Release: Sunday 12/02/2012 
Coach Brian McManus and the Triton Women's Soccer team finished second at last weekend's NCAA D-II Championships.
Coach Brian McManus and the Triton Women's Soccer...
Courtesy: Ken Grosse/UCSD Athletics

Sat., Dec. 15---Diving---UCSD at UNLV Winter Invitational---All Day

Sun., Dec. 16---Diving---UCSD at UNLV Winter Invitational---All Day
Sun., Dec. 16---MBasketball---UCSD vs. Pacifica---1:00 PM
Sun., Dec. 16---WBasketball---UCSD at CSU San Bernardino---3:00 PM

Sun., Dec. 30---WBasketball---UCSD vs. CSU San Bernardino---4:00 PM
Sun., Dec. 30---MBasketball---UCSD vs. CSU San Bernardino---6:00 PM

For the second time in three years, the Women's Soccer team came within one game of winning an eighth NCAA Championship under Head Coach Brian McManus...That dream was dashed last Saturday afternoon in Evans, GA as fifth-ranked UCSD was upended, 1-0, by No. 2 West Florida...The loss concluded the Tritons' season at 17-3-4 and was the final game in the careers of four-year standouts Ellen Wilson, Hayley Johnson, Gabi Hernandez, Jessica Wi, Danielle Dixon and Mary McWalters as well as fellow seniors Britnee Chesney, Laura Gordon and Ellie Nevarez.

Playing poised, technically-proficient, team-oriented soccer, the Tritons buried some demons by knocking out Midwest Region champion Grand Valley State, 2-1, in last Thursday's semi-final...Grand Valley, the 2009 and '10 national titlists, who two years ago dominated UCSD, 4-0, in a championship game played in sub-30-degree weather and snow in Louisville, KY  had no answers for McManus and Co. this time around...After controlling a scoreless first half, the Tritons struck early in the second session when GVSU's All-American keeper Chelsea Parise misplayed a manageable shot by sophomore Cassie Callahan to give UCSD a 1-0 edge...Another sophomore, Izzy Pozurama doubled the margin in the 61st minute, heading the ball in from close range with assists from Callahan and Jessica Wi...The third-ranked Lakers refused to go away quietly and after cutting the margin to one on a rebound goal with just under 10 minutes remaining, had several serious forays in front of the UCSD net...The most dangerous was a three-shot flurry with about three minutes left...That featured a pair of high quality saves by freshman keeper Kelcie Brodsky who had wandered off her line to make a one-on-one save at the start of the sequence...Brodsky repelled eight shots on the night...The goals were Callahan's 10th and Pozurama's ninth of the season.

Saturday's national title skirmish did not end the way McManus & Co. had envisioned...Coming in confident, the Tritons looked every bit the part of a champion in the first half, dictating the run of play and creating a number of excellent goal-scoring opportunities...But, like the semis two days earlier, they were unable to cash in and finished the first 45 minutes at all zeroes...Unlike Thursday, West Florida changed tactics in the second half, pressing UCSD from the outset and playing a more overtly physical style that put McManus' squad on its heels...After out-shooting the Argonauts, 11-4, in the first half, the Tritons had trouble mounting much offensively following the break...After making numerous forays deep into UCSD territory, West Florida finally broke through in the 77th minute, Chelsea Palmer poking home a rebound for what turned out to be the game winner...The Tritons had one final chance, earning a corner kick in the final minute but WFU cleared it to erase the last threat...Wi, Wilson, Callahan and Chesney were all-tournament selections.

Listen to senior Hayley Johnson's Thursday night post-game comments.
Listen to freshman Kelcie Brodsky's Thursday night post-game comments.
Listen to Coach Brian McManus' Saturday post-game comments.

Some may have considered 2012 a rebuilding year for Coach Ricci Luyties' Women's Volleyball team but the young Tritons, lacking a single senior and sporting just three juniors, still earned a trip to the NCAA West Regionals---their 31st such visit in 32 years...Entering the Regional as the No. eight seed, UCSD fell to top-seeded and fifth-ranked host BYU-Hawaii in Thursday's first round, 3-1 (25-21, 23-25, 25-17, 25-22)...The defeat left Luyties' third club with a season mark of 20-11.

Facing a BYU-Hawaii squad that had lost just two sets while going undefeated in 11 regular season home matches, UCSD  put together a valiant effort in coming up short in its 2012 NCAA debut...After falling behind early and never recovering in game one, the Tritons went on a six-point run and held off a late Seasider surge to win the second...Later, down 2-1, UCSD rallied to tie the fourth set at 21 before BYU-Hawaii star Shih Ting Chen put down the last three of her 21 kills and her team scored four of the final five points for the victory...Freshman Sophie Rowe's 20 kills (.364), 18 digs and one ace provided the highlight for the Tritons...Sophomore middle blocker Sara McCutchan contributed 11 kills as well as one solo block and four block assists...Her 119 total blocks place her seventh on the school single season chart...Junior libero Brittany Lombardi accounted for 23 digs (431 for year, No. 6 on single season list) and sophomore setter Amber Hawthorne handed out 28 assists to finish the season with 1,078, ninth best single season total in UCSD history.


Utilizing a short break in the schedule, the Men's Basketball team will try to recapture its mojo during the two weeks until its next outing, a Dec. 16 home tussle with Pacifica...Coach Chris Carlson's cagers, now 1-5 overall and winless in three league battles, will be looking to halt a four-game losing skid after dropping both ends of its CCAA home-opening weekend vs. Cal State L.A. and Cal State Dominguez Hills last Friday and Saturday.

UCSD dropped its conference lid lifter Friday night at RIMAC Arena as Cal State L.A. came from behind to log a 61-54 victory...The Tritons built a first half lead that peaked to 10 pts. at the 7:32 mark but the Golden Eagles erased that and went into halftime up by one, 28-27...Carlson & Co. then forged a four-pt. advantage, 44-40, with 9:07 left in the game but CSULA bounced back again, taking the lead for good at the7:22 mark, making enough free throws down the stretch to emerge with the win...Junior point guard James McCann put up good numbers for UCSD, finishing with a game high 18 points to go with six assists and four rebounds...Also scoring in double figures were senior Tyler McGrath (15) and sophomore Brandon Blanchard (10)...The latter also grabbed eight boards.

The plot line was similar the next night with a much more painful ending as Cal State Dominguez Hills edged UCSD, 58-57...This time, the Tritons led the entire first half, taking a seven-point advantage into the locker room...They had their biggest lead of the night (11 pts.) early in the second stanza but a five and a half minute, 13-2, Toros run gave the visitors control and they never relinquished it, despite a fervent last minute response by UCSD...A lay-up by senior Justin Brue made it a one-point game with 56 ticks on the clock...After a Dominguez Hills miss, the Tritons had the ball for the last possession but both McCann and Drew Dyer were errant with potential game-winning tries...McGrath was high point man for UCSD with 19, including three treys, and he got double digit support from Dyer with 13 and McCann with 10...Dyer pulled down six rebounds to top the Tritons in that category.

Watch Coach Chris Carlson's Friday night post-game interview.
Watch Coach Chris Carlson's Saturday night post-game interview.

After sweeping its first two CCAA games of the season at home last weekend, Coach Heidi VanDerveer's Women's Basketball team will take a two-week competitive break before resuming conference action, Dec. 16 at Cal State San Bernardino...The Tritons are now 4-5 overall.

Friday night, VanDerveer got 21 points from senior guard Daisy Feder, a double double (12 pts./11 rebounds) from junior forward Erin Dautremont and saw her club score the first 15 points of the game on the way to a 70-49 rout of previously undefeated Cal State L.A. at RIMAC Arena...The Tritons, who shot 44.0% on the evening, held the Golden Eagles to a skimpy 29.5% from the floor and badgered L.A. into 20 turnovers...Feder earned her 21 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field and 7-of-7 from the charity stripe...Sophomore guard Megan Perry dished out six assists off the bench.

The Tritons fought off a staunch effort by underdog Cal State Dominguez Hills for a 74-66 triumph Saturday night...Feder torched the Toros for 25 points (9-of-16) but received plenty of assistance with three teammates---Emily Osga (16 pts.), Miranda Seto (13) and Perry (13)--- reaching double digits...Osga had a strong line, recording five rebounds and five assists...Seto snagged a team high six rebounds and combined with backcourt mate Perry for seven assists...Dominguez Hills was in charge on the scoreboard for most of the first half but UCSD went on a 15-2 binge to jump ahead by nine with 3:21 left...The Toros turned the tables, however, tallying the final 10 pts. of the half to leave the court with a one-point advantage...A Seto three-pointer quickly put the Tritons back on top for good in the first minute of second half and ignited UCSD's 57.1% shooting from distance in the second 20 minutes...UCSD was significantly out-rebounded (40-26) but offset that figure by causing 23 Toro turnovers.

Watch Coach Heidi VanDerveer's Friday night post-game interview.
Watch Coach Heidi VanDerveer's Saturday night post-game interview.

This week's edition of Triton Talk, UCSD's weekly online radio show hosted by Craig Elsten, is scheduled to feature interviews with Men's Volleyball Coach Kevin Ring, basketball standouts James McCann (men) and Daisy Feder (women) as well as senior defender Hayley Johnson of the Women's Soccer squad...The show will be posted Wednesday afternoon at ucsdtritons.com.

Swimming fans can check out the latest website Q&A as Triton senior Beth Dong is profiled. Click here to read.

When you're ready to do your holiday shopping, don't forget to go to ucsdtritonsgear.com...Run by UCSD Athletics' new online partner Advanced-Online, ucsdtritonsgear.com provides a web-based, on-demand option for Triton Athletic apparel and merchandise...Fans will have access to over 600 products which can be produced and shipped in 24 hours...
Click here to check out holiday sales and specials.

And speaking of holiday gifts, want something unique for the person who has everything?...How about putting their name on a new, navy chairback seat at UCSD's Softball Stadium...Click here to check it out. 

The UCSD Athletic Dept. hosts a variety of sports camps and clinics throughout the year...For more information on available options,
click here.

Send questions & comments to tritons@ucsd.edu.

For more information on Triton sports, check our website at http://ucsdtritons.com.

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