Sports

The Tritons Learn a Division I Lesson

In its first Division II game, the UCSD men’s basketball team was unable to net a victory against cross-town rivals Division I San Diego State University Saturday night at Cox Arena. David Pilz/ Guardian The 80-48 UCSD loss ended a 17-game losing streak for the Aztecs, and it was the first time the teams had met since 1981, when the Tritons were also defeated. Ten of UCSD’s 15 players are freshmen, and the Tritons are slated to finish 11th out of 12 teams in the California Collegiate Athletic Association, according to a recent pre-season CCAA Coaches’ Poll. SDSU captured the tip-off and began the game with a lay-up at 18:44 by Aztec Karlo Koviac. UCSD was unable to halt a six-point, two-and-a-half-minute-long streak, until freshman forward Ryan Swed sank a three-point shot from the corner at 16:27, which set a pattern for the rest of the half. The Aztecs retaliated with an outside shot for themselves seconds later, bringing the score to 9-3. The ball rallied back and forth, with State adding several lay-ups, one free throw and a dunk. The Tritons’ only scores in the first half came from three pointers. They made six of 23 attempts, shooting a .261 three-point field goal percentage. In the second half, with two more attempted baskets, the percentage was .214. “”It was one of our first games for this season, and we do have a lot of young guys,”” said UCSD head coach Greg Lanthier. “”The timing was a little off, and I think we shot a little quicker than we should have. We didn’t shoot as well as we are capable of.”” In the last 10 minutes of the half, the Tritons missed 10 straight field goals before Swed assisted senior forward Sam Higgins, who sunk a three pointer with 2:22 left in the half. While UCSD was quiet in the field, SDSU made three turnovers, all by junior Randy Holcomb, and also made a few baskets. Higgins’ score brought the score to a 33-18 Aztec lead, but SDSU added another lay-up less than two minutes before the buzzer, to end the half at 35-18. SDSU enjoyed a 48 percent field goal percentage in the first half, and it ended the game with 55 percent overall. “”I liked this game,”” Fisher said. “”I was very happy to look around and see a respectable crowd. I thought we played hard and defended efficiently.”” When asked why the season opener matched a Division I team with one of Division II, Fisher answered that all over the country this type of match up is occurring, and the difference in rankings only serves to help both teams see what each needs to focus on. Lanthier agreed. “”We were outmatched physically, but this was the first time in a collegiate situation for a lot of our players. It shows them how things can be, and what needs work.”” Thirty seconds into the second half, SDSU scored a three pointer, which the Tritons answered with a trio of lay-ups, bringing the score to 43-24 SDSU. The Aztecs almost doubled the score at 61-32 with 9:08 left in the game. The Tritons, unable to pull ahead for the remainder of the game, threw in a basket and another trio of threes against four foul shots and five points off baskets for SDSU. “”We really had nothing to lose by going into this game against a Division I team,”” said freshman guard Roger Curtis. “”Most of us were stepping out onto the college game court for the first time. You just have to take the experience and keep going.”” Overall, UCSD shot .321 from the field, with Higgins and senior forward Cole Miller leading in points, with 11 each. Higgins was also strong on the boards, with a game high seven rebounds. SDSU’s top scorer, Randy Holcomb, poured in 15 points. UCSD will meet Cal Poly San Louis Obispo Nov. 20, and the next home game will be held after Thanksgiving on Nov. 29 against Christian Heritage at 7 p.m. ...

Tritons Overpower Okies

What should have been a high-pressure playoff game turned out to be a walk in the park as the UCSD women’s soccer team downed Central Oklahoma University 6-2 in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II playoffs. David Pilz/ Guardian “”I think they were a much better team than 6-2,”” said Triton head coach Brian McManus. “”They were young at the back, and that’s where they made the most mistakes. I think that midfield, forwards, they turned us more today than we’ve been turned by a lot of teams. “”They create quite a few chances,”” he continued. “”They have two very good forwards. At midfield, they changed the ball in transition great.”” The Tritons scored early on in the match when Erika Alfredson scored off a Julia Cuder pass in the fourth minute for a 1-0 lead. David Pilz/ Guardian “”I saw they left a hole at the near post, which helps a lot because Julia serves great ball from there,”” Alfredson said. “”As soon as I saw it kicked in, I knew I could get my head on it.”” The Bronchos answered quickly with a goal from Sally Holmes in the 14th minute to knot the score at 1-1. “”We got scored on earlier and seemed to rebound quite well, I thought,”” said Oklahoma head coach Mike Cook. “”We made a couple of mistakes. They’re a good team, put a lot of pressure on us and we made some mistakes.”” From then on it was all Tritons. Kristin Jones and Molly Carlson found the back of the net before the half ended to send UCSD into the break up 3-1. The second half was more of the same. Cindy Dostalek booted a goal early in the second half, and Christy Abizaid added another off of a Alfredson pass. “”I saw her in the corner with the ball, and I was kind of far back,”” Abizaid said. “”Erika spotted it perfectly between two players and I just did my job. Erika did a lot of work.”” Kristin Conahan added on the sixth goal for the Tritons. The Bronchos scored a second goal, but it was during garbage time and too little, too late. “”A lot of it I think, was nerves,”” Cook said. “”We’re an extremely young team, only 3 years old. Our inexperience showed a little bit this game. They’ve got a good team and they came out strong. They caught us a little bit off guard. We’re just an inexperienced team and we were here for the first time. I’m a little bit disappointed in that but chock it up to a good learning experience.”” The game was very physical, with bodies banging everywhere on the field. “”We knew they were going to be physical,”” Alfredson said. “”We were ready for it and luckily that didn’t affect our game too much.”” Six goals in a playoff game is uncommon. It seems the Tritons are firing on all cylinders. “”Right now we’re all playing really well,”” Alfredson said. “”Every single person on the team — subs, starters, everyone. Our level never drops. Hopefully we can continue that way.”” Alfredson finished with a goal and two assists. Dostalek had a pair of assists and goalkeeper Kami Poma made seven saves. “”I think there’s always room for improvement,”” Abizaid said. “”That win was so amazing because we were ready to play. They were turning us a little too much. Those two goals could have been stopped. There is, of course, room for improvement, but how can you beat six goals?”” UCSD will next face Franklin Pierce in the semifinals. Franklin Pierce is the defending Division II champion. The Final Four will take place Dec.1 and Dec. 3, time and location to be announced. “”We’re just going to play like we know how to play,”” Abizaid said. “”If we play our best, it’s going to be really hard to beat us. We’re just going to do what we always know how to do and see how far we can go with it. I think we can go far.”” ...

Early Registration Irks Some Students at Iowa

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Every semester, a number of Iowa students find themselves nervously waiting for the moment when the university will allow them to register and find out if there are any seats left in their desired classes. But while they wait, student athletes are already signed up. For the 2001 spring semester, as with every semester, student athletes will receive priority registration beginning on Nov. 20. All athletes are given the opportunity to register during the first three days of registration, along with professional students, graduate students and any undergraduates who have earned 90 hours or more semester hours. What has some students concerned is that any athlete, regardless of year or credits earned at the university, may have the chance to enroll before a student who has earned more semester hours. UI freshman Patrick Drouin watches as athletes fill up seats up to 11 days before he is allowed to register. “”It’s not fair that athletes have the priority above the other students who are here for the academics,”” he said. “”If anything, the students who are academically successful should be given the priority above the others.”” But in fact, students on academic scholarship from the UI do receive priority registration. These students are an example of those on campus who receive as much priority as a student athlete, said Carol Gruber, the director of student services in the Athletics Department. UI senior Jessica Smith said she has experienced some problems enrolling in classes because they were typically crowded with athletes. “”I think it is a problem,”” said Smith, who splits her time between three jobs and her classes. “”I think the university should consider the people who have to work and the people who are paying for their own tuition with their personal money. I’ve had a hard time getting into popular classes such as Relaxation Techniques and Health for Living because they were usually full, and I had to wait two or three semesters to get those classes. “”I’ve ended up getting the classes I wanted, but it was because I was running around and talking to the teachers and my counselor. It hasn’t been because of anything the university has done.”” Gruber said that although she certainly empathizes with students such as Smith who are required to put in long work hours as well as study hours, a student athlete’s commitment to the university is more formal. “”Those students are not responsible to the university,”” she said. “”They have not made or signed a contract with the university as the student athlete has. Student athletes sign a contract that has them agree to represent the university and meet all the requirements they face to be successful in athletics and academics.”” UI senior Jake Wilson, who competed this fall as the No. 1 singles player for the men’s tennis team, said most students have the wrong idea about the registration rules. “”I think it’s pretty fair because our practice times are set in stone,”” he said. “”While other students may have to schedule their classes around a job, they can ask their bosses to switch their schedule. But when you have to be at practice from noon to 5:30 p.m. every day, no matter what, it takes away your options for classes.”” Travel also comes into play when athletes register for classes, Gruber said. “”Student athletes are responsible for academics and athletics, and scheduling around traveling times helps them handle their responsibilities in both areas, which is very important to us,”” she said. Wilson, a psychology major, said he plans to focus on sports psychology because he has been exposed to sports his entire life, and this may be a reason that athletes have sports-related majors. “”Athletes may just have those majors because they are very familiar with athletics and it is a big part of their lives,”” he said. — Daily Iowan ...

Women Swim Team Trounces Bakersfield

In a full weekend of swimming, the UCSD women’s swimming and diving team dropped a duel meet versus the University of San Diego Toreros on Friday, but rebounded to beat Cal State Bakersfield on Saturday. The men’s team fell to Bakersfield. The women’s first meet, held at USD, consisted of 16 events: two diving events, the 400-meter medley relay, the 1000-meter freestyle, the 200-meter freestyle, the 100-meter backstroke, the100-meter breast stroke, the 2000-meter butterfly, the 50-meter freestyle, the 100-meter freestyle, the 200-meter backstroke, the 200-meter breast stroke, the 500-meter freestyle, the 100-meter butterfly, the 200-meter individual medley and the 400- and 200-meter freestyle relay. The match, which began with a hailstorm during warm-ups, did not get much better for the Tritons, as USD placed first in 13 out of the 16 events. “”We swam very poorly, and they swam well,”” summarized head coach Scott McGihon. “”That’s pretty much what the match came down to.”” However, there was a silver lining, as sophomore Jennifer Watanabe continued her excellent swimming with a first-place finish in the 200-meter freesyle event and the 200-yard backstroke, winning with times of 29.86 and 32.76, respectively. The other top finisher for the women’s team was junior Lindsey Meeks in the 100-yard breaststroke with a winning time of 31.80. Fortunately for the women, Saturday was a new day, as they dominated Bakersfield, 149-82. Junior Molly McCorkle placed first in both the 100- and 200-yard backstroke, while Watanabe and Sharon Smith were individual winners. At the end of the day, four freshmen had qualified for the NCAA meet at the end of the year. The men’s swimming team was unfortunately unable to come up with a victory, as it was beaten 134-86 by Cal State Bakersfield. However, the men’s 400-yard freestyle relay team, composed of junior Christian Deck, sophomore Luke Seed, sophomore Danny Fischer and senior Rusty Jones impressed. “”I don’t think [the relay team has] ever be that fast at this point in the year,”” McGihon said. Another bright spot was Triton Ryan Long’s victory in the 200-yard individual medley. “”His time was exceptionally fast,”” McGihon said. Not only was it fast, it was also good enough to qualify Long for the NCAA finals. While both the men’s and women’s teams ended up with losses after the weekend was over, McGihon was still optimistic. “”I think that the NCAA finals are more important than winning dual meets,”” he said. “”And the way both the men and women are swimming right now, we should do good [in the finals].”” “”[In order to improve] we need to keep fine tuning, and work on starts and turns,”” McGihon said. “”However, we are swimming very well for this time of the year.”” The Tritons will have plenty of opportunities this weekend to improve, as they send their divers to the USC Invitational on Friday, and then square off against Claremont College and UC Santa Cruz on Saturday in Claremont. ...

UCSD club Sports

CYCLING TEAM The best riders from a number of southern California colleges competed at Clark Ranch in the first horse show of the season. The top riders from Cal Poly Pomona, USC and USF joined riders from UCSD, bringing together over 60 riders to compete in 80 events. Cal Poly won the Saturday competition and USD was tops during Sunday’s action. UCSD had a number of strong performances from their women riders.. Freshman Heather Thurgood had the most impressive performance for UCSD. This was her first competition at the collegiate level, but she did not act like it was. Thurgood took the High Point Rider Championship by placing second in the intermediate equitation over fences, and first in the intermediate equitation on the flat. This combination made her top point-earner of all the riders. Lisa Calvina placed second and third in the Open over fences on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Katie Bradly placed second in the novice category over fences and Zoe Jarocki finished just behind her for third. Morgan Messing placed third in the novice flat on Saturday and second on Sunday. Cindy Hung took second in the beginning walk/trot. “”I’m out to do the best I can so I can help the team,”” Hung said. UCSD has a very young team this year, with only five returning riders. “”We have a couple of new members to the team,”” Hung said. “”We have a couple of strong captains.”” Next up for UCSD will be a show in Pomona Nov. 18 to Nov. 19. WEEKEND EVENTS Friday, Nov. 17 * Ice Hockey vs. Sacramento State at UTC, 10:15 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18 * Cycling at Eucalyptus Grove, all day. * Women’s Rugby, Scrum by the Sea Tournament, Warren Field, all day. * Equestrian at Pomona, all day. * Men’s rugby vs. University of Nevada at Nevada. — compiled by Robert Fulton, Sports Editor ...

Up the Mountain They Go

It will not be until the UCSD men’s basketball team steps onto the hardwood for the first time ever as a California Collegiate Athletic Association Division II competitor that coach Greg Lanthier and his squad will fully know what to expect this season. “”This year will be a year of assessment, and we will not really know what we need to do to succeed and make strides until we actually play a few games,”” Lanthier said. “”We will be adjusting to a whole new game, one that is more physical and more athletic, with bigger, faster players. We are going to go out and play and recognize our weaknesses and look to improve on them. But we will not know what they are until we play.”” The CCAA Ranking Committee, composed of league coaches, appears to recognize quite a few weaknesses in the Triton team, ranking them dead last (tied with San Francisco State), for 11th out of the 12 CCAA teams. The Golden Eagles from Cal State Los Angeles, who tied last year for second place in the CCAA, received six first-place votes to garner the No. 1 pre-season seed. Defending CCAA champions, Cal State San Bernadino was ranked second, with traditionally solid Cal State Bakersfield third and six-time NCAA post-season participant UC Davis ranked fourth. The team that went 5-20 last season in Division III play has a chance to outplay that ranking this season, though, and its ability to do so will probably hinge on the play and progression of its key freshman players. The 15-member Triton team is composed of ten freshmen — four true freshmen and six red shirts. Ryan Swed, a true freshman out of Tempe, Ariz., will definitely be looked to by Lanthier to make a contribution, as will Roger Curtis and Ryan Rikansrud. Out of the six red shirts, Cameron Jackson, the 6-foot-1-inch guard out of Tustin High, will be an impact player for the Tritons this year. “”Cameron is the top of the class among the freshman guys, he is an exceptional player, and will start for us and get a lot of playing time,”” Lanthier said. Erik Ramp, the 6-foot-1-inch, 200 pound guard, whom Lanthier describes as a very big, very physical and very athletic player, will also get a lot of looks if he can come back from his recent knee surgery. Mike Roberts and C.J. Duffaut will also challenge for time for the Tritons this year. Of the returning players, the Tritons will once again look to 6-foot-6-inch forward Sam Higgins, the three-year starter, who averaged 15.4 points per game and 4.8 rebounds per game last year, while compiling 61 three-pointers over the duration of the season. Joining him on the floor will be the team’s sole junior, Nick Christenson, a 6-foot-2-inch guard, who averaged 9.2 points and 3.0 assists per game last season, and 5-foot-11-inch senior guard Michael Martin, who averaged 9.9 points and 2.6 assists per game. Sophomore center Clark Goolsby, who at 6 feet 7 inches, 220 pounds is the Tritons’ biggest player, will also be a key element in the Tritons’ success this season. These returning players will be looked to for leadership on and off the court this season by the young Triton team, as leadership will be very important to a team that not only lacks experience, but is also making the jump to Division II play. That is why this season will be a period of adjustment for the blue and gold. “”This season will be a season of development for us, as we know we need to get bigger, faster and stronger, but there will also be many other things that will need to be done for us to be competitive and succeed at the D-II level,”” Lanthier said. “”We will have to adjust to the more physical style of play and make other adjustments as the season goes on.”” The adjustment made by the freshman players will be especially important to the Tritons’ chances on the court. “”We have a lot of freshman players this year, but they are all quality players and have the ability to make big strides this season,”” Lanthier said. “”We call it the ‘freshman factor,’ which is the ability of these guys, who will be given opportunities to mature and play, to make an impact.”” The Tritons open their season with a throwdown versus cross-town rival San Diego State. The Aztecs are one of three Division I teams that UCSD will face this season in light of its jump to Division II. “”Playing the Division I teams will make this advancement all the more easier,”” Lanthier said. “”Out of our five non-CCAA games, three will be against Division I teams, which I think will help us out in our move to Division II,”” he said. “”Playing these very good teams will not only make us better as a team but will also make it easier to face the Division II teams with the added experience of playing some of the top competition around.”” Nor are the benefits of facing off against SDSU lost on Lanthier. “”Playing San Diego State is really a no-lose situation for us,”” he said. “”Even if we don’t win the game, it’s great for the community and for us to be able to get some valuable experience in a nice atmosphere.”” The Tritons will begin their quest for experience Saturday night at 7 p.m. at San Diego State’s Cox Arena. Make your way down Interstate 5 to Interstate 8 and check out UCSD as it looks to put the smack down on those rascally Aztecs and prepare for its inaugural Division II season. ...

What to do with Slammin' Sammy

All of Chicago is abuzz these days with talks about the Cubs trading their brightest star, outfielder Sammy Sosa, to the Texas Rangers. Fans are outraged, and Cubs owner Andy MacPhail, trying to maintain some semblance of control, keeps lying through his teeth, saying that no trade will be made. The trade would likely be a five-for-one swap, with the Cubs getting players such as outfielder Gabe Kapler, relief pitcher Jeff Zimmerman Ruben Mateo and possibly additional minor league prospects. From the Cubs’ point of view, I think this would be a steal. They have so many holes that Sosa can’t possibly fill them all by himself. A big trade for their star might have a similar effect on them as the trading of Herschel Walker had on the Dallas Cowboys back in 1989. That trade was directly responsible for bringing Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith to the team, the duo that caused the Dallas dynasty in the 1990s. This kind of affect was also felt by the Colorado Avalance when they traded Eric Lindros and recieved draft picks that would eventually produce Peter Forsberg. That said, should the Cubs make the deal? Yes. That is, if Sosa wants them to make it. First of all, because Sosa has been in the major leagues for 10 years and spent the last five of them with the same team, he has the power to block any proposed trade. Trying to trade him somewhere he doesn’t want to go would be futile. More importantly, the Cubs owe it to Sosa to send him somewhere that he wants to go. When Sosa hit 66 home runs in 1998, and again the following year when he hit 63, he virtually carried the Cubs and all of baseball on his back. The Major Leagues were still reeling from the strike that wiped out the 1994 World Series, and Sosa, with the help of Mark McGwire, brought baseball back from the brink of utter catastrophe. The way that Sosa and McGwire composed themselves throughout the race to knock down Roger Maris’ immortalized single-season home run record was both an honor to watch and a testament to the character of the two men. So now it is time to pay Sosa back. The only problem is that nobody seems to know what he wants to do. Last season, he basically demanded a trade, and later in the year he said he wanted to end his career, where he started, in Texas. Sammy, it makes it hard for people to honor you by doing your will when you can’t resolve what it is. When Sosa finally decides what he wants, it should be given to him with haste. Baseball and the Cubs owe him at least that much. ...

Triton Playoff Fever!

Men’s water polo has endured 24 games this year. All its trials and tribulations — from beating then-No. 1-ranked Cal to its disappointing performance at the Northern California Tournament at Stockton — will be for naught if it does not perform well this weekend at the Western Water Polo Association Championships in Honolulu. Lyon Liew/ Guardian The winner of the tournament will get an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament, held Dec. 2 and 3 in Malibu, and a chance to play in the national championship. Coached by Denny Harper, the Tritons started off the season on an incredible tear, winning 15 of their first 18 games and attaining a ranking as high as fifth in the nation. Since then, the team has been in a mini-slump, losing five of its last seven games, but is still ranked eighth in the nation. The Tritons are not losing to just anybody, as all of their losses have come against excellent teams. They have fallen to CSU Long Beach twice, and to Cal, UC Irvine and Pepperdine once. These teams are in the top 10 nationally. What made the Tritons so successful earlier in the season was their ability to jump on teams quickly. By aggressively taking an early lead, the Tritons put other teams on their heels and from there they let their stellar defense take over. In their mini-slump, they have been falling behind early and have been going into the late quarters at a three or four goal deficit. The Tritons then play the teams shot-for-shot, or even outplay them, but their efforts are to no avail, as such a big lead is usually too large to surmount. Why are opposing teams getting out and ahead so early? The Tritons have been making few mental mistakes. They have not been getting back on the counterattack and have been letting their opponents roam freely. These mistakes were not made earlier in the year when they were beating the best teams in the nation. If the Tritons want to compete at the NCAA tournament, they will have to stop making those mistakes now. Many players led the Tritons to the WWPA tournament, Jonathan Samuels first and foremost. He has been an intimidating presence for the Tritons all season long and gives other teams something to worry about. Samuels leads the team with 46 goals and has been solid all year long. If he has a good tournament, the Tritons are likely to follow. Jason Boettner has been a great distributor and defensive presence for UCSD. During the regular season, he dished out 23 assists and recorded 26 steals, tops on the team. Vladimir Djopic has been a great asset for the Tritons, as he has become a versatile utility man. In the pool he is able to go inside or outside with equal effectiveness. Important in the tournament is the performance of goalie Glenn Busch. So far, he has had a very good year, but he will have to be at the top of his game in Honolulu to help the Tritons make it through. Most vital to the Tritons is that they play as a team in the tournament. Harper has repeatedly stressed this point during the season. Each part of the team must work together in order for UCSD play up to its potential. Eight teams from the 12-team WWPA will compete at the Honolulu tournament. The Tritons are the highest-ranked team in the WWPA and are favorites going into the tournament. Nevertheless, competition in Honolulu will be tough. For example, the U.S. Air Force Academy, despite its rank, always fights hard for the win, and may be a tough match for the Tritons. If the Tritons win the tournament, they will then move on to the four-team NCAA tournament. The competition will consist of the winner of the WWPA, the Eastern Conference and the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. The last spot is an at-large berth, which is likely to go to an MPSF team, as that division fields multiple top 10 teams such as Cal, UC Irvine and USC. ...

Tritons Want to Put the Ball on the Floor

At the helm for the Triton squad is Judy Malone, who is starting her 25th year as the Tritons’ head coach. She compiled a record of 20 wins and 6 losses last year in Division III, and her overall record is 341-261, a winning percentage of 56.6 percent. This will be her first year as a Division II head coach. “”Our competition level will increase a notch as we move up a division,”” Malone said. “”There was a large disparity of matches in Division III; some teams were tough, while some teams were walk-overs. In Division II, each game will be a battle. There are no more easy games.”” As for the team itself, there are only three seniors on the squad, with five returnees from last year. The team has seven freshmen playing this year, with one junior transfer. With such a young team, the Tritons have some inexperience, but they still hope to make their mark in their first year at Division II. “”We were expecting 11 players back, but that was not the case,”” Malone said. “”We do, however, have four of our five top scorers back. This should keep us in games, and allow the other players to develop as the season rolls along.”” Forward Kimberly Neil led the Tritons last year with 11.6 points per game and 6.4 rebounds per game. Center Renee Hudec held the team lead in total rebounds in the season. Forward Genevieve Ruvalt had the most assists and steals for the Tritons, which maintains this triumvirate in their strong starting lineup. With this talent up front, the freshmen players must step up in their respective positions so that every element is on point. One of the most important parts of a team is how well its different parts fit together. “”We are truly optimistic about the upcoming year,”” Malone said. “”We expect a lot out of players like juniors Maya Fok, who hurt her wrist during the off-season, and Danyiel Wortham, a workhorse in the post. It is also evident that the incoming freshmen will be put into leadership rolls with the lack of seniors on the team, and I think they will respond to the challenge.”” The UCSD women’s basketball team has made the playoffs six out of the last seven years in Division III. Last year, the team lost to Davis, the second-place team in the conference, but defeated Chico State handily, who claimed third place. Pomona buried all competition, piling a record of 19-1 in conference play and an overall record of 26-3. They were the only team to represent the conference in the NCAA championships. The first game for the UCSD women’s basketball team will be at Point Loma Nazarene on Nov. 17. After that, it is on to Christian Heritage College and Vanguard University on Nov. 30 and Dec. 2, respectively. Then, after an arduous week of finals, the Tritons go to Chico State and UC Davis to face their rivals. This will take place on the Saturday and Sunday of finals week, therefore rest and relaxation is going to be delayed for a couple of days. After that it is San Francisco State University on Dec. 15, the home opener for the Tritons. Rounding out the 2000 campaign, Sonoma State University comes to town on Dec. 16 and the UCSD Doubletree Invitational on Dec. 29 to Dec. 30. The Tritons will host the event. As it seems, the UCSD women’s basketball team has a tough mountain to climb to reach the NCAA playoffs, but with the top scorers still remaining, as well as the young talented freshmen and sophomores on the squad, this looks like a promising 2000-2001 season. ...

UCSD Conquers SSU

After playing the first 40 minutes tit for tat, the UCSD women’s soccer team dominated the second half to defeat visiting Sonoma State in the first round of the NCAA Division II playoffs 2-0. David Pilz/ Guardian The first half had some great action, but was marked by missed scoring opportunities and nervous play on both sides of the ball. “”We played great in the first half,”” said Sonoma State head coach Luke Oberkirch. “”We missed a couple of chances or half chances, but we still played our hearts out in the first half.”” Sonoma State had two great looks in the first 20 minutes but each time they got near the Triton goal, UCSD was able to repel their attack with some outstanding defense. David Pilz/ Guardian UCSD was not without openings in the first half, as around the 30 minute mark, midfielder Kristen Conahan juked a defender out of her shoes and had a free run at the goal from 35 yards. A great play from the Cossack goalie, however, kept the score tied at 0-0. The Tritons just played Sonoma State on Nov. 5 and according to head coach Brian McManus, this could have affected the way the first half was played. “”We were a little bit tentative in the first half and that has something to do with last week when they threw everything they had at us in the last ten minutes, head-on straight on,”” McManus said. “”There was no good soccer being played and that threw us off a little bit. We started off the same we finished last week: sitting back.”” The second half brought with it a change of pace on the Tritons’ part. McManus had started going to his bench at about the 30 minute mark in the first half, and when the second half started, the Tritons’ fresh legs overwhelmed the Cossack defense. “”This year we have used the bench more than other years, and as the game went on,”” said McManus, “”our bench was a little bit stronger than their bench.”” Throughout the final 40 minutes, UCSD players seemed more eager and more alive than their opponents, and this was finally reflected on the scoreboard when the Tritons scored at the 51:05 mark. Off a corner kick from Julia Cuder, sophomore midfielder Lauren Jacobs took the ball on the bounce from teammate Megan Mendoza, and with what seemed like a nonchalant flip of her foot put it past the Cossack goalie to give the Tritons a 1-0 lead “”It was kind of bouncing around in the box and it just came off of Megan’s thigh and for whatever reason I was there and just took it,”” said Jacobs All season long the Tritons have been strong from the corner, and this goal seemed to be in the making from the very beginning of the second half, when the Tritons came out and appeared to be just half a step quicker than the Cossacks. “”We just had to keep pushing forward and working hard and we knew it was coming,”” Jacobs said. From that point on, the Tritons defense took over. For the rest of the game, SSU had only one look at a goal. Maggie Percell, a Cossack forward, made a nice move down the left sideline and sent a curving shot toward the goal that looked like it was headed for the back of the net. However, Triton goalie Kami Poma, ranging far to her left, made a terrific diving stop to maintain the Tritons’ 1-0 lead. At this point, all the wind seemed to go out of the SSU sails. After outshooting the tritons 7-4 in the first half the UCSD outshot them 12-4 in the second half including three corner kicks to their one. In the 79th minute, UCSD forward Christy Abiziad, on a beautiful pass from Kristin Jones, tacked another goal onto the team’s tally to make the final score a resounding 2-0 shutout. Defense was the name of the game for the Tritons as in three matches agasint SSU they have shut them out three times, and in this match, the Cossaks, despite a few opportunities, never seemed to be able to get anything started. Cuder said, “”We worked on our defense all week with Brian and when you have people like Jess who plays center full and Kara Morris who plays on the outside who come with experience — they stop everything. It makes everyone else’s job easier.”” Its defense, combined with scoring the first goal, really put UCSD over the top. “”We got together before the second half and said, ‘we can do this, we are the best team out here,'”” Cuder said. “”If we get one goal, our defense shuts out, and as soon as we score it is such a lift.”” The Tritons have been the best team in their conference all year long and this game proved it as UCSD came out and beat SSU for the third time this season, all three by shutouts. Sonoma’s head coach agreed. “”They stepped up their level in the second half,”” Oberkirch said. “”They are just a good team and are tough to beat. The better team won today, they are the best team in our region, and they deserved to win.”” This game gives the Tritons some momentum heading into the second round of the playoffs. “”We have 10 first-year players and by now this should be giving them confidence,”” McManus said. “”We have been in three overtime games and knock on wood, won each of them. The longer we are in games, the more chance we have to win, and we know that the longer we are in games the momentum continues to go our way.”” This win improves the Tritons record to 18-2 overall and they maintain their 12-2 league record. UCSD’s next game will be on either Nov. 18 or Nov. 19 against Central Oklahoma. There is a 90 percent chance the game will be played here at home on Sunday at 1 o’clock. If it is, let’s see some UCSD support for our stellar women’s soccer team. ...