TURLOCK, Calif. - The 10th-ranked UC San Diego men’s soccer team kept its incredible roll going, scoring once in each half to down Cal State Stanislaus, 2-0, in California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) action Friday at Warrior Stadium.
With a fifth consecutive victory, all by shutout, UCSD improved to 7-1-1 overall and 5-1-1 in the CCAA. Defending CCAA champion Cal State Stanislaus fell to 3-5-1 overall and 2-5 in league play.
Combined with No. 18 Cal State L.A.’s scoreless draw at Sonoma State, the Tritons now hold sole possession of first place in the CCAA South Division. They had begun the night tied with the Golden Eagles at 13 points apiece.
Senior All-American goalkeeper Josh Cohen and company have gone 493:59 without surrendering a score.
The last time the Tritons won five in a row was in 2008. In fact, that run took place over the very first five matches of now-sixth-year UCSD head coach Jon Pascale’s time in charge. Friday’s contest marked his 100th at the helm.
UCSD largely controlled the action over the opening period. A fifth-minute Cory Wolfrom corner kick found the head of Alessandro Canale at the back post, but the junior’s effort fell harmlessly into the lap of junior Warrior goalkeeper Clint Long.
Moments later, Cohen charged out from his net to the edge of the penalty area to deny a potential Stanislaus threat.
At almost the exact midway point of the first half, junior midfielder Brandon Bauman got to the end line on the right side and provided a short, low cross for Wolfrom to tap into the open net from close range at 22:23. It marked Wolfrom’s second goal of the year, both coming over the last three matches and each proving to be a game-winner. Bauman’s team-leading third assist was his first since Sept. 7.
Within two minutes, Canale went high with his attempt at doubling the advantage.
Coming out of the halftime interval, senior midfielder Andisheh Bagheri got hold of an inadequate clearance attempt by the Warrior defense and was on target with his shot for his third of 2013 and a 2-0 Triton bulge at the 50:57 mark.
An effective, flowing attack netted Canale a good opportunity to put the game out of reach in the 78th minute, but his shot sailed high above the crossbar.
Stanislaus’ initial foray on target did not materialize until the 86th minute off the foot of Carlos Gavino, with Cohen present for the save.
Cohen needed to make just that single stop for his sixth shutout this season and 18th of his career. Long finished with two saves for the hosts.
UCSD held advantages of 11-5 in shots and 8-3 in corner kicks, with Canale providing a game- and season-high five of those 11 shots for the match.
“We played pretty well, were definitely the better team and just did what we needed to do,” said Pascale. “I thought the whole team played really well defensively, particularly our back four. (Stanislaus has) some good offensive players, but we were able to keep them in front of us. They only got one pretty good look at the goal, and that was from 18-19 yards out.
“The goals were both great finishes. On the first one, Bauman got the ball to the end line, and Wolfrom just kind of snuck in there to put the pass home. The second, Bagheri picked the ball up at the top of the 18, had some guys around him, but showed great composure and placed it right in the corner. It was a big-time goal.”
Concluded Pascale about his first win in Turlock on his fourth try, “It’s always been (difficult) up here. We finally got a ‘W.’”
The victory, the Tritons’ first at Stanislaus since 2006, gave them four road triumphs this campaign, their most since 2010.
UCSD remains in Northern California to see if it can add to that total, taking on Cal State East Bay at 11:30 a.m. this Sunday, Oct. 6.