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.””

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