LA JOLLA, Calif. - UC San Diego was unable to overturn a goal allowed after just 62 seconds in dropping a tight decision to Cal State L.A., 1-0, in a California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) men's soccer match on Friday evening at Triton Soccer Field.
The result snapped a six-game unbeaten run and dropped UCSD to 7-3-2 overall and 6-2-2 in the CCAA. The Golden Eagles, who entered the contest as the only side ahead of the Tritons in the CCAA South Division standings, improved to 9-3-1 overall and 8-2-1 in conference play, moving five points clear with a game in hand.
The Tritons had not allowed a single goal in five-plus matches, totaling 502:35 of soccer. That streak was also ended, however, at 503:37, as a left-sided Erik Vargas cross was headed home from around the penalty spot and over the UCSD goalie by Rosario Braz at 1:02. It was Braz's team-leading seventh of the year, with Halil Tozar also gaining credit for an assist.
Cameron McElfresh did his part in keeping the deficit at one in the 32nd minute, the freshman goalkeeper tipping a powerful left-footed shot by Tozar off the crossbar.
Sophomore Triton midfielder Elan Gefen had a shot from the right diagonal skim just wide of the left post in the 81st minute, but the home side could not find the necessary equalizer.
"(Cal State L.A.) had two good chances," said Triton head coach Jon Pascale. "The one that they scored on, and then one hit the crossbar. Great job to them for finishing their chances. Both chances, we kind of gave to them. They were just silly giveaways in our end.
"The rest of the game, I thought we pretty much controlled the tempo and the possession. They sat numbers in their end. They are really difficult to break down, so again, good job by them. In this league, you can't give other teams goals. You can't spot them chances, because the teams are too good to fall behind (against). Moving forward, we're going to put this behind us real quick, set our sights on (Cal State) Dominguez (Hills) and get ready to win on Sunday."
In making a fourth straight start in the Triton goal, McElfresh ended the evening with one save. Cal State L.A. sophomore Waleed Cassis had three stops for his sixth shutout.
The Tritons head north this Sunday afternoon, Oct. 14, for another key CCAA South Division tilt at Cal State Dominguez Hills in Carson. Kick-off at Toro Stadium is slated for 2 p.m.
-- UCSDtritons.com --