Four Win Weekend: Womens Soccer

    The team is currently No. 2 nationally and sits undefeated at the top of the California Collegiate Association, with an 8-0-2 overall record and a 7-0-1 CCAA record.

    Opening their weekend at home against bottom of the conference CSU Monterey Bay on Friday, the Tritons got off to a quick start.

    In the 11th minute, junior defender Hayley Johnson lined up for one of the Tritons’ nine corner kicks of the night. Johnson — who’s tied for first in the nation for assists per game, having racked up 10 assists in 10 appearances — sent the ball to senior forward Sarah McTigue, who tapped the ball in to score.

    Outshooting the Otters 20 shots to three, UCSD quickly doubled their lead in the 15th minute, when junior midfielder Danielle Dixon collected the ball on the right side of the field. Sitting far up the field in an attempt to pull an offside trap, the Otter defense failed to cover the left midfielder, senior Shelby Wong. Dixon sent a lofted ball to the feet of Wong, who easily put it away to score her second goal of the season.

    With a comfortable 2-0 lead, head coach Brian McManus showcased the depth of his squad by going into his bench, bringing seniors Courtney Capobianco and Lindsay Mills onto the field.

    “The depth we have is great,” Capobianco said. “The play doesn’t drop at all when our subs come in. If anything, most of the time they’ll raise the game, because that’s when the other team is getting tired.”

    With eight minutes remaining in the first half, Mills connected with Capobianco, who threaded through the center of the Otter backline and sunk a left-footed shot from about 25 yards out. Going into the second half with a 3-0 lead, the Tritons continued to push upfield. Again, Capobianco dribbled her way through midfield and found redshirt freshman forward Izzy Pozurama running on. Pozurama — who has seen significant playing time in the past few contests — easily scored to tally her second goal of the season.

    And with just 50 seconds remaining, Mills and Capobianco connected again, as Capobianco finished her second goal to end the game at 5-0.

    “It’s always hard playing teams like [CSU Monterey Bay], because we’re expected to win these games,” junior midfielder Jessica Wi said. “Really, all the pressure’s on us. We have everything to lose and they have nothing to lose.”

    On Sunday, the No. 2 Tritons faced off against CSU East Bay, a North division squad that has only one conference win this season. The Pioneers came out hot to open the match, and in the eleventh minute East Bay forward Eugénie Foote beat senior goalkeeper Kristin Armstrong with a shot to the upper corner. The goal was Foote’s third of the season, as well as one of only three goals to have been scored against Armstrong in eight matches.

    “We came out a little too confident and the goal against us gave us a reality check,” junior forward Gabi Hernandez said.

    Down 1-0, UCSD proceeded to pepper the Pioneer goal, outshooting CSU East Bay 8-1 in the subsequent 20 minutes. Sensing fatigue in the Pioneer defense, McManus fielded a batch of fresh legs to run the widths, bringing on junior midfielder Alexa Enlow, Mills and junior transfer Britnee Chesney.

    Minutes later, the Tritons were granted a free kick. In the 30th minute Johnson sent a ball into the back post. Chesney beat her defender, volleying the ball in to score.

    Tied 1-1 at the start of the second half, junior defender Ellen Wilson bypassed the midfield in favor of playing a long ball over the Pioneer backline.  Wi got on the end of it and sent a low shot into the far post to give the Tritons the lead. Just seven minutes later, McTigue put a header past the Pioneer goalkeeper off a service from Johnson to put the game at 3-1. Wi would tally two assists before the end of the match, serving balls in from out-wide for Dixon and Hernandez to score.

    The Tritons will continue to play against the CCAA North Division by taking a trip up North to face off against two of the strongest teams in the conference. On Friday Oct. 7, UCSD will kick off against 5-2-1 Chico State in Chico. The Wildcats are currently the top-ranked team in the North division, and have collected wins in three out of their past four matches. On Sunday Oct. 9, the Tritons will face off against CSU Stanislaus in Turlock.

    “The games against Chico and Stanislaus are going to be really important, because both teams are at the top of the North Division,” said Armstrong. “And also because we only have a chance to play the teams up North once in conference play.”

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