LA JOLLA, Calif. - The University of California San Diego men's soccer program's 2018 schedule will see it contest 12 out of 18 regular-season matches in friendly confines, beginning on Aug. 30 with a historically-long 10-match homestand.
UC San Diego kicks things off with Biola on that Thursday night, Aug. 30, at 7 p.m. at Triton Soccer Stadium on North Campus in La Jolla. The non-conference slate continues there with Azusa Pacific, Concordia Irvine and Saint Martin's through the first 10 days of September, ahead of the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) opener on Friday, Sept. 14, at 4:30 p.m. against Cal State Monterey Bay.
After a Sept. 16 date with Cal State East Bay, the Tritons will dip back out of league activity two final times, in primetime on Sept. 21 against crosstown CCAA rival Cal State San Marcos, and Sept. 23 against NCAA Division III outfit Occidental College.
UC San Diego's longest-ever home stretch, going back through 1975, concludes with CCAA foes Sonoma State on Sept. 28 and Humboldt State on Sept. 30.
The Tritons' first road foray of 2018 won't take them very far, as they make the short trip north up to San Marcos on Wednesday, Oct. 3, for their CCAA meeting with the Cougars. The first of two Northern California visits takes place at San Francisco State that Sunday, Oct. 7.
The season-long four-match road swing wraps up at Cal State San Bernardino and reigning West Region champion Cal Poly Pomona on Oct. 12 and Oct. 14, respectively.
The next weekend is Homecoming on the UC San Diego campus, as the Tritons welcome in 2017 CCAA Tournament champion Cal State LA on Friday, Oct. 19. Kickoff is set for 4:30 p.m., ahead of the women's game at approximately 7 p.m., as all 12 CCAA match days will once again be played as doubleheaders with the women. Defending CCAA regular-season victor Cal State Dominguez Hills is the visitor on Senior Day for five Tritons on Sunday, Oct. 21, at 11:30 a.m.
The regular season ends back in Northern California at Stanislaus State on Oct. 25 and rival Chico State on Saturday, Oct. 27.
The six-team CCAA Tournament will again begin on a Tuesday, this year on Oct. 30, as the Nos. 3-6 seeds contest a pair of first-round matches at campus venues of the two higher-seeded squads. The site of the semifinals and final, Nov. 2-4, has yet to be made official by the league office. The NCAA Championship runs Nov. 8-Dec. 1, with Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pa., serving as the ultimate destination.
"We are excited to start the 2018 season, especially with a big stretch at home," said UC San Diego head coach Jon Pascale, who enters his 11th year at the helm. "We feel our atmosphere at home is as good as anyone in the country, and our team usually rises to the occasion. Getting off to a good start is always important, and can set the tone for the rest of the season.
"Just like every other year, our schedule is as good as any. We know the difference between winning and losing is very minimal. We will be doing our best to make sure we are on the right side of that result."
Pascale welcomes back three student-athletes who garnered postseason recognition from the CCAA a year ago in redshirt senior right back Jeff Powers, junior center back Kelvin Uribe, and sophomore forward Jonathan Sabouri (Carlsbad/San Dieguito HS Academy), all of whom picked up honorable mentions.
Biola, Occidental, Azusa Pacific, Concordia Irvine and Cal State San Marcos are all on the non-conference schedule for the second year in a row. The Tritons went 3-0-2 in those five tilts last fall, with three of them on the road. They will be at home for all of them this time around. UC San Diego last faced Saint Martin's on Sept. 10, 2016, and won that home game handily, 6-0.
The CCAA is still a 13-team league in men's soccer. This season again features a single-game round-robin format, split evenly with six at home and six on the road.
All regular-season contests at Triton Soccer Stadium will once again be free to attend. Parking is still only free on weekends.