LA JOLLA, Calif. - Senior striker Uly de la Cal provided the lone goal in his return and the University of California San Diego held on to defeat Cal State San Bernardino, 1-0, and complete a clutch six-point California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) weekend at Triton Soccer Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
With the victory, second-place UC San Diego moves to 6-1-3 overall and 4-1-1 in the CCAA. With Chico State dropping its first points through a scoreless draw at Sonoma State, the Tritons picked up two points on the leader, and moved within three, 16-13. Cal State San Bernardino fell to 5-6 overall and an even 3-3 in league play.
In the 79th minute, with overtime beginning to loom on the horizon, two seniors combined on the only score of the game. With sophomore center back Jonathan Stoop stepping up to pressure an opponent near midfield, the ball appeared to get knocked by that Coyote player over to central midfielder Steven Ortiz on the left edge of the penalty box. Ortiz hit a first-time cross into the middle for de la Cal, who was able to get around the defender in front of him, toward the right diagonal, and shoot back across the goalmouth with his right foot, hitting it well enough to find the bottom left corner. It was his third goal of the season, tying him with another senior, Nolan Mac, for the team lead. Ortiz picked up his second assist in as many matches.
On Friday, de la Cal was forced to sit out a come-from-behind overtime triumph over No. 17 Cal Poly Pomona due to injury. He had appeared in 59 consecutive matches prior to that night, dating back to his freshman season in 2014.
Freshman goalkeeper Pedro Enciso (Vista/Rancho Buena Vista HS) was credited with a single save, but what a save it was, late in the first half. Sophomore counterpart Jacob Huber made four stops for the Coyotes.
Cal State San Bernardino was outshot 11-5 on the day, including 5-3 in the first half, when the Coyotes didn't even produce a first attempt until the 32:50 mark. Over the remainder of the period, both teams had a solid opportunity to break the deadlock, with Huber and then Enciso coming up big for their clubs.
Off a de la Cal throw-in in the 38th, senior Danny Glascock got a good right foot on the ball, only for Huber to dive high to his right and snare it. In the 41st, Coyote junior Danny Ortiz got free around the top of the penalty area and unleashed a wicked shot of his own, and Enciso similarly had to get up off the ground, to his right, to block it away. Glascock again came close to his second collegiate goal with a hard shot from 25 yards in the 73rd, Huber parrying it out for a corner kick.
UCSD continues a season-long four-game homestand this Wednesday, Oct. 4, against city rival Cal State San Marcos. Kickoff for the primetime San Diego derby is slated for 7 p.m., after the seventh-ranked Triton women take on the Cougars. Admission is free at Triton Soccer Stadium in La Jolla.
Triton Notes: It was a second straight 1-0 triumph for UCSD against CSUSB, after last year's CCAA Tournament semifinal in Turlock ... The Tritons are 4-1-1 at home this season, and 18-1-3 over their last 22 in La Jolla ... With two more wins this weekend, 10th-year head coach Jon Pascale is now at 99 for his career ... Uly de la Cal's goal was the 10th of his college career, and fourth game-winner.