UCSD Stomps Seawolves in Rout

A trend began as the Tritons continued to toy with the emotions of their fans packed in the RIMAC Field bleachers on Sept. 29 with four second-half goals to come away with a win on Sonoma State, just as they did in their match against Cal State Los Angeles.

Cal State Los Angeles gave over its No. 1 spot in the South Division of California Collegiate Athletic Association standings, and Sonoma was also forced out of its position of No. 1 in the North Division due to its 4-1 loss to the Tritons, who now have a view from the top, along with Chico State, which remains tied with them in CCAA points.

When the pressure is on and the clock is ticking, something magical seems to take place in Triton play, and the second half is when that magic comes alive.

“We always seem to take things down to the wire; there’s a better sense of urgency during the second half than the first,” senior forward Alise Malley said. “But once we consolidate at halftime and discuss what needs to be done, our team has a better understanding of individual roles and what needs to be done to win.”

The first goal came during the 56th minute of the game, and was brought home by senior midfielder Megan Dickey, who took a cross pass from her fellow junior midfielder Lauren Segars.

Junior midfielder Caitlin Ryan tipped the ball off to Segars, who took a running streak down the right sideline, edging out competition along the way, as the Tritons stayed very aggressive throughout the game, before Segars delivered the ball to Triton feet to bring the score to 1-0.

“We’ve worked a lot on free kicks and crossing during practice,” Segars said, crediting the beautifully set play to all the preparation her team has been doing in practices, which has been paying off when it counts most.

Unlike the Cal State Los Angeles game, however, sophomore goalkeeper Jessica McGovern could not keep Sonoma State scoreless as it tied up the game 10 minutes after its net was violated by Dickey with a goal from the low side, 10 yards out.

Malley explained how her team did not allow Sonoma to boggle down its momentum for the win.

“I feel like our persistency and winning 50/50 balls is what eventually broke them down,” Malley said. “After Heather Sugg’s goal, our team got such a rush and theirs just fell apart. Soccer is much more of a mental game than people think.”

It was the last 10 minutes of the game that propelled the cheers of the Triton fans as UCSD slammed in three goals on Sonoma.

Senior midfielder Heather Sugg earned her first goal of the season and ended the tie against Sonoma. She made a flawless back post run and a quick turn to accept a strong pass from junior defender Stacy Johnson, which sailed over very anxious Sonoma heads huddled near the goal. The ball took a fall next to Sugg, who slid and volleyed the ball into the back of the net.

The second goal secured the team’s lead, which would not be disturbed for the remainder of the game.

Junior forward Kathy Sepulveda kept the battle in full force by bringing out an amazing third goal on a header that sent the Triton crowd to its feet and screaming with shock at the very quick and seemingly easy goal. Sophomore forward Natasha Belak-Berger’s pass met Sepulveda’s head for the magnificent touch.

The adrenaline rush continued for crowd and players, as the Tritons left no doubt as to which was the better team. They demoralized Sonoma with a fourth and final blow in the 84th minute, as Segars followed through with another clear cross from Belak-Berger from three yards out.

“Sonoma played the best they knew how to play, and we still found ways to beat them,” Segars said. “That is what feels so good.”