LA JOLLA, Calif. -
A sometimes testy, sometimes rainy, sometimes sunny, tightly-contested men's soccer match with postseason implications between UC San Diego and Chico State ultimately ended in a scoreless stalemate after double overtime and 110 minutes in all on Senior Day at Triton Soccer Field Sunday.
The result put UCSD at 8-4-3 overall and 7-3-3 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). The Tritons remain in third place in the CCAA South Division. North Division leader Chico State ran its unbeaten streak to 11 games (7-0-4) and moved to 9-2-4 overall and 8-1-4 in league play.
La Jolla native Alex Portela (Cathedral Catholic HS), one of nine Triton seniors recognized prior to the final regular-season home match of the season, had his penalty kick expertly saved by Wildcat goalkeeper Sam Evans in the 19th minute. Fellow senior Evan Walker had been tripped in the area, with the referee awarding UCSD's first spot kick of 2012. Portela's hard, right-footed shot high toward the right side of goal was parried away to a corner kick by Evans as the junior dove to his left.
At the 24-minute mark, a dangerous Chico State attack finished with the ball in the back of the Triton net, only for the score to be negated by an offside flag.
The Wildcats had a couple of threatening shot attempts late in the affair. A whipped right-footed effort by junior midfielder Luke Palmer went just wide left of the target in the 86th minute. With a little more than four minutes remaining in the second 10-minute overtime period, junior forward Kramer Runager went high with his cracker of a left-footed shot.
Less than a minute and a half later, junior Triton center back Alec Arsht almost grabbed the full three points for his side, latching onto a free kick with his head, but Evans was in position to grab the ball.
Junior Josh Cohen made a pair of saves in keeping a second straight clean sheet on the weekend and sixth for the season in net for the Tritons. Evans needed three stops for his eighth shutout.
In addition to Portela and Walker, Andisheh Bagheri, Andrew Keimach Ian MacAuley, Scott MacBride, Kian Malek, Harris Rabin and Adam Zernik were all making their final home appearances, though Rabin has missed the entire season through injury. MacBride, the longest-tenured Triton now in his fifth year in the program, was sent out by head coach Jon Pascale as the team captain for the contest.
Bagheri wound up with three shots to share the game high with Luis Martinez and Micah Miranda of the Wildcats. Chico State outshot UCSD on the day, 14-10.
UCSD travels north to take on Cal State East Bay on Friday, Oct. 26 (7 p.m.) and Cal State Monterey Bay on Sunday, Oct. 28 (11:30 a.m.) to conclude the regular season.
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