Perfect 10 for Tritons

    WOMEN’S SOCCER — The women’s soccer team collected its ninth and tenth consecutive victories this weekend, with 1-0 and 2-0 wins against the Cal State East Bay Pioneers.

    The win makes the Tritons 12-2-2 in conference play, while dropping Cal State East Bay to 4-10-2, where the Pioneers are currently ranked last. The Tritons are now unbeaten in their last 13 matches, and have moved up 12 spots in the national rankings to ninth.

    UCSD got off to a slow start on Friday, going into the half tied 0-0 and registering only 4 shots.

    “East Bay has a pretty big field, which was hard for us to adjust to in the first half,” junior goalkeeper Kristin Armstrong said. “It was difficult for us to move efficiently off of the ball and to find each other to connect on the pitch and support each other, although we picked it up in the second half.”

    Armstrong registered her tenth shutout of the season in the game against the Pioneers, as well as her fourth straight.

    Just 5 minutes into the second period, however, forward Annette Ilg put away the winning goal. Junior midfielder Annie Wethe slotted the ball behind the Pioneer defense to find Ilg making a cutting run in behind. Finding herself one-on-one with the keeper, Ilg had no trouble putting away her eighth goal of the season to put the Tritons up 1-0.

    The Tritons continued to push forward throughout the remainder of the match, outshooting the Pioneers 10-6. However, the 1-0 score would hold, despite dangerous attempts from junior forward Sara McTigue and outside wingers Shelby Wong and Jessica Wi.

    The Tritons returned home to face East Bay again on Sunday, in their final game of the regular season. Seniors Ilg and Lisa Bradley were honored before the match.

    McTigue scored a brace in the first 7 minutes of the match, and the Triton defense held on for the 2-0 victory.

    “We started out the game how we wanted to start, by controlling the ball and getting early goals,” head coach Brian McManus said. “After that we started to think the game was over a little bit.”

    McTigue’s goals were her seventh and eighth on the season, tying her for the team lead. Armstrong recorded her 11th shutout, and Wi was credited with the assist on McTigue’s second goal.

    Cal State L.A. won both its weekend matches to stay one point ahead of UCSD in the final standings. The Golden Eagles’ 39 points were enough to win the CCAA South Division, and gave them the top seed in the CCAA conference tournament. San Francisco State, who is ranked at the top of the North division with 32 points, and Cal State Stanislaus will join the two squads in the tournament. Last year’s national runner-up Cal State Dominguez Hills has been knocked out of contention.

    With the second seed in the tournament, UCSD will face SFSU in the single-elimination competition held in Turlock, Calif. next weekend. The Tritons will enter conference playoffs heavily favored, having won three of the previous five CCAA titles and having been picked as the predicted winners from a survey of conference coaches.

    McManus said confidence and rest will be key to their success.

    “It’s getting their confidence back and playing the ball on the ground,” he said. “And it’s just going to be a lot of rest. With the traveling and that, the training room takes care of the team now.”

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