Fall Season Review

    Women’s Soccer

    Record: 19-3-3, 12-2-2 in conference (2nd in CCAA South Division, lost to Grand Valley State in Division II National Championship Match)

    Honors: NCAA Division II Runner-Up, Lisa Bradley NSCAA/Performance Subaru Division II All-America First Team, Daktronics NCAA Division II All-America Third Team, First Team All-CCAA; Kristin Armstrong NSCAA/Performance Subaru Division II All-America Second Team, First Team All-CCAA; Annette Ilg CCAA Newcomer of the Year; Annie Wethe First Team All-CCAA; Sarah McTigue Second Team All-CCAA; Shelby Wong Second Team All-CCAA.

    The women’s soccer team made an electrifying run to the NCAA Championship game, but was felled by defending champion Grand Valley State.

    A young team in 2009, the Tritons returned all of their starters with an important addition. Annette Ilg, a former all-conference guard on UCSD’s basketball team, came out for soccer for the first time since high school and immediately turned herself into a goal-scoring threat. Ilg scored two goals in her first college match, and finished the season with a team-high 11 goals.

    The Tritons suffered a slow start with upset losses to Cal State L.A. and Humboldt State, but the squad went unbeaten for the next 13 matches. UCSD lost in penalty kicks in the conference tournament, but received an invitation to the NCAA tournament regardless.

    The Tritons were underdogs throughout their tournament run, but ran over higher-ranked Seattle Pacific, St. Edward’s and Saint Rose without allowing a goal. In the national title match, Grand Valley State proved it was still the team to beat, becoming the first team to repeat as national champs since the Tritons did it in 2000 and 2001.

    The Tritons had one of their best seasons in years, and the future remains bright: all but two players will return in 2011.

    Men’s Soccer

    Record: 8-6-4 overall, 8-5-3 in conference (3rd in CCAA South Division, missed playoffs)

    Honors: Jared Kakura 2010 Daktronics NCAA Division II All-America Second Team, CCAA Most Valuable Defensive Player, First Team All-CCAA; Shane Michiel Second Team All-CCAA; Jesse Brennan Second Team All-CCAA.

    The men’s soccer team had a solid season, and remained in playoff contention until the penultimate weekend of the regular season.

    The squad got off to a slow start, going 0-4-2 in the first six matches. But the Tritons were able to pick themselves up and went undefeated in their next eight matches, picking up six wins during the streak. The run included a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory over then-No. 14 Chico State. Captain Jared Kakura scored his second goal of the game for the winner, and the senior defender went on to be named the conference’s defensive MVP.

    The run came to a crashing halt with a pair of losses to Cal Poly Pomona and No. 6 Cal State San Bernardino, eliminating the Tritons from postseason contention. UCSD went out in style by beating its last two opponents by a combined 8-0, including a 6-0 win over Cal State East Bay on Senior Day.

    Overall, a poor start was overcome  to produce a respectable campaign, leading to a bittersweet season that, under different circumstances, might have produced an elusive postseason bid.

    Women’s Volleyball

    Record: 19-9 overall, 15-7 in conference (3rd in CCAA, lost in second round of NCAA tournament)

    Honors: Roxy Brunsting AVCA Honorable Mention All-American, Daktronics Women’s Volleyball Honorable Mention All-American, First Team All-CCAA; Katie Condon First Team All-CCAA; Julia Freidenberg First Team All-CCAA.

    Even with its season heading full-steam toward disaster, the women’s volleyball team was able to right the ship and make the playoffs.

    After winning their first two conference matches, the Tritons dropped five straight matches — four of them in the fifth set.

    The losing streak was the program’s longest since 1992, and caused the squad to drop out of the top 25 for the first time since 2001. The Tritons had a rash of injuries, and struggled to adjust to the system of first-year head coach Ricci Luyties.

    But the Tritons turned their fortunes around by winning 13 of their final 15 matches, including an 11-match winning streak. Roxy Brunsting — an All-American at outside hitter in 2009 — saw time at setter, and her versatility allowed her to shine. While it was not as comfortable as they would have hoped, the Tritons made it into the NCAA tournament.

    The Tritons swept Sonoma State in the first round of the tournament, but ran into No. 6 Cal State San Bernardino in the second round. CSUSB was the only squad to beat the Tritons twice in the regular season, and UCSD remained unable to find an answer for the Coyotes in the postseason, losing in three sets.

    In a roller coaster season, the Tritons did well to keep their composure and get into the postseason for the ninth time since the 2000 season.

    Men’s Water Polo

    Record: 13-13 overall (4th at WWPA Championships)

    Honors: Brian Donohoe First Team All-WWPA; Ryan Alldred Second Team All-WWPA, WWPA All-Tournament First Team; David Morton Second Team All-WWPA; Jakub Bednarek WWPA All-Tournament Second Team.

    The men’s water polo team had a rough 2010 campaign, finishing just fourth in the WWPA Championships.

    The SoCal tournament in early October was perhaps the highlight of the Tritons’ season, as UCSD was able to bounce back from a 22-12 drubbing at the hands of Stanford to take ninth place. The Tritons went 3-1 in the tournament, and beat Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount for the first time since 2006.

    But the Tritons could not beat a team ranked above them for the rest of the season, and the season ended with the program’s first-ever loss to Santa Clara in the WWPA tournament’s third-place match. LMU captured the WWPA title, and LMU and UCSD remain the only schools to capture the title since 2000.

    Cross Country

    Men’s Record: 3rd at CCAA Championships, 8th at NCAA West Regionals

    Women’s Record: 5th at CCAA Championships, 11th at NCAA West Regionals

    Despite solid 2010 seasons, neither cross country team was able to qualify for the NCAA National Championships.

    Senior Jesse Morrill was the consistent leader on the men’s side, taking 11th at the CCAA meet and 26th at the NCAA West Regionals. But young talent made up most of the Triton team, and freshmen Kellen Levy and Ryan Lok were each the top Triton finisher for at least one race during the season.

    The women’s team was hurt by the transfer of ace Bre Schofield to Cal, but — as with the men’s side — younger runners stepped up to fill the gaps. With no seniors racing, the Tritons only slid down three spots to fifth following their 2nd place finish in the 2009 CCAA Championships.

    Overall, the Tritons gave themselves a strong base to build on with 13 of the 14 runners that raced at regionals returning next year.

    Readers can contact Liam Rose at [email protected].

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