The UC San Diego women’s soccer team hosted two more matches this week as a part of its four-game home stand and did not disappoint, grabbing another two victories to continue its perfect season in the California Collegiate Athletic Association. With a 1–0 win against both Cal State San Marcos and San Francisco State, the Tritons improve to 11–2 overall, with a perfect 8–0 record in conference play. The two wins on the week extends their win streak to eight, with the last four matches being 1–0 victories — a feat that speaks volumes about the Triton defense. More remarkably, the Triton defense has only allowed one single goal in the eight matches of conference play. We will have to wait and see if they can continue their outstanding form as the CCAA Tournament approaches. But for now, they hold the top spot in the conference and deservedly so.
Game v. Cal State San Marcos
The Tritons got off to a great start as they able were to capitalize in the third minute of the match to go up 1–0. Similarly to last week’s match against Cal Poly Pomona, the scoring opportunity came from a set piece and from the same boot for the service. Off a corner kick, junior midfielder Summer Bales sent the ball into the box and found the head of senior striker Katie O’Laughlin at the far post to give the Tritons the lead in the early minutes of the match. O’Laughlin’s strike partner, junior Mary Reilly almost put her name on the score sheet, but unfortunately could not convert on a couple of occasions in the first half. Reilly made an attempt on the goal in the 12th minute, but the San Marcos goalkeeper saved the shot to keep her team in the game. Not long after, in the 16th minute Reilly attempted a curling shot from the left side, but once again was saved by the goalkeeper to keep the dangerous striker at bay.
Both sides had eight attempts on goal in the first half, however the Tritons were the only ones to make something out of them. Surely, they would have been thinking at the break that they should have been at least two or three up on the opponents. With a few minutes remaining in the first half, junior forward Megumi Barber attempted a free kick that unfortunately hit the crossbar, leaving her effort to add to the Triton lead unfulfilled.
In the second half, the Tritons buckled down on their defense and held San Marcos to only three shots in the half with only one going on target, but there was no real trouble for redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Angelica Ramos.
Reilly would have loved to get her name on the score sheet, but it simply was not her day as she could not put the ball away in the back of net. In the second half, she attempted three shots to get that goal, however it was save after save from the opponent’s goalkeeper.
UCSD ended the match with a 14–11 shot advantage, the early goal being the difference between the two.
Game v. SF State
On Friday night, UCSD took on SFSU on Senior Night with a healthy crowd in attendance to take in the action. Introduced in the pre-game ceremony were the seven seniors, midfielder Elisa Martinez, midfielder Taylor Ramos, defender Brie Diaz, defender Aimee Ellis, forward Katie O’Laughlin, defender Makenzie Brito, and midfielder Jordyn McNutt.
For huge chunks of the match, UCSD dominated and very well could have had plenty of goals on the scoreboard. If you look at the statistics, you see the one sided affair that took part in the opening 45 minutes as the Tritons had a 14–2 shot advantage. Somehow the score was still leveled at 0–0 going into the break.
Standing out in the first half was Martinez in the midfield as she dominated the middle of the park with her composure on the ball and keeping her team ticking throughout the night. She was doing it all and it seemed she could not be stopped. It was only fitting that on Senior Night a senior would get the goal for the Tritons and Martinez took it upon herself to give the Tritons the 1–0 lead. As UCSD was in the attacking third, Reilly took a shot from the top of the box, but was deemed a handball by the referee as it clearly hit the hand of the opponent in the penalty box. Then, Martinez beautifully placed the ball in the right upper corner, just out of reach of the goalkeeper.
The scoreline would stay the same for the remainder of the night as the Tritons could not get another shot to extend the lead, even though they took 11 shots in the second half. The Gators got into the game much more in the second half as they were to create some decent chances with nine shots in the half. The UCSD defense did just enough to keep its opponents out of the scoresheet and in doing so earned their eighth straight victory, while seemingly cruising through the regular season.
Next up for the Tritons will be a road trip up north, as they travel to Humboldt State for their Friday match, Oct.13. Then on Sunday they will head to Sonoma State, a team also in peak form. Sonoma State has a 6–1 conference record, therefore it will be a matchup between the top two teams in the standings. We will have to see if the Triton defense can maintain its form against one of the top teams in conference.