UCSD Bounces Back From OT Loss

    Freshman defender Sara Bolton helped thwart the offensive challenges from Humboldt State all day long in UCSD’s 3-0 victory over the Lumberjacks. (Karen Ling/Guardian)

    WOMEN’S SOCCER — After suffering a heartbreaking double-overtime loss to Cal State San Bernardino on Sept. 28, the UCSD women’s soccer team rebounded with a pair of conference victories over the weekend.

    The Tritons showed they could handle overtime pressure as they defeated No. 12 Sonoma State 2-1 in the first overtime and followed the win with a dominating performance over Humboldt State 3-0.

    Senior forward Natasha Belak-Berger said the team rebounded well from the disappointing loss to the Coyotes against two formidable conference opponents.

    “You never like losing to anyone, especially Cal State San Bernardino,” she said. “It was a hard loss and we just wanted to come out strong against Sonoma and Humboldt. Our freshmen are improving every game with more experience and it shows.”

    The victories put UCSD back into a tie for first place with Cal State Dominguez Hills in the California Collegiate Athletic Association South Division with a 6-2-0 conference record.

    One freshman came through offensively as three different Tritons scored for UCSD in the second half to topple Humboldt State on Oct. 5. After a scoreless opening half, freshman forward Sarah McTigue received a cross from junior midfielder Alexia Zatarain and nailed the upper right corner of the goal to give the Tritons a 1-0 lead in the 67th minute.

    Belak-Berger and senior midfielder Laura Borenstein added a goal each in the final 20 minutes, and McGovern recorded her fifth shutout of the year.

    The Tritons rebounded from their loss to Cal State San Bernardino in their very next game against Sonoma State. Starting off slow in the first half, the Seawolves scored first on a header off a corner kick that barely slipped through the grip of a diving McGovern.

    Looking more composed and confident in the second half, Belak-Berger streaked up the right side of the field, juked the Sonoma State defender, was tripped up in the box and earned a penalty kick. As one of the senior captains, Belak-Berger showed her veteran cool as she nailed the ball to the back of the net to tie the game at one each.

    With less than 10 minutes to play in regulation, McTigue centered a perfect ball to Belak-Berger, who snuck it by the Seawolves’ keeper for what proved to be the game winner.

    UCSD preceded the two wins with an overtime loss to Cal State San Bernardino on Sept. 28. After playing a hard-fought 100 minutes, Cal State San Bernardino broke through with a golden goal in the second minute of the second overtime — ending UCSD’s four-game winning streak.

    Three Triton defenders missed a cross by the Coyote forward and two touches later the ball snuck by senior goalkeeper Jessica McGovern for the winner.

    “We were disappointed because we knew we could have played better,” Belak-Berger said.

    Both teams had their chances throughout regulation and the first overtime. UCSD’s best opportunity came during the second half when freshman midfielder Shelby Wong put a double move on the Coyote defender. With only the goalie to beat, Wong faked right and dribbled the ball back left, leaving an open net. The ball curved off her foot and ricocheted off the right post with a demoralizing clank.

    Moving into the second half of conference play, the Tritons are focused on earning a bid to the CCAA Championships.

    “UCSD has a long tradition of playing well in [postseason] tournaments,” Belak-Berger said. “We want to have a good end of the season and get to CCAA. To get there we need to be one of the top four teams in the conference.”

    If the Tritons continue their winning trend and finish atop the conference standings, no travel would be necessary for the championship, as the CCAA Executive office announced Oct. 7 that UCSD will host the playoff tournament.

    The Tritons have a long road ahead of them before they can compete in the championship, starting with a three-game roadtrip beginning Friday. UCSD will face Cal State Stanislaus on Oct. 10 and Chico State University on Oct. 12 before finishing roadtrip with a game against Cal State Dominguez Hills on Oct. 15.

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