LA JOLLA, Calif. - The University of California San Diego scored two set-piece goals within 30 seconds of each other over a furious final three minutes of regulation to earn itself a 2-2 draw with Concordia University Irvine in non-conference men's soccer action Saturday night at Triton Soccer Stadium.
With the result, UC San Diego remained undefeated for 2017 at 2-0-2. Concordia, picked to place second in the Pacific West Conference preseason coaches' poll, moved to 1-2-1.
Down 2-0 with under three minutes left to play and a 17-game home unbeaten streak seemingly about to end, the Tritons earned a throw-in on the right side. Senior striker Uly de la Cal, UCSD's designated throw-in taker, launched his toss toward the six-yard box, and senior left back Nolan Mac nodded it into the back of the net to give the home faithful some hope, albeit only a slim amount.
Just 30 more ticks off the scoreboard clock, however, at 87:36, the match referee had pointed to the spot due to an infraction in the Concordia penalty area. Sophomore Jonathan Stoop, in his second straight start at center back due to the injury absence of senior Kyle Panganiban, stepped up to take the pressurized penalty kick. The native of Ladera Ranch nailed it for his first goal of 2017 and second of his college career.
Mac's goal was his team-leading second, both coming over the last three contests after having not previously scored in 35 career appearances. The assist, of course, went to de la Cal, his second on the year.
The visiting Eagles had scored in either half to build their lead, through Elijah Amadin in the 16th minute and Ether Bustos in the 64th. Bustos set up Amadin's second goal of 2017, with the freshman forward shooting from the left diagonal into the bottom right corner. Bustos then ran onto a through ball by Jose Garfias down the right flank, beating the offside trap, and slotted home into the bottom left.
Concordia's second came generally against the run of play during a second half that saw a 13-4 shot advantage for the hosts. Freshman striker Jonathan Sabouri (Carlsbad/San Dieguito HS Academy) had one of the more promising chances at an equalizer in the 48th minute, but his close-range shot went wide to the right.
Freshman Pedro Enciso (Vista/Rancho Buena Vista HS) was credited with one save in goal for UCSD. Making his season debut, CUI counterpart Saul Ocampo had seven.
The teams combined for 50 fouls, 32 of them whistled against Concordia. There were seven cards handed out, two yellows for UCSD, four yellows for CUI, and an Eagle red to Ty O'Connor for dissent just 20 seconds after the restart following Stoop's converted penalty. The Tritons had 20 shots to 12 by the visitors.
The Tritons begin the 12-game California Collegiate Athletic Association slate at home next week as the reigning regular-season and tournament double champions. UCSD hosts rival Chico State on Friday, Sept. 15, at 4:30 p.m., and Stanislaus State on Sunday, Sept. 17, at 11:30 a.m. Admission is free at Triton Soccer Stadium.
Triton Notes: UCSD is 2-1-2 all-time against Concordia, including 2-1-1 in La Jolla ... The teams played to a draw a year ago as well, a scoreless one in Irvine ... UCSD is 13-0-2 at home since the start of the 2016 season, and an unbeaten 15-0-3 over its last 18 in La Jolla since a 2-1 loss to Stanislaus State on Sept. 27, 2015 ... The Tritons are an undefeated 6-0-16 over their last 22 overtime contests, since a 1-0 double-overtime home loss to Azusa Pacific on Sept. 20, 2014 ... Head coach Jon Pascale sent out the same starting 11 for the second straight contest, captained by Nolan Mac.