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
    defense.

    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
    time.

    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.

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