Soccer Falls in CCAA shootout

    Erik Jepsen/Guardian File
    Erik Jepsen/Guardian File

    WOMEN’S SOCCER — The UCSD women’s soccer team tied 1-1 with Cal State Dominguez Hills on Nov. 6 in the opening round of the 2009 California Collegiate Athletic Association Women’s Soccer Championship. However, after battling No. 2 seed Cal State Dominguez Hills to a 1-1 draw through regulation and two overtime periods, the No. 3 seed Tritons were eliminated from the tournament in a 5-3 penalty kick shootout.

    UCSD now has a record of 14-5-1 and awaits Monday’s announcement of the NCAA Tournament field to see if its season will continue.

    “The plan was the same as it had been in previous matches,” sophomore midfielder Anne Wethe said. “To come out and pass the ball, get open and play hard.”

    The Toros drew first blood in the hard-fought contest, seizing a 1-0 lead in the 35th minute when a free kick from 35 yards went over the head of Triton sophomore goalkeeper Kristin Armstrong.

    “Obviously no one wants to be behind in a game,” Wethe said. “I think the general feeling of the team was that we weren’t out of the game at all, that we were going to come back and score.”

    The Toros attempted four shots in the first half. Of those attempts, the fourth and final shot was the only that found its way into the net. In contrast, the Tritons fielded a more aggressive offense, taking five shots and four corner kicks. Nonetheless, the Toros maintained a 1-0 lead at halftime.

    UCSD finally saw its offensive work pay dividends in the 53rd minute, when the Tritons tied the match at 1-1. The equalizer came when a shot by sophomore midfielder Shelby Wong was deflected back into the box, giving freshman midfielder Jessica Wi the chance to charge in and punch the ball past the Toro goalkeeper for her fourth goal of the season. Wong was credited with the assist — her fifth of 2009.

    After Wi’s game-tying goal, both teams continued to battle closely; neither surrendered a goal throughout the remainder of regulation. With the match tied 1-1 at the final whistle, both teams geared up for a 10-minute overtime period.

    “Everybody was tired,” Wethe said. “Everybody was looking to dig deep and pull through for their teammates by scoring a goal and ending the game.”

    After the first overtime period played out to a scoreless draw, the game moved into a second 10-minute overtime. After both teams were blanked once again, the match moved into penalty kicks to decide who would advance to the conference championship.

    Cal State Dominguez Hills elected to shoot first after winning the coin toss, and the Toros buried their first shot. The Tritons’ first shooter, Wethe, sailed her kick too high and to the right, giving Dominguez a 1-0 lead after the first round.

    The next three penalty kicks were successful on both sides: junior midfielder Lisa Bradley, sophomore midfielder Sara Bolton and freshman forward Alyssa Newcomer all found the net for UCSD, setting up the decisive Dominguez Hill shot.

    The fifth and final shooter for the Toros went right, beating Armstrong for the decisive penalty kick to seal the victory.

    Despite the loss, UCSD held a 13-10 shot advantage in the match, including a 3-1 edge in shots on goal. The Tritons totaled six corner kicks, while the Toros finished with two.

    “I thought we played extremely well, especially in the second half,” head coach Brian McManus said. “You’ve got to give Dominguez credit. They were very well-prepared, and they had an excellent plan if it went to [penalty kicks]. We missed one shot and that was the difference.”

    In the other matches in the CCAA Championships, No. 1 seed Cal State Los Angeles defeated No. 4 seed Chico State 1-0. The Golden Eagles then defeated Cal State Dominguez Hills on Nov. 8 by a score of 4-0 to capture the CCAA Championship and earn an automatic birth into the NCAA West Regionals.

    Readers can contact John Beck at [email protected].

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