Tritons Take Care of Business

    The UCSD women’s soccer team was in fine form this weekend for arguably their most crucial match of the regular season.

    On Sunday, the Tritons — ranked first in the South division — faced top of the North division Sonoma State, taking a sound 2-0 victory from the Seawolves.

    In the first half, the play was tight as the two teams battled for the advantage. Although the Tritons managed to outshoot the Seawolves 7-3 in the first period, the game remained scoreless.

    “We played really well in the first half,” senior goalkeeper Kristin Armstrong said. “It was just that Sonoma really raised their level of play too.”

    Just three minutes into the second period, junior midfielder Jessica Wi made a run with the ball down the right flank, winning a corner kick.

    Junior defender Hayley Johnson, leading UCSD with 12 assists this season and scoring nearly every corner kick for the Tritons this year, sent a left-footed corner kick into the box. Placing the ball just out of the reach of the Sonoma goalkeeper, senior forward Sarah McTigue ran onto it, and finished the ball with a header for her seventh goal of the year.

    After the goal, the game opened up, with the teams collectively taking 13 shots on frame.

    The second goal came deep into the second half.

    With less than five minutes remaining on the clock, Johnson sent a corner kick into the box. The ball landed at Wi’s feet, and she dropped it back to senior defender Sara Spaventa. Spaventa took a shot that deflected off the crossbar. The ball bounced down and between the Sonoma goalkeeper and senior forward Courtney Capobianco.

    Capobianco, who hasn’t recorded a start this season but whose four goals marks her as the team’s third-highest goal scorer, effortlessly headed the ball into the back of the net — but not before she collided with the goalkeeper.

    “[The ball] hit the crossbar and my defender kept me onside, so I crashed the box and beat the keeper’s punch on the bounce and headed it in,” Capobianco said.

    With the win, the Tritons improve to 11-1-4 overall and 10-1-3 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association. UCSD also secured a spot in the conference tournament, sitting a solid six points ahead of No. 2 CSU Los Angeles. But in the North division, the race is tightening up: with just two regular season matches left to play, Chico State and Sonoma are battling for the top spot with 26 points apiece and CSU Stanislaus trailing not far behind.

    “[Coach McManus] always talks about peaking at the right part of the season,” Armstrong said. “With the wins this weekend, I think we’re right in track with where we want to be. But we certainly haven’t peaked yet.”

    On Friday, the Tritons faced bottom of the league Humboldt State, which has a miserable 1-11-2 conference record.

    After UCSD managed to score only one goal in their past three games, there were concerns that the Tritons were struggling in the attack.

    But senior midfielder Shelby Wong laid any worries to rest, knocking the ball in the net just thirteen minutes into the match. Wong doubled the lead just three minutes later.

    The Tritons extended their lead in the second half, when McTigue dribbled down to the corner and found Wong on the cross. Wong finished the ball past the Humboldt keeper to finish off the hat trick.

    Junior transfer Taryn Bales and junior midfielder Alexa Enlow would tack on two more before the end of the game to beat the Lumberjacks 5-0.

    “Right now we’re just looking to take these two games this weekend,” Armstrong said. “And we’re just looking to build up towards the postseason.”

    The Tritons are the first of four teams to punch their tickets to the CCAA Championships, scheduled for Nov. 4-6, to be hosted by CSU Stanislaus.
    UCSD will round off their regular season with two more games at home this weekend. On Friday, Oct. 28, the Tritons will host San Francisco State at 7 p.m. On Sunday, UCSD will celebrate their nine graduating seniors before their game against Cal Poly Pomona at 2:30 p.m.

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