Tritons Explode for 5–2 Win, streak stretches to four

In their highest-scoring performance of the season, UC San Diego women’s soccer (901, 401 in conference) defeated the California State University, Humboldt Lumberjacks (162, 04 in conference) in a 5–2 rout that saw redshirt senior midfielder Natalie Saddic notch her second two-goal match of the season. The win is the second-ranked Tritons’ fourth straight, keeping them undefeated on the season.

UCSD opened the scoring in the 10th minute with a beautiful display of teamwork. Junior midfielder Maddy Samilo made an incisive through pass to find junior midfielder Michelle Baddour down the right flank; Baddour crossed the ball to redshirt sophomore midfielder Kameryn Hoban, who booted it into the back of the net to make it 1–0. But the Lumberjacks countered in the 16th minute as Humboldt State’s freshman midfielder Kelsey Bess stole the ball from Hoban and passed to freshman forward Selena Osorio in space, who cut right and equalized the game at 1–1.

In the 30th minute, a collision left UCSD junior defender and midfielder Natalie Widmer down on the field for a couple of minutes with an apparent leg injury. Widmer eventually had to be helped off the field and carted off. “Structurally, it looks like it’s OK, so we’re going to see how she feels in the morning and go from there,” head coach Kristin Jones said post-match.

The Tritons would finally get that go-ahead goal in the 37th minute off a corner from freshman midfielder Mika Celeste that was deflected to the feet of Saddic, whose shot ricocheted off a defender into the top of the netting. 

After a relatively uneventful beginning to the second half, Celeste and sophomore midfielder Emily Killeen pulled off a textbook one-two pass in the 66th minute to fool the Humboldt State defenders, giving Celeste an open shot that she nailed, making it 3–1. “It’s good because it means they’re having fun,” Coach Jones said about UCSD’s teamwork. “When they can play with a little more freedom, they tend to pull things out like that.”

The final 10 minutes of the match saw three goals, beginning when an 80th-minute cross from UCSD sophomore defender and midfielder Ashlynn Kolarik hit the outstretched hand of a Humboldt player, giving the Tritons a penalty kick. After Saddic’s first attempt was waved off by the referee, she finished the next one to notch her team-leading fifth goal this season and her second of the night. A minute later, UCSD defenders were caught unaware as a Lumberjack cross found Bess all alone, and her goal made it 4–2. In the 84th minute, a Tritons cross was intercepted in front of goal, but sophomore forward Marissa Ray immediately made a great tackle and finished from close range to up the score to 5–2.

Although the Tritons snatched their fourth straight home win, Humboldt State snapped a six-game shutout streak by UCSD’s redshirt senior goalkeeper Angelica Ramos. “I think that was the most mistakes we’ll make [on] the defensive half all season,” Coach Jones said. “But when those mistakes came, we ha[ve] done well enough [on] the offensive half to give ourselves a bit of a cushion, so there was never really a need to panic.” 

UCSD remains second in the California Collegiate Athletic Association behind California State University, Sonoma (50) in conference play. The Tritons have three more home games on the schedule before they go to Sonoma State on Oct. 25 in what could be a match with CCAA tournament implications.