Fall Season Recap

    Last season’s women’s soccer team was the culmination of four years of head coach Brian McManus’ primping and polishing, with 10 out of their 11 starters returning from the 2010’s national runner-up squad.

    McManus is fond of saying that the Tritons– who have made post-season appearances in all ten of their seasons since moving to Division II– have become accustomed to playing with a target on their backs.

    UCSD went undefeated in their first 12 games, and finished at the top of the conference going into the CCAA tournament, but for the third year in a row, the Tritons were picked to win the conference title, and for the third year in a row were knocked out of the conference tournament by lower-ranked teams.

    Fortunately, the Tritons by then had amassed a 13-3-3 record that guaranteed UCSD the No. 1 rank in the West Regionals where they met with CCAA opponent Chico State.

    The Wildcats scored midway into the first half, while the Tritons failed to convert any of their 14 shots and were eliminated from the tournament.

    “It was just one of those days,” McManus said. “The ball wasn’t going to go into the back of their net.”

    It’s obvious that next season will be a rebuilding year for UCSD, who lose five starters– including All-American Sarah McTigue and All West Region selections Annie Wethe, Shelby Wong and Kristin Armstrong.

    McManus will be busy filling the gaps, which will include finding a goalkeeper, as Armstrong and the team’s only other netminder senior Sarah Garland graduate this year.

    Men’s Soccer– Inconsistency has consistently marked the men’s soccer team in the past few seasons. Although, under the helm of head coach Jon Pascale, the Triton men have garnered winning records in their past two seasons, they still find themselves all too often underperforming against bottom-ranked squads in the same weekend that they rally to top league-leading Sonoma State.

    The failure of the team to find a rhythm could be attributed to the youth of the squad.

    Certainly, kinks need to be worked out, assignments better understood, roles more precisely defined but these are things that will come with more experience.

    The Tritons amassed a 10-8-0 overall record last season, losing three straight games before winning their last four matches.

    If there’s one thing that can be said about this particular squad, it’s that they’re resilient, and will be making a serious run at the conference finals next season.

    Women’s Volleyball– By any other team’s standards, UCSD would have had a pretty remarkable season.

    The Tritons put together a 22-6 record and fought their way to the regional semifinal before losing to nationally ranked Sonoma State.

    However, the women, ranked as high as No.11 nationally, were looking for a National Title.

    The team struggled to find their groove against unranked teams and sometimes played down to the level of other teams.

    However, when they were on, the ladies could put together some serious game.

    Now, with four new recruits and a number of solid lowerclassmen, the squad has a good foundation to make another run for the playoffs next year.

    Their next chance at a National Title may not come for a few years as their talent recovers from losing seniors Roxanne Brunsting, Katie Condon and Hillary Williamson.

    Men’s Water Polo– For the first time in five years, the men’s water polo team qualified for the national tournament, stealing the berth from first-seeded Loyola Marymount and winning the conference championship.

    Having placed four players on the All-Conference team, juniors Brian Donohoe and John Butler and seniors Graham Saber and David Morton– Morton was named the tournament MVP– the Tritons seemed to be peaking at the right part of their season, but first-round opponent No. 1 UCLA was never going to make it easy.

    The Bruins faced UCSD on one other occasion, beating the Tritons 9-4 without even fielding their top-scorer Cullen Hennessy.

    But on Dec. 3, in the national semifinal bout, UCLA came out full-force, taking an 11-1 win from UCSD, with Hennessy putting three past Morton.

    The Tritons ended the 2011 season with a narrow 9-7 loss against Princeton in the consolation game.

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