Tritons Still Undefeated

    Battling to two scoreless draws this weekend against CCAA North Division squads, Chico State and Cal State Stanislaus, UCSD put together their longest undefeated streak since the program moved up to Division II in 2001.

    With an 8-0-4 overall record (7-0-3 in the CCAA), the Tritons sit comfortably at the top of the conference, four points ahead of second place CSU Los Angeles in the standings.

    The 0-0 draw against Chico, the top-ranked squad in the North Division before the game, knocked the Wildcats into second place, throwing them into contention with Sonoma State, Cal Poly Pomona and San Francisco State — teams that are separated by only one point in the standings. The squads will jostle in the last stretch of conference matches to position themselves for playoff berths.

    “We came in knowing that they’d be important games, and that doing well would give us a lot of security within our division,” senior goalkeeper Kristin Armstrong said.

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    On Friday, Chico State became the second team to shut out the Tritons this season, as UCSD has allowed only three goals in 12 games and has outscored its opponents by an average of 4.5 goals in the past three games.

    But the scoreless result was not for a lack of offense. The two teams racked up 30 shots in the night, with the Wildcats outshooting the Tritons 17-13.

    The match highlighted the performances of goalkeepers on both sides.

    Armstrong tallied a season-high nine saves in the double overtime bout, while goalkeeper Brianna Furner kept the net clean for Chico, denying the Tritons in their eight attempts on goal.

    “We played well the first half against Chico,” Armstrong said. “We were coming at them strong, but they put a lot of pressure on us and it was hard for us to keep the ball under possession. It made it really difficult to play the way we usually play.”

    On Sunday, the Tritons made the trip up to Stanislaus and tied the Warriors 0-0.

    For the second straight match, the Tritons were outshot, as Stanislaus recorded 17 to UCSD’s 15.

    The Tritons held the advantage on corner kick opportunities, with UCSD tallying nine on the night. But despite being the most lethal deadball finishers in the conference, Warrior goalkeeper Millie Brown kept the game scoreless with six saves.

    “We got outshot in the first half,” Armstrong said. “But at half time, we just took a deep breath and focused on what we needed to do — getting the ball under control, keeping it on the ground and looking to pass more.”

    Senior midfielder Shelby Wong led all players with six shots, while the Warriors’ All-American second team selection Karenee Demery looked dangerous, recording four shots of her own.
    “Stanislaus is a very athletic squad, and [Demery] in particular is very dangerous with her speed up top,” Armstrong said. “She definitely caused problems for us.”

    Senior midfielder Annie Wethe nearly won it for UCSD in the second overtime period. Wethe found the net, beating the keeper after a scramble in the 18-yard box, but the ball was saved by a Warrior
    defender on the goal line.

    The two draws hurt the Tritons in the national standings, dropping them from No. 2 to No. 6, but UCSD looks poised to end the regular season on top.

    “We’re confident going into the games this weekend,” Armstrong said. “We know that if we play our game, we can beat pretty much anyone and get the job done.”

    The Tritons are set to begin their sixth game homestead on Friday, Oct. 14, against South Division rivals CSU Los Angeles, and CSU Dominguez Hills on Sunday, Oct. 16.

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