UCSD Falls Again to Ranked Opponent

    The Tritons first played against Michigan University at the UC Santa Barbara tournament in their first official game of the season, and fell by a score of 11-8.

    The game was intensely physical and saw 17 ejections. The Tritons took advantage, scoring the majority of their goals with the 6-on-5 opportunities.

    “We worked really hard this week on our 6-on-5, hoping that would play into our hands, but it didn’t,” head coach Brad Kreutzkamp said. “We got great shot opportunities, but we just didn’t convert. That was the difference in the game.”

    The Tritons came into the match looking for their first win this season against a ranked opponent, and set the tempo early. UCSD struck first in the match when Lizotte scored her first of three goals, but the lead vanished quickly as the Wolverines scored the next three goals before the Tritons recovered. The Tritons added two more goals in the final two minutes of the quarter, however, to even the score at three.

    The second quarter opened slowly, with neither team mounting much offense. Michigan struck three minutes in, which opened a torrent of goals for the visiting Wolverines. The Tritons didn’t score in the second quarter until there were just two minutes left, but by the time the smoke settled on the first half, the Wolverines had a 6-4 lead going into halftime.

    “We were able to put away our shots in the first quarter, but we didn’t do that in the second quarter,” Kreutzkamp said. “Sometimes they go, sometimes they don’t. That has made a big difference in a lot of our games.”

    Defense continued to dominate at the start of the second half, as neither team could get a shot past the goal posts for the first four minutes. But after an ejection for rough play from the Wolverines, senior attacker Felicia Orozco scored to pull the Tritons within one goal, but Michigan responded immediately, taking a two-goal lead into the fourth quarter.

    The Wolverines scored two quick goals to break open a four-goal lead at the start of the fourth quarter. But within 35 seconds, both Lizotte and junior hole set Kirsten Bates scored to bring the lead back to two with over five minutes to play. Despite some urgent play, the Triton defense couldn’t contain the Wolverines and Michigan scored two goals within a minute of each other to further separate the teams. The Tritons fell for the second time to the Wolverines, 11-7.

    “We thought that our first strategy against them was pretty good,” Kreutzkamp said. “We wanted to press them and make them play a lot of defense, and hope for a little better conversion on our 6-on-5, but that didn’t happen.”

    The Tritons fall to 14-17 overall and 0-14 against ranked opponents. Due to a 9-1 conference record, however, the Tritons will take the second seed in the WWPA championships, which will take place from Friday, April 29 to Sunday, May 1. But before they can worry about conference tournaments, the Tritons have one last goal for the regular season. Next weekend, the Tritons will travel to cross-town rival San Diego State to try to win back the Harper Cup.

    “San Diego State really prepares us for conference,” Kreutzkamp said. “If we can hang with or beat San Diego State, then it bodes well for us going into conference.”

    Readers can contact Tyler Nelson at [email protected]


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