LA JOLLA, Calif. - A single, spectacular strike from true freshman forward Jonathan Sabouri (Carlsbad/San Dieguito HS Academy) and solid defense over 90 minutes gave the University of California San Diego men’s soccer team a narrow 1-0 victory over Cal State San Marcos in a midweek primetime derby Wednesday night at Triton Soccer Stadium.
With a third straight win, all at home over the past six days, UC San Diego improves to 7-1-3 overall and 5-1-1 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). The Tritons thus moved into a tie for first place atop the league table with rival Chico State (7-2-1, 5-0-1 CCAA), which was idle on Wednesday night. Both teams are on 16 points. Cal State San Marcos dropped to 2-7-2 overall and a still-winless 0-6-1 in league play.
The result also marked win No. 100 for 10th-year UC San Diego head coach Jon Pascale, the three-time and reigning CCAA Coach of the Year. Associate head coach Ryan Hernandez has been by his side for all 100 victories.
In the 61st minute, senior central midfielder Steven Ortiz stole the ball and knocked it forward to Sabouri. The prized San Diego product got it on his right foot and hit a blast from 20-25 yards out that was too hot for Cougar goalkeeper Justin Tesar to handle, finding the upper section of the net. It was Sabouri’s third goal, now tying him for the team lead. All three have come over the last six days, with two winners. Ortiz was awarded his third assist of 2017.
Freshman Pedro Enciso (Vista/Rancho Buena Vista HS) came up with five saves in goal for the Tritons, earning a sixth individual shutout, and second straight, as UCSD had also edged past Cal State San Bernardino by the final of 1-0 a mere three days ago on Sunday afternoon. Justin Tesar had three stops for the Cougars.
Outside backs Nolan Mac and Jeff Powers, and senior center back Kyle Panganiban, all played the full 90 minutes, while sophomores Kelvin Uribe and Jonathan Stoop each played a half alongside Panganiban. Uribe had missed the previous three contests due to injury.
The best scoring opportunity for either side over the initial 45 minutes came from Ortiz in the 21st, on in fact the first credited attempt of the night for the hosts. He brought a high ball down, held off his defender with his back to goal, and turned before sending a right-footed laser over the crossbar.
Sabouri came close to opening the scoring five minutes earlier than he actually did, in the 56th. Ortiz played a pass over the top that Zachary Lagotta (San Diego/Cathedral Catholic HS) settled beautifully. The senior winger found Sabouri, whose effort was saved by Tesar. They were Sabouri's only shots, in his fourth start.
UC San Diego concludes a season-long four-game homestand, as well as the home portion of its 2017 regular season already, this Friday, Oct. 6. Kickoff against SF State is slated for 4:30 p.m., after eight remarkable Tritons are honored on Senior Night beginning at approximately 4:20 p.m. The seventh-ranked UCSD women will follow at about 7 p.m. Admission is free at Triton Soccer Stadium in La Jolla.
Triton Notes: The Tritons are 5-1-1 at home this season, and 19-1-3 over their last 23 in La Jolla ... Pedro Enciso's five saves matched his single-game high.