CARSON, Calif. - UC San Diego got a late goal from Alessandro Canale and ultimately played to a 1-1 draw through two overtime periods with Cal State Dominguez Hills in the 2013 California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) men’s soccer opener for both teams Friday night at Toro Stadium.
The Tritons had moved into the national rankings at No. 25 this week for the first time under sixth-year head coach Jon Pascale. The result keeps UCSD unbeaten at 2-0-1 overall and 0-0-1 in the CCAA. CSUDH, the league head coaches’ preseason favorite to lift the CCAA banner, is an identical 2-0-1 overall and 0-0-1 in league play.
Canale, a junior transfer from Santa Monica College, equalized with just under eight minutes to go in regulation. His shot from around six yards out slipped past the grasp of CSUDH goalie Markus Dickerson, through his legs and into the goal. It was Canale’s second goal already in just two games as a Triton. Senior midfielder Andisheh Bagheri was credited with the assist, his first on the year.
“It was a great game,” remarked Pascale. “I thought we played fantastic. Dominguez Hills is very good, but we again showed our experience, going down late but not faltering. We had our chances to win.
“It was pretty wild, especially at the end of regulation and through the overtime periods. Both teams cleared balls off the (goal) line and really battled. It was a fun game to watch and I couldn’t be prouder of our guys. This is one of the best teams we’ll face all year.”
The first half saw the divisional rivals combine for just six shots, the home side holding a slight edge, 4-2.
Within 10 minutes of the second-half whistle, Triton senior Tsuk Haroush had a pair of shots taken, the latter a clear goal-scoring opportunity denied by a Toro defender.
The Toros finally broke the stalemate in the 73rd minute, earning a penalty kick that Aaron Salazar turned into the game’s first goal. It was Salazar’s second of 2013.
Cal State Dominguez Hills held a 5-1 shot advantage during the overtime periods, but Canale arguably had the best chance to steal the full three points at 103:27.
In the absence of senior All-American Alec Arsht, freshman Malek Bashti drew his first collegiate start as Gavin Lamming’s partner in central defense. The back line of Bashti, Lamming, junior Matthew McClure and redshirt freshman Brett Sampiere (Solana Beach/Torrey Pines HS) all played the full 110 minutes. UCSD was also without senior winger Will Pleskow.
Senior All-American Josh Cohen made three saves in goal for UCSD. The Tritons also came up with a big defensive stop on a Mario Romero shot in the 78th minute.
UCSD continues a season-long four-match road stretch at No. 11 Cal State L.A. (3-0, 1-0 CCAA) this Sunday, Sept. 15. Kickoff at Jesse Owens Track is set for 11:30 a.m.
Triton Notes: UCSD is now 7-5-2 in CCAA openers ... CSUDH leads the all-time series, 16-4-5 ... Canale returned to the starting lineup after serving a one-game suspension against Point Loma last Saturday for receiving a red card in the opener at California Baptist ... Freshman forward Gerrit van Zyll made his collegiate debut, playing the final two minutes of the second overtime.