Sixth Shutout Keeps Win Streak Alive

The Tritons finished
their road trip the exact same way they started it: with an impressive shutout
victory. On the afternoon of Oct. 7, the UCSD women’s soccer team faced off
against conference foe Sonoma State, prevailing with a 1-0 victory. The win
upped UCSD’s record to 10-0-1 (7-0-1 California Collegiate Athletic
Association) with six games remaining before postseason play. Prior to the
Tritons’ match head coach, Brian McManus stressed how crucial victory was for
the team.

Although Sonoma State kept junior forward Natasha Belak-Berger close on Oct. 7, her offensive production has been outstanding as she’s led the team with six goals and four assists in 11 games. (Will Parson/Guardian)

“Every conference
game is important,” McManus said. “For where Sonoma’s season is right now, it
will make this game all the more important. Their season is really on the line
against us.”

The Seawolves proved
no match for the unbeaten Tritons, whose skill as the conference powerhouse
sunk Sonoma’s conference record to 2-6-1.

UCSD’s knack for
scoring early is what helped it dominate the rest of the game with a resilient

Senior midfielder
Chelsey Campbell followed the Tritons’ early scoring trend, netting the game’s
lone goal in the 28th minute.

Campbell was
relieved to notch her first goal of the
season — the ninth of her UCSD career — and was happy that her strike made the
difference in the match.

“It was good to get
past that first hump,” Campbell said. “It came at the right time as the first
goal of the game.”

The Triton defense
made sure that Campbell’s goal would be more than enough to ensure victory,
shutting down any chance of a Seawolf comeback. Junior keeper Jessica McGovern
recorded her ninth shutout of the year while lowering her goals-against average
to 0.36. This latest shutout was easy compared to others this season, with
McGovern needing to make only two saves throughout the game. McGovern was quick
to deflect any personal praise for UCSD’s defensive prowess and spread it to
the defense as a whole.

“Last year I had a
really low goals-against average, too,” McGovern said. “The difference in that
this year I’m only having to save three or four goals a game. Our defense this
year is a lot better.”

With the onslaught
of injuries that have confronted the Tritons recently, no position is as
vulnerable as McGovern’s. She has played every minute of every game this season
without a true keeper waiting in the wings as backup. McGovern is all too aware
of the pivotal role she plays, knowing that she is allowed no rest and has no
replacement if something should happen to her.

“Yeah, it’s kind of
extra pressure on me,” McGovern said. “I actually did jam my finger in the
second week of tryouts. It hurts still if there is a real hard ball shot at me,
but I played through the pain with a splint and took one for the team. It’s a
running joke on the team that I don’t have a backup.”

The Tritons only had
a few precious days of rest before they squared off on Oct. 10 against Cal
State Dominguez Hills, back home at the Triton Soccer Stadium.

Unfortunately for
the Tritons, the No. 25 Toros punched in a last minute goal to send UCSD home
with its first league loss. Further information was not available as of press

Following the
Tritons’ test against the Toros, UCSD will trek to Cal State Los Angeles to
play the Golden Eagles, who have gone 2-0-1 and have allowed no goals since falling
to UCSD on Sept. 23. UCSD will hope to regain its composure after the
disappointing loss to Cal State Dominguez Hills, and the squad will undoubtedly
be hoping to make a statement as it gears up for the postseason.