ROHNERT PARK, Calif. -
Two first-half strikes propelled UC San Diego to an important 2-0 shutout victory over host Sonoma State in a match-up of division leaders at Seawolf Soccer Field on Friday evening.
The Tritons took advantage of a Seawolf own goal in the 10th minute, before junior forward Tsuk Haroush doubled the lead with 13 minutes remaining until the halftime interval, as UCSD triumphed at Sonoma State for just the second time ever.
A third win in a row sees UC San Diego improve its record to 7-2-2 overall and 6-1-2 in the CCAA. The Tritons are now unbeaten over their last six at 4-0-2, and remain atop the CCAA South Division. Sonoma State, which began the day in a tie for the North Division lead, drops to 5-3-2 overall and 4-2-2 in conference play.
"This was a great team effort," said Triton head coach Jon Pascale. "We outworked them for the majority of the game. We applied good pressure for 90 minutes, got two great goals early on, and never looked back."
The early Triton score came from a cross into the penalty box that was unable to be cleared cleanly by the Seawolves' defense, instead deflecting into their own goal.
In the 32nd minute, Haroush tucked home a rebound for his second goal of the season, with senior forward Evan Walker, the reigning CCAA Player of the Week, gaining credit for his first assist of 2012.
Friday's result marked just the second time this season that Sonoma State was held scoreless, with the Tritons allowing only four shots in the match, the lowest single-game total for the Seawolves since 2005.
"Our defense was solid," concluded Pascale. "They never had great looks (at goal). It was a clean defensive effort and I was really happy with this performance."
Freshman goalkeeper Cameron McElfresh was not called upon to make a single save in picking up his third collegiate shutout for UCSD. Beau Diaz had three stops in the Sonoma State net.
UCSD has not surrendered a single goal over its last five-plus matches, spanning 502:35 of soccer.
The Tritons next return home to take on Cal State L.A. a week from tonight on Oct. 12. Kick-off at Triton Soccer Field is set for 4:30 p.m.
-- UCSDtritons.com --