‘Eaters Eliminated from Big West Playoffs

UC Irvine men’s soccer (4-13, 2-6) was finally eliminated from playoff contention after skating on thin ice for quite a while. The ‘Eaters had moved into within two points of a tournament spot last week, but back-to-back road losses produced an insurmountable gap between UCI and second place in the Big West South Division. This season marks the first time head coach Chris Volk has missed the postseason in his three-year tenure, and UCI is only two years removed from being ranked No. 3 in the nation and making consecutive appearances in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.

Cal State Fullerton

The ‘Eaters failed to find their footing in the OC Derby, falling 3-1 to the Cal State Fullerton Titans (8-8-1, 4-3-1) Wednesday night at Titan Stadium.

Senior defender Thomas Janjigian knocked home the lone goal for UCI — his third of the year — putting him in the team lead with 10 points on the season. Junior midfielder Randall McDermott was credited with the assist, the first of his career.

CSUN senior defender Alex Heilmann notched his conference-best ninth score, as junior defender Corentin Ohlmann and senior midfielder Oscar Torres accounted for the other two Titan goals.

UCI fell into a trademark early hole, allowing Heilmann to head home a free kick from junior midfielder Robert Coronado in the ninth minute to give the Titans a 1-0 lead. The ‘Eaters were able to keep pace in the shots department in the first half as both teams registered four apiece, but failed to turn any of their attempts on frame.

In the opening minutes of the second half, UCI dodged a bullet as Titan sophomore midfielder Ronaldo Pineda’s penalty kick was lifted over crossbar. Fullerton rebounded to tally their second goal in the 53rd minute as Ohlmann guided in a cross from sophomore midfielder Ross McPhie, extending their lead to 2-0.

The ‘Eaters were finally able to get on the board after Janjigian’s goal just two minutes later to put UCI within one, effectively ending a 349-minute scoring drought against the Fullerton defense.

However, UCI failed to capitalize on the momentum and only managed to put one more shot on target, which was saved by Titan senior goalkeeper David Elias. Fullerton added an insurance goal from Torres in the 83rd minute with Coronado and Ohlmann notching assists to lock up the 3-1 win.

CSUN

In their final road contest of the season, the ‘Eaters were again on the wrong end of a 3-1 score, this time to division leaders CSUN (7-6-3, 4-2-2), effectively giving UCI no shot to enter the Big West tournament.

Despite a 13-9 shot advantage over CSUN, including seven on target to the Matadors’ four, the ‘Eaters had trouble finding the net and only mustered one score. UCI has had a shot advantage in all but two conference matches this season, but have regularly failed to capitalize on their chances.

Once again, the ‘Eaters went down early in the first half after Matador senior midfielder Juan Samayoa sent a free kick from midfield all the way into the box. Senior defender Patrick Hickman emerged with a header that beat senior keeper Elliot Farmer for the 16th minute goal and a 1-0 CSUN advantage.

The score held all the way until the 76th minute, when CSUN junior forward Emmanuel Usen Jr. and Samayoa teamed up for an assist to senior midfielder Shane Steffes, who volleyed the ball past Farmer to stretch the lead to 2-0.

Junior midfielder Giovanni Godoy finally broke through for the ‘Eaters in the 84th minute, knocking home a cross from sophomore midfielder Ivan Canales for his third goal of the year to narrow the deficit to 2-1.

Samayoa would complete his night with a goal in the 89th minute, blasting a screamer past Farmer on a free kick and putting the match out of reach at 3-1.

The ‘Eaters conclude their season next week with a pair of home games against conference foes UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton. UCI hopes to snag a victory against Riverside, who are currently in the throes of a three-game skid, before a senior night rivalry rematch against Fullerton.

UC Irvine men’s soccer (4-13, 2-6) was finally eliminated from playoff contention after skating on thin ice for quite a while. The ‘Eaters had moved into within two points of a tournament spot last week, but back-to-back road losses produced an insurmountable gap between UCI and second place in the Big West South Division. This season marks the first time head coach Chris Volk has missed the postseason in his three-year tenure, and UCI is only two years removed from being ranked No. 3 in the nation and making consecutive appearances in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.

Cal State Fullerton

The ‘Eaters failed to find their footing in the OC Derby, falling 3-1 to the Cal State Fullerton Titans (8-8-1, 4-3-1) Wednesday night at Titan Stadium.

Senior defender Thomas Janjigian knocked home the lone goal for UCI — his third of the year — putting him in the team lead with 10 points on the season. Junior midfielder Randall McDermott was credited with the assist, the first of his career.

CSUN senior defender Alex Heilmann notched his conference-best ninth score, as junior defender Corentin Ohlmann and senior midfielder Oscar Torres accounted for the other two Titan goals.

UCI fell into a trademark early hole, allowing Heilmann to head home a free kick from junior midfielder Robert Coronado in the ninth minute to give the Titans a 1-0 lead. The ‘Eaters were able to keep pace in the shots department in the first half as both teams registered four apiece, but failed to turn any of their attempts on frame.

In the opening minutes of the second half, UCI dodged a bullet as Titan sophomore midfielder Ronaldo Pineda’s penalty kick was lifted over crossbar. Fullerton rebounded to tally their second goal in the 53rd minute as Ohlmann guided in a cross from sophomore midfielder Ross McPhie, extending their lead to 2-0.

The ‘Eaters were finally able to get on the board after Janjigian’s goal just two minutes later to put UCI within one, effectively ending a 349-minute scoring drought against the Fullerton defense.

However, UCI failed to capitalize on the momentum and only managed to put one more shot on target, which was saved by Titan senior goalkeeper David Elias. Fullerton added an insurance goal from Torres in the 83rd minute with Coronado and Ohlmann notching assists to lock up the 3-1 win.

CSUN

In their final road contest of the season, the ‘Eaters were again on the wrong end of a 3-1 score, this time to division leaders CSUN (7-6-3, 4-2-2), effectively giving UCI no shot to enter the Big West tournament.

Despite a 13-9 shot advantage over CSUN, including seven on target to the Matadors’ four, the ‘Eaters had trouble finding the net and only mustered one score. UCI has had a shot advantage in all but two conference matches this season, but have regularly failed to capitalize on their chances.

Once again, the ‘Eaters went down early in the first half after Matador senior midfielder Juan Samayoa sent a free kick from midfield all the way into the box. Senior defender Patrick Hickman emerged with a header that beat senior keeper Elliot Farmer for the 16th minute goal and a 1-0 CSUN advantage.

The score held all the way until the 76th minute, when CSUN junior forward Emmanuel Usen Jr. and Samayoa teamed up for an assist to senior midfielder Shane Steffes, who volleyed the ball past Farmer to stretch the lead to 2-0.

Junior midfielder Giovanni Godoy finally broke through for the ‘Eaters in the 84th minute, knocking home a cross from sophomore midfielder Ivan Canales for his third goal of the year to narrow the deficit to 2-1.

Samayoa would complete his night with a goal in the 89th minute, blasting a screamer past Farmer on a free kick and putting the match out of reach at 3-1.

The ‘Eaters conclude their season next week with a pair of home games against conference foes UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton. UCI hopes to snag a victory against Riverside, who are currently in the throes of a three-game skid, before a senior night rivalry rematch against Fullerton.