LOS ANGELES - Sarah McTigue headed-in a corner kick from Hayley Johnson in the third minute as the No. 5 UC San Diego women's soccer team held-off No. 11 Cal State L.A. in California Collegiate Athletic Association play on Friday night at Jesse Owens Stadium.
UCSD (2-0-1, 1-0) is now 2-0 against Top 25 teams this season, having already taken a 2-0 victory over then-No. 10 Seattle Pacific on September 3. The goal marked McTigue's second score of the young season, while Johnson's assist was her second off a corner kick in 2011.
"When you play in tight games, free kicks can win the game for you and that's what happened tonight," said UCSD head coach Brian McManus.
CSULA (2-1, 0-1) doubled UCSD in the shot column, 10-5, but forced Triton goalkeeper Kristin Armstrong to make only two saves on the night. The Triton defense is yet to give up a goal in 290 minutes played this season. In addition, UCSD has held opponents scoreless in seven of its last eight matches dating back to November 13, 2010.
The early goal prompted UCSD to control much of the early run of play, but CSULA opened the game up, creating problems for the Triton defense by earning a pair of dangerous free kicks.
"We played really well to open it, but we really had to battle as they took it back and forth towards the end of the half," said McManus. "We gave them a couple of free kicks but we were able to grind it out."
Izzy Pozurama came off the bench and tallied two shots. True freshman Cassie Callahan played all 90 minutes up-top for the Tritons and ricocheted a shot off the crossbar. Alexa Enlow also recorded a shot for UCSD.
"We won this ugly," said McManus. "It's still a win though and we're looking forward to Sunday."
UCSD continues its road trip at No. 19 Cal State San Bernardino (2-1,0-1) on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. CSUSB fell to Cal State Dominguez Hills 2-0 on Friday evening.
The Tritons are 28-4-4 all-time against CSUSB and have not lost to the Coyotes since September 28, 2008.