-0-1 opening to its 1988 Division III national championship season ... The 6-1-1 CCAA start was also UCSD's best ever ... The recent seven-game win streak was the Tritons' best in Division II, and longest since a nine-gamer in 1996 ... Cohen and redshirt freshman right back Brett Sampiere (Solana Beach/Torrey Pines HS) are the only Tritons to have played all 1106:06 ... Arsht, Lamming, Sampiere and junior left back Matthew McClure made up the back four in front of Cohen for virtually every minute of the seven-game shutout stretch ... Cohen handled his 100th career save early in the opener at California Baptist (9/5), and his career-best eighth shutout vs. Cal State San Bernardino (10/11) gave him a total of 20 for his career ... Bagheri and Canale pace the team with four goals each, while Bagheri also leads with nine total points ... Three of Bagheri's goals have been game-winners, with an overtime penalty kick at CBU, a free kick vs. Sonoma State (9/29) and 74th-minute penalty vs. CSUSB ... Bauman's team-leading five assists are the most by a Triton since senior Cory Wolfrom set up eight scores in 2011 ... Bauman collected two assists each vs. Point Loma (9/7) and at Cal State East Bay (10/6) ... Both of Wolfrom's goals in 2013 have been game-winners ... The 2-1 victory at CBU was UCSD's first of the come-from-behind variety since a 4-1 home defeat of SF State on Oct. 28, 2011 ... UCSD produced five 1-0 victories in 2012 and has four in 2013.
HEAD COACH JON PASCALE
Pascale, the 2012 CCAA Coach of the Year, has posted a 53-35-15 (.587) overall record in his sixth season in charge of the UCSD men's soccer program. The 1-0 home victory over Sonoma State on Sept. 29 gave him career win No. 50, while the 2-0 triumph at Cal State Stanislaus on Oct. 4 marked his 100th match at the Triton helm.
ABOUT THE TOROS
Cal State Dominguez Hills, a winner of three straight, is currently 8-2-2 overall and 6-2-2 in the CCAA. The Toros are just two points back of UCSD in fourth in the South. They come in off of an offensive home sweep last weekend of Cal State Stanislaus (4-3) and Cal State East Bay (5-3). The overtime winner against Stanislaus came from junior midfielder Alejandro Covarrubias at 95:32. Aaron Salazar notched his first career hat trick on Sunday and accounted for four goals and one assist over the two wins. The senior forward leads the CCAA with his nine assists and 27 points, and is second with nine goals and 35 shots. Covarrubias has four goals and five assists, while junior forward Heriberto Ponce, Jr., has tallied five goals to go with one assist. Seniors Trey Mitchell (1.29 GAA, 26 saves, three shutouts) and Markus Dickerson (1.05 GAA, 10 saves, one shutout) have each seen significant time between the Toro pipes. Head coach Joe Flanagan is in his 20th season in charge of the men's program at his alma mater. CSUDH is 4-1 on the road in 2013.
Cal State Dominguez Hills leads the all-time series, 16-4-5. This season's earlier meeting, the CCAA opener for both sides, ended in a 1-1 deadlock in Carson on Sept. 13. Salazar (72:14) and Canale (82:21) traded late goals in that one. The teams split their two match-ups a year ago, with the Tritons taking a 1-0 decision in La Jolla in late September, and the Toros producing a 3-0 victory in Carson in mid-October. The three goals surrendered was a season high for UCSD, having allowed just eight all year and accounting for half of the six scored against them in league matches. UCSD is 1-3-1 against CSUDH in La Jolla under Pascale.
ABOUT THE BRONCOS
Cal Poly Pomona enters the weekend at 5-4-3 overall and 3-4-3 in CCAA play. The Broncos are fifth in the CCAA South on 12 points, 10 back of UCSD. They have gone winless (0-2-2) over their last four, with just a single goal scored. Senior forward Brandon Cortez, the CCAA Player of the Week on Sept. 30, is third in the CCAA with his team-best six goals and 15 total points. Freshman teammate Luis Najera, Jr., is right behind with 11 points from four goals and three assists. Senior goalkeeper Andrew Todd (0.80 GAA, 37 saves, three shutouts) has started all 12 games for the Broncos. Yossi Raz is in his first season in charge. Cal Poly Pomona, 3-3-2 away from home in 2013, hosts Cal State L.A. on Friday night prior to paying Triton Soccer Stadium a visit Sunday.
UCSD leads the all-time series, 23-8-2. The Tritons swept the season series in 2012 with a pair of 1-0 shutouts through second-half goals by Tsuk Haroush (67:45) in La Jolla and even later by Scott MacBride (89:09) in Pomona. Cohen made two saves in each contest to earn both clean sheets. UCSD has actually won three consecutive 1-0 decisions over the Broncos since a 3-0 loss in Pomona on Sept. 18, 2011, with CPP scoreless against them for 295:31. The Tritons have taken three straight home meetings, all via shutout, and sport a shutout streak of 312:26 there against the Broncos. UCSD still has to travel to Pomona on Friday, Nov. 1 (4:30 p.m.).
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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!
UCSD concludes this season-long six-match homestand next weekend against San Francisco State (Oct. 25, 7 p.m.) and Cal State Monterey Bay (Oct. 27, 2 p.m.).