The Final Four

    The UCSD Women’s Soccer team could not have provided a stronger argument for fate as a documented phenomenon than its performance last weekend in Denver, Colo.

    The Tritons have played a combined 53 minutes and 53 seconds in their past five postseason competitions. After taking down the No. 15 Colorado School of Mines in the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Division II Championships, on Thursday, Nov. 29 UCSD will face Grand Valley — the squad that shutout the Tritons in the Division II title match in 2010.

    All of this happening after UCSD’s win over No. 23 Western Washington in the Elite Eight bout. The 2-1 win also counted as UCSD head coach Brian McManus’ 433rd career win, making him the winningest coach in Division II Women’s Soccer history. The 26-year tenured coach will be making his fourth trip to the Final Four since UCSD’s move to Division II in search of his third Division II National Championship.

    “[McManus] has made this program what it is today, and I feel extremely lucky to be a part of his success,” senior captain Ellen Wilson said.

    On Sunday, UCSD was unable to finish off the Orediggers in regulation, although both teams had ample chance on goal, with Colorado Mines outshooting the Tritons 19-15. Credit true freshman goalkeeper Kelcie Brodsky along with the Triton backline, as UCSD logged its ninth shutout, while Brodsky recorded her 99th save.

    With the score still 0-0, the Tritons were forced to settle the game in penalties, just edging Colorado Mines 6-5. Senior midfielder Alexa Enlow slotted the winning goal for UCSD.

    “It was great to win in penalty kicks,” senior midfielder Jessica Wi said. “For a while now we figured that we were cursed in penalty kicks, but having confidence in shootouts now is nice. Now we’re very excited for Georgia, and looking forward to getting redemption against Grand Valley.”

    In their six postseason games — two CCAA matches, four NCAA matches — the Tritons have scored eight goals, all of which were finished by a member of their eight-man senior class. The same group, supplemented by a strong squad of underclassmen, will prepare for their second meeting against Grand Valley State.

    The Tritons will have Thanksgiving weekend off, and will then travel to Evans, Ga., the site of the Final Four.

    Along with Grand Valley, the 2010 champion and winner of the Midwest Region, the Tritons will be joined by South Region Champion West Florida and East Region Champion St. Rose.

    In 2010, the Tritons faced St. Rose, narrowly beating the East Region Champion 1-0 off a goal by current UCSD assistant coach Sarah McTigue. UCSD has yet to face off against West Florida, a team that has only one loss in the season.

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