Friday Night Lights

Now heading into the postseason, the Tritons will play host to the WWPA Conference Championships, with the second seed. The 12-team tournament will take place at Canyonview Pool from Nov. 17 to Nov. 20.

On Tuesday, the All-Conference WWPA teams were announced, with five Tritons awarded with all-conference honors. Senior goalkeeper David Morton — UCSD’s current record-holder for career saves with 1,033 — and junior utility John Butler received first-team honors, while seniors Graham Saber and Brian Donohoe were named second-team selections. Two-meter Matthew Michalko was also named to the All-Freshman team.

In his 32nd year as head coach, Denny Harper was awarded the conference coach of the year for the 16th time in his career.

The top four seeds — first-seed Loyola Marymount, second-seed UCSD, third-seed Santa Clara and fourth-seed UC Davis — received a first-round bye.

The Tritons’ first match is slated for this Friday, Nov. 17 at 4:30 p.m. in the quarterfinal round. UCSD will face the winner of the first round bout between seventh-seed Claremont and tenth-seed Whittier. UCSD has only faced Claremont and Whittier on one occasion apiece, taking commanding wins over both squads.

With a 12-3 conference record, the Tritons’ only three losses were dealt by the first-seeded Loyola Marymount Lions. In their 23rd game season, the Tritons have faced off against the Lions four times, topping Loyola only once on Oct. 2 in the SoCal tournament 9-5. The two programs have been the only winners of the WWPA Conference championships for the past 11 years.

Unfortunately, the Tritons enter the postseason on a two-game losing streak, after dropping to No. 1 nationally ranked UCLA 4-9 and No. 5 Irvine 11-15.

However, with their five All-Conference team selections as well as conference coach of the year Denny Harper, the Tritons seem poised to perform well in the WWPA Championships. UCSD will look to win the 12-team tournament in hopes of receiving the automatic bid to the NCAA Division II National Championships.