Twice as Sweet

    Division II? Piece of cake as far as the UCSD women’s soccer team is concerned.

    David Pilz

    Last month, the Tritons captured the 2000 Division II championship by defeating Northern Kentucky University 2-1 at Barry University in Miami Shores.

    With the score tied at 1-1, Triton senior Christy Abizaid passed the ball to teammate and fellow senior Cindy Dostalek. Dostalek took the ball and scored the winning goal with only 15 seconds remaining in regulation for the title.

    “”I saw Kristin (Jones) coming down the line and I said ‘this is it’,”” Dostalek said. “”The ball came across from Christy, and I just followed it through. After the goal, I looked up at the clock and it said 15 seconds and I could not believe it.””

    The Tritons dominated the second half, attempting six corner kicks in five minutes.

    UCSD almost gave up the winning goal as the Norse’s Becky Schnieder launched a shot with 43 seconds left. Triton goalkeeper Kami Poma came up big with her second save of the day and set off the events that led to the winning goal.

    The first half was scoreless but not without championship-caliber excitement. UCSD almost took a 1-0 lead, but Laura Dooly’s header came just short, striking the crossbar.

    Northern Kentucky goalkeeper Lauren Piening was busy all day, making six saves.

    The second half looked frightening as the Norse took a 1-0 advantage at the 51:31 mark. Northern Kentucky’s Betsy Moore dribbled the ball up the field and passed the ball to teammate Tricia Ruark. Ruark passed it to Denise Kunz, who introduced the ball to the net.

    “”I felt we needed a goal against us to wake us up,”” said Triton head coach Brian McManus. “”I think today we deserved it. We’ve had games at times that we thought we may have stolen, but we deserved this one. We outplayed them.””

    The Tritons quickly answered Northern Kentucky’s goal. At 66:15, Christine Wensel launched a corner kick to the far post. Dooly was there to greet the ball and rocked it into the net, tying the game at 1-1.

    Northern Kentucky was very impressed with UCSD.

    “”UC San Diego has a great team,”” said Northern Kentucky head coach Bob Sheehan. “”We were pleased with our effort, but a little disappointed with how we played. When you give up 16 corner kicks it’s tough to win. They just kept serving the ball into the box and taking their shots.””

    The Tritons are no strangers to championships, having captured five trophies at the Division III level.

    This title was even more impressive, considering that this was the first year for UCSD at the Division II level.

    Accolades went all around for the Tritons. Dostalek earned the tournament’s Outstanding Offensive Player award and Kara Morris was named the Outstanding Defensive Player. Also making the all-tournament team were Elizabeth Hughes, Julia Cuder and Erika Alfredson.

    The road to the final was not an easy path. UCSD had to get by defending national champion Franklin Pierce of New Hampshire. The Tritons did just that, winning in overtime 2-1.

    Northern Kentucky knocked off host school and previously undefeated Barry University to reach the final.

    The Tritons finish the year with a 21-2 record. They have also won 17 straight matches, with their last lost coming back on Sept. 22 against California State Dominguez Hills.

    “”You can’t go out better than this,”” Abizaid said. “”The first half was the most fun I’ve had playing soccer. I really appreciate the chance my teammates gave me to go out this way.””

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