UCSD Women’s Soccer Falls Flat vs. Long Beach State


Jake Lannon

The Tritons (2–9–5, 1–3–3 Big West), coming off of a big win against the University of Hawaii, faced off against California State University, Long Beach (5–4–5, 4–0–2 Big West) at home. It was a big opportunity for UC San Diego’s women’s soccer to build momentum to finish the season off strong. Unfortunately for the Tritons, things did not go to plan as they fell 1–6 to LBSU. The Tritons were dominated for the majority of this game, falling behind early by three goals in the first 15 minutes of play. The Tritons were unable to find their footing in this game, leading to such a lopsided scoring affair. 

As the game kicked off, UCSD looked ready to take on the challenge of beating LBSU. In the 2nd minute, the Tritons had one of their best chances of the game. Junior forward Kennedy Carter raced down the right wing, beating her defender and sent a cross into the box where it met the head of sophomore midfielder Courtney Hilliard, who directed the ball just left of the goalpost. It was a great starting point for the Tritons, who looked to come out hot. Unfortunately for the Tritons, the Beach had other plans.

In the 4th minute, the Beach marched down the right side of the pitch, creating danger for the Triton defense. A poor clearance caused the ball to land at the feet of an LBSU player at the right side of the box, where she launched a shot across the face of the goal scoring to go up 0–1. The scoring wouldn’t stop there as three minutes later the Beach were back in the Tritons box, causing trouble off of a free kick. A header hitting the top of the bar unluckily bounced right to an opposing player who tapped it into the back of the net giving them a 0–2 lead. Very shortly after, in the 12th minute, the Beach was once again in position to score. LBSU ran the ball down the right flank to the goal line where an LBSU player was set up perfectly in the middle of the box to tap the ball into the bottom right corner of the goal, making this game 0–3. 

Fortunately for the Tritons, the first half wasn’t all doom and gloom, as in the 18th minute, Hilliard found her way into the box to make a cross towards sophomore forward Natalie Abel. Abel was able to win the ball off of a defender’s poor touch and put it into the back of the net, making the score 1–3. The spirits of the crowd were lifted for the moment with the hope of a comeback in the air. Lamentably, that hope would be shattered with a goal coming for LBSU only five minutes later. The high line of UCSD was beaten with a good through ball from the LBSU midfield, leaving a one-on-one with the goalie who couldn’t stop the shot, returning the lead to three for LBSU at 1–4. The halftime whistle blew and it was clear that UCSD was unable to deal with any of the pressure that LBSU was bringing on them. The Tritons needed to make some serious adjustments coming out of the half for them to have a chance in this game. 

As the second half started, the Tritons seemed to come out with much better energy and adjustments that allowed them to dominate the first 25 minutes of the half. This created many chances as the Tritons had 9 shots on target for the second half. With the best chance coming in the 60th minute, a cross met the feet of Hilliard who had a free shot at goal, but the LBSU goalie was able to recover in time and make a good save. Regrettably for the Tritons, they could not convert one of these chances to close the score line and build momentum. The Beach was able to hold on and take control of the game over the last 20 minutes, with two goals coming in the 73rd and 75th minute, pushing the score to 1–6. 

UCSD ended the night down big with few positives to take away, but the focus is now on the final three games of the season. The Tritons now on the road to take on California State University, Bakersfield on Oct. 20 at 7 p.m., with the hope of finishing the season out strong. 

Image Courtesy of Vince Hilahan