Tritons Make it Eight

John Hanacek / Guardian

WOMEN’S SOCCER — The No. 21 Tritons captured their eighth straight victory on Sunday in a thrilling 1-0 double overtime finish against the Cal State San Bernardino Coyotes.

In the first minute of the second overtime period, junior midfielder Courtney Capobianco scored her first goal of the season to secure the Triton victory.  Capobianco — one of several dangerous outside wingers the Tritons have available to come off the bench — capitalized on a missed shot by junior forward Sarah McTigue to end the game.

“McTigue took on a couple of players and was able to get the shot off from the left side of the box, trying to hit the far post,” Capobianco said. “It was a little wide, and was slightly deflected by their keeper, so all I had to do was get a little bit ahead of my defender and just tap it into the far post.”

Aside from the last minute heroics of Capobianco, the majority of play was in the middle of the park, where the game remained gridlocked. Both teams battled for possession, with the Tritons just outshooting the Coyotes 14-13. Junior goalkeeper Kristin Armstrong recorded her ninth shutout of the season, reducing the team’s conference-leading goals against average to 0.62 per game.

The Tritons have only two games remaining on their schedule; a home-and-home series against Cal State East Bay. With narrow 1-0 victories in each of their last two matches, Armstrong said that the Tritons are confident going into their last weekend of the season, but remain wary despite comfortable victories against the Pioneers in the past.

“The team’s feeling great,” Armstrong said. “But we know that playing teams like East Bay is dangerous because they literally have nothing to lose, while we have so much riding on the next two games.”

Sunday’s win over San Bernardino moves the Tritons up to 10-2-2 in the CCAA with 32 points. Despite having the longest winning streak in the conference — and being unbeaten in 11 straight matches — UCSD still trails Cal State Los Angeles by one point for first place in the CCAA South Division standings, and has yet to clinch a spot in the CCAA Tournament. The top teams from the North and South Division — as well as the next two squads from either division with the highest point total — will advance to a single elimination tournament to decide the conference champion.

With the win over San Bernardino, the Tritons have a chance for the top seed in the tournament, but will need a good result in both matches against East Bay. The Tritons will look for help from CSULA’s weekend opponents, Cal Poly Pomona and San Bernardino, in their effort to gain the top spot and secure home field for the tournament.

UCSD will hope to continue its winning streak in matches against East Bay on Friday, Oct. 29 in Hayward and Sunday, Oct. 31 back in La Jolla. East Bay is 6-8-3 overall this season, including 4-8-2 in conference play.

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