UCSD gets second comeback win in a row

    After the UCSD women’s soccer team reversed a 2-1 halftime deficit to beat Chico State on Oct. 3, head coach Brian McManus said the Tritons usually play their best soccer in the second half. His statement held true on Oct. 5 as his team came from behind to defeat UC Davis, 2-1.

    Guardian file
    Holy cow: UCSD women’s soccer team scored two goals in the second half to defeat UC Davis. The Aggies knocked the Tritons out of the playoffs in 2002.

    Faced with a one-goal deficit at the half for the second straight game, UCSD came out and netted two goals in the closing frame to defeat the visiting Aggies. The Aggies bounced the Tritons out of the NCAA Division II playoffs last year in a penalty kick shootout thriller. The Tritons played like they had something to prove, or more appropriately, a wrong to set right.

    “”We have lots of rivals, but this game was a grudge match,”” senior defender Molly Carlson said. “”We wanted to prove that the playoff game was a fluke. And it was a fluke.””

    UC Davis jumped out to an early lead at the 12-minute mark. Forward Leifa Mayers was on the glory end of a beautiful cross, and she headed the ball past UCSD goalkeeper Jamie Lautenschleger. Besides that, the junior goalie had a quiet afternoon, with UC Davis never really making any other threats. Lautenschlager gave way at halftime to sophomore keeper Alyson Berger.

    Carlson prevented the Tritons from going into halftime with an even larger deficit. After a UC Davis corner, she headed away a shot from the top of the box that was destined for the back of the net.

    “”I was just trying to head it anywhere but the back of my own goal,”” she said.

    Appropriately enough, UCSD scored its first tally on a UC Davis deflection. Senior Kristin Jones directed a shot past the UC Davis keeper that appeared to be headed over the end line for a goal kick. But Davis defender Katie Shesgreen slid into the ball and redirected it straight into her own net.

    The game remained tied until the 67th minute, when freshman striker Kelly Cochran was dragged down in the box after beating her defender. Cochran was rewarded with a penalty kick, much to the delight of the 340 fans in attendance. The goalie leaned slightly toward her right, and that proved fatal. Cochran slotted a low line drive into the left corner for her fifth goal of the season. She has scored goals in the each of the Tritons’ past three games.

    Cochran showed that she could do more than just score. Before her penalty kick, with the match still tied, she stole the ball from a UC Davis player and drove down the left side of the field unopposed. When she drew the last defender to her, she laid it off for sophomore Lindsey Treankler, who found herself one-on-one with UC Davis goalie Krystyn Lizak. Lizak cut the angle down well, however, and managed to deflect Treankler’s effort.

    Less than a minute later, Cochran again stole the ball after a UC Davis misplay and drove down the right flank. She centered the ball to none other than Treankler, who was victimized by Lizak for the second time in 40 seconds at point-blank range.

    The Aggies game plan was obvious early on. They played the Tritons physically, evidenced by a lopsided count of 19 fouls to UCSD’s eight. Yet UCSD was unable to capitalize on the numerous free kicks, including two that were virtual short-corners.

    UCSD seemed to have trouble early on beating the UC Davis offside trap. The Aggies pushed up hard after every clearance and frequently caught UCSD forwards slow to get back. The trap, mixed with the Aggies physical play, made the first half slow going for the home team’s offense. But the UCSD defense played very well, led by senior centerback Sarah Schopbach. Senior midfielder Kristen Conahan frequently dropped back in coverage to mark open Aggies.

    The win brought UCSD’s record to 8-1 in league play and 10-1 overall. Their next game is Oct. 10 at Cal State Stanislaus. Their next league home game will be Oct. 29 against California Collegiate Athletic Association South division rival Cal Poly Pomona.

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