UCSD Plays Regionals Tournament but Falls Short of Qualifying for National Tournament
UCSD traveled to San Luis Obispo over Halloween weekend looking to build on early season successes in their league and a strong showing at Aztec Cup.
The Tritons’ first matchup came against familiar foe USD whom UCSD had beaten 4-2 earlier in the season. Throughout the match, UCSD pushed USD deep into their end and created a multitude of scoring chances while limiting USD to hopeful long balls and no shots on target. USD packed in defensively and ultimately survived the match without conceding. While frustrating for the Triton’s, they looked to Saturday for an opportunity to secure top spot in the group and gain an automatic place in the semifinals.
In their second game of the weekend, UCSD took on Stanford. They found their opening goal of the tournament through the magical right boot of Jorge Gomez. The third-year midfielder smashed a 20-yard free kick into the top right corner just before the end of the first half. Throughout the second period, UCSD pushed forward and were rewarded for their efforts. A penalty kick from second-year Joseph Afsari and a late breakaway finish from forward Paul Jasper were enough to seal the 3-0 victory and top spot in the group.
UCSD would face play-in winners UC Davis in the semifinal with a spot in the National Championships as well as the tournament final on the line. A defensive breakdown cost UCSD an early goal. Late pressure from the Tritons wasn’t enough to claw their way back into the game. UCSD fell to UC Davis by a score of 1-0 and left Cal Poly SLO disappointed.
The Tritons will look forward to Director’s Cup and one more league game before the upcoming winter break.