UCSD Makes Deep Run in Aztec Cup but Falls in the Semifinals
GAME 1: The Tritons took on GCU in their first game, whom they played in Aztec cup last year and drew 1-1. UCSD would come out strong, as winger Michael Boychuk would score off of a through ball to put the Tritons up 1-0. The game would remain scoreless, with both teams battling back and forth. In the final 10 minutes, striker Paul Jasper would clean up and score off a header from Michael Boychuk for UCSD to go up 2-0.
GAME 2: UCSD’s second game of the day vs Colorado School of Mines wasn’t as strong as their first. The Tritons dominated possession, but a defensive slip up lead to an early Colorado lead. UCSD couldn’t seem to get their finishing going, seemingly forcing the ball up the field with little result. The game ended in exciting fashion for UCSD, desperate for any points. Center back Martin Flores would slot a ball in from a corner kick to even the score to 1-1. Then, in the final minutes of the game, Paul Jasper would connect with a grounded cross to put the Tritons up 2-1, where the game ended in UCSD’s second win in 2 games.
GAME 3: The Tritons’ final group stage game was against UC Davis, their toughest opponent of the year thus far. UCSD would experiment with a 3-5-2 but came out flat, letting Davis control the flow of the game. Davis would eventually earn a PK that would get saved by goalkeeper Oliver Rodriguez. However, Davis would earn the 2nd penalty kick later in the first half, to which Oliver Rodriguez could not stop this time. 1-0 Davis. Questionable reffing lead to Davis earning their third and final PK in the second half, but goalkeeper Ricardo Di Cato would save to keep the Tritons in the game. UCSD would earn a PK of their own, and forward Michael Boychuk would convert to level the game at where it would end 1-1.
GAME 4: The Tritons would face Cal Poly SLO in their first knockout game, although UCSD would come out weak, the boys would slowly gain control of the game, eroding SLO’s only attack to long balls. UCSD's Center back would open the scoring, hitting a perfect header on a corner as the Tritons went up 1-0. Continuing control of the game, UCSD extended their lead to 2-0 as SLO would score an own goal from a Koosha Jadbabaei shot. 2 goals was enough for a win and the Tritons would move on to the semi finals.
GAME 5: With their fifth game of the weekend the Tritons would come out to face UC Santa Barbara in the semifinals and even though they were physically exhausted, the Tritons would put up an intense battle. The first half was a back and forth match that would end scoreless but with many chances for both sides. In the second half, the Tritons would give it their all and after an excellent shot from outside back Koosha Jadbabaei they would g up 1-0. Unfortunately for the Tritons UCSB would even out the score 1-1 with 20 minutes of the game remaining and to make things even tougher for the team, midfielder Joseph Afsari would receive a red card after a hard tackle. With the game about to conclude the unimaginable would happen with UCSB completing the come back and knocking UCSD out of the tournament after a 2-1 loss.