LA JOLLA, Calif. - UC San Diego overturned a first-half deficit but was unable to nab a winner, tying San Francisco State University through two overtimes, 1-1, in California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) women’s soccer action Friday at Triton Soccer Stadium.
With the draw, UCSD moved to 5-5-5 overall and 4-4-5 in the CCAA. SF State is 5-6-4 overall and 4-6-3 in league play.
The result leaves the Tritons in a tie for third in the CCAA South with Cal Poly Pomona at 17 points apiece. They are six back of division leader Cal State San Bernardino and four back of Cal State L.A. with just three regular-season games left.
With time winding down in the first half and trailing by a goal, UCSD earned a free kick just outside the edge of the penalty box, left of center. As Izzy Pozurama and Jessica Dang hovered around the ball, 27th-year Triton head coach Brian McManus’ learned, booming voice could be heard loud and clear, for Dang to take the kick.
Dang, a true freshman out of Irvine who had stepped off the bench and into the fray less than 10 minutes earlier, coolly stepped up and made a genius out of her legendary coach, bending an exquisite, right-footed shot into the upper right corner for her first collegiate goal at the 44:30 mark.
SF State junior Stephanie Vanni had opened the scoring in the 29th minute, turning in a Kelsey Wetzstein corner kick at the near post with her right foot for her second goal of 2013. Wetzstein’s assist was a team-best third for the freshman.
Neither side could break the deadlock over the 45-minute second half or 20 minutes of overtime, with the visitors ultimately coming away with a 17-12 shot advantage.
Making her first collegiate start, season debut and just her fourth appearance in a Triton uniform, sophomore goalkeeper Itzel Gonzalez (Tijuana, Mexico/Artesia HS) finished with two saves. Junior counterpart Allison Land, who entered the match as the CCAA leader in goalie saves, made three stops.
UCSD generated a pair of first-half scoring opportunities before Vanni’s strike. Pozurama latched onto a short right-sided crossing pass from Kiera Bocchino in the 18th minute, only for her effort to travel wide to the right of the target. Just under 10 minutes later, fellow junior Kiley Leshin’s right-footed shot from inside the area following a corner kick by freshman Devon Roncoroni (San Diego/Bonita Vista HS), hit the crossbar and continued over it for a goal kick.
A season-long six-match homestand concludes this Sunday, Oct. 27, against Cal State Monterey Bay. Kickoff is set for 11:30 a.m., preceding the UCSD men’s game at 2.
Triton Notes: UCSD leads the all-time series, 14-3-5 ... The Tritons had won the previous five meetings, and have still gone an unbeaten 5-0-3 over the last eight match-ups ... UCSD had not allowed a goal to the Gators over 338:35 leading up to Vanni’s score ... SF State entered the game having tallied just seven goals as a team in 14 matches ... Rachel Leslie (Santee/West Hills HS), who made 14 previous starts in the Triton midfield, started as the UCSD center back for the first time ... Lyndsay Gehring, a sophomore transfer from UC Riverside, drew her first start as a Triton in central midfield.