Women's soccer repeats as CCAA champs

    The UCSD women’s soccer team faced a familiar foe in the California Collegiate Athletic Association championship game Sunday afternoon and came away with its second-consecutive conference title. In its third meeting of the year, UCSD convincingly defeated Cal Poly Pomona 2-0 at Triton Soccer Stadium.

    Lyon Liew
    Guardian

    With the win, UCSD ensured a berth in the 2001 NCAA Division II Women’s Soccer Tournament, while increasing its number of consecutive tournament appearances to 16.

    Every match between these two CCAA powers has helped to foster a growing rivalry. Earlier in the season, UCSD picked up a crucial 1-0 away win when Anne-Marie Miklos scored with less than a second left in the game. The Broncos returned the favor at Triton Soccer Stadium when Lisa Araujo scored the lone goal, evening the season series.

    While the first two games were hard-fought battles, the Tritons clearly dominated this contest.

    UCSD got on the board in the 30th minute when Bronco defender Kim Ackman deflected Julia Cuder’s corner kick into her own net. Cuder’s in-swinging cross fooled Ackman and the ball glanced off the side of Ackman’s head past helpless Pomona goalie Katie Kreps.

    Kira Ackman nearly made up for her sister’s mistake late in the first half. After a defensive scramble in the box, the ball fell to an unmarked Kira Ackman inside the 6-yard box. The resulting shot was goal-bound with Triton goalie Kami Poma tied up, but defender Molly Carlson was in the right position at the right time and cleared the ball off the line.

    UCSD started slowly in the second half and almost paid the price when Araujo’s header in the 51st minute sailed inches over the crossbar.

    The near equalizer woke up the Triton offense, resulting in the game’s second goal in the 72nd minute. Christine Wensel started the buildup when she made a run on the right flank. Kristen Conahan centered the ball, finding Erika Alfredson unmarked at the back post. Alfredson’s initial header hit the post but she managed to push the rebound into the net.

    UCSD held on during the last 15 minutes of the game, securing the win.

    While the Triton offense deserves its share of the credit for the win, the defense and midfield were the reasons UCSD dominated this game so thoroughly. Pomona came into the CCAA tournament with CCAA South Division leading scorer Michelle McConnell and CCAA Freshman of the year Araujo leading its attack. UCSD’s defense stepped up to the challenge, effectively shutting down the two most dangerous Pomona players.

    Carlson, in particular, did well to limit McConnell to one errant shot late in the second half. Furthermore, the Triton midfield effectively controlled the flow of play for most of the game and limited the amount of work for the Triton backline.

    UCSD heads into the NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 seed in the Far West region, receiving a bye in the first round of the 24-team tournament. Up next for the Tritons will be either Cal State Dominguez Hills or Cal Poly Pomona. The game will be at Triton Soccer Stadium either Nov. 10 or Nov. 11.

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