NCAA Championship Third Round - South Central Region Final
No. 7 St. Edward's (18-2-1) vs. No. 11 Midwestern State (17-3-1)
Friday, Nov. 18 • 4 p.m.
Triton Soccer Stadium • La Jolla
Live Video • Live Stats
NO. 10 UC SAN DIEGO LOOKS TO COMPLETE #ROADTOKC AT HOME
The 10th-ranked University of California San Diego men's soccer team is home again for the second weekend of the 2016 NCAA Division II Championship. The California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) double champion Tritons (17-2-2) are the top remaining seed in the West at No. 2, meaning they have earned at least one more home contest for 2016. They await another epic showdown for the West Region title with fifth-seeded reigning West champion, 2015 national runner-up and fierce CCAA rival Cal Poly Pomona (13-5-3) under Friday night lights in primetime at 7 p.m. Triton Soccer Stadium will first host the South Central Region final between seventh-ranked top seed St. Edward's (18-2-1) and 11th-ranked No. 2 seed Midwestern State (17-3-1), both out of Texas. Friday's third-round winners will face off in a national quarterfinal on Sunday, Nov. 20, with kickoff set for 12 p.m. at Triton Soccer Stadium on North Campus in La Jolla. UCSD is an undefeated 10-0-1 at home in 2016.
TRITON SOCCER NOW ON UCSDTRITONS.TV!
For the very first time, all matches at Triton Soccer Stadium in 2016 feature a live video stream on UCSDtritons.tv. The platform, the product of a partnership between UC San Diego Athletics and local broadband services and technology giant ViaSat, is in its first full year. All broadcasts are in multi-camera high definition, and can be viewed from smartphones and tablets alongside desktop and laptop computers. UC San Diego alum and former baseball pitcher (2007-08) Tim Strombel (@Timmy2Sides) handles the play-by-play duties, and welcomes an array of guests. Viewing is subscription-based, though it is free from UCSD campus IP addresses. A package that gives viewers access to all streamed events (baseball, basketball, soccer, softball, volleyball, water polo and more) throughout the 2016-17 academic year is available for $34.99. A single-day option can be purchased for $5.99, meaning doubleheaders are two-for-one. Events are archived.
FREE VIEWING THIS WEEK
All three NCAA Championship games this week will be FREE on UCSDtritons.tv, in high definition, with the archived broadcasts also able to be accessed without charge. Tim Strombel calls the action.
MORE LIVE COVERAGE
All games have live stats. Select road matches also have video. Fans can access live coverage from the Schedule/Results page, or by clicking on the links above. Starting lineups, live in-game updates and other news and notes can be found by following Triton Soccer all season long on the UCSD Athletics Twitter handle (@UCSDtritons).
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP TICKET INFO
Tickets for the 2016 NCAA Championship can be purchased at Triton Soccer Stadium on the day of the game, beginning one hour prior to kickoff time, meaning 3 p.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $8 for general admission, and $5 for seniors (65+), children (7+) and students with valid identification. Children under seven are admitted free of charge. Parking is free on Sunday. The nearest parking lots are behind the spectator stand, as well as the Hopkins Parking Structure adjacent to RIMAC.
FIRST 200 UCSD STUDENTS FREE!
The first 200 UCSD students to arrive for the Tritons' NCAA third-round game this Friday at 7 p.m. will gain free entry on North Campus.
The UC San Diego men's soccer team will again be wearing a special patch on their jerseys this Friday night in remembrance of Sean Pleskow, who tragically passed away over the weekend of Nov. 5-6. Pleskow was a two-year member of the Tritons in 2014-15, as was older brother Will (2012-13).
UC San Diego remained a season-best 10th in the final regular-season National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll. The Tritons debuted at No. 21 on Sept. 20, before falling into the receiving votes category just outside of the top 25, for two weeks. The initial No. 21 appearance marked UCSD's first national ranking since a No. 9 listing in the 2014 preseason, which was also its last time in the top 10. The Tritons entertain the nation's seventh- and 11th-ranked sides this weekend in St. Edward's and Midwestern State, respectively.
AND THEN THERE WERE THREE...WITH TWO
UC San Diego is one of just three schools at the Division II level with both of its soccer programs still alive in the Round of 16 of the NCAA Championship. Adelphi (Garden City, N.Y.) and Fort Hays State (Hays, Kan.) are the other two. Adelphi's men moved on to the quarterfinals with a 4-0 victory early Thursday.
UCSD and CPP just met on Oct. 29 in what was ultimately the regular-season championship game in the CCAA, with the Tritons rallying for a 2-1 triumph. Another winner-take-all of sorts, awaits on Friday night. St. Edward's and Midwestern State are similarly league foes from the Heartland Conference, with SEU having posted a 2-0 victory in the Heartland Conference Tournament title match over host Midwestern State on Nov. 6. One of the Hilltoppers' two losses on the year, however, was 1-0 at home against MSU on Oct. 20. St. Edward's boasts the nation's No. 1 defense with a 0.33 team goals-against average. UCSD is No. 3 at 0.46, and MSU fifth at 0.52, and CPP seventh at 0.60. The Tritons have never met St. Edward's or Midwestern State in men's soccer.
UCSD VERSUS CPP WITH THE HIGHEST STAKES: PART II
With two goals over the final 4:27 of regulation, UCSD snatched the 2016 CCAA championship from reigning West Region champion Cal Poly Pomona on its own field on Oct. 29. Trailing 1-0 and headed toward third place and a No. 3 seed, the Tritons earned a penalty kick through a foul on Justice Duerksen. Duerksen's attempt was saved by the goalkeeper, but the senior winger hammered home the rebound at 85:33. With overtime looming, super sub Christian Cordell's one-touch, left-footed shot managed to find the target from close range at 88:06, after Duerksen's corner kick had been parried by the goalie. There was still time, though, for some final drama. CPP actually found the target in the little amount of time remaining, after a deflected Sergi Monso effort was tapped from close range into an empty net by Nadeer Ghantous, but the linesman's flag was up for offsides. The result gave the Tritons, picked fifth in the preseason coaches' poll, the outright title, with their 28 points outdistancing Sonoma State (26) and pushing CPP (25) to third. The Tritons had clinched a fourth successive CCAA Tournament berth with a 3-0 win at Cal State East Bay on Oct. 21.
LAST TIME OUT
Two defenders did the scoring and also aided in a 13th shutout on the season as UCSD got past Western Washington, 2-0, at home in the second round of the NCAA Championship last Sunday afternoon. Jeff Powers' stunning strike from greater than 30 yards in the 11th minute found the bottom right corner for the redshirt sophomore right back's first collegiate goal at the most incredible time. Senior center back and captain Kuba Waligorski touched in Uly de la Cal's free kick from close range in the 70th to effectively seal UCSD's first-ever victory in the NCAA Division II tournament. Cameron McElfresh was on his game, making six saves, including several important ones in the first half in particular, to post his 12th individual clean sheet.
NCAA DIVISION II CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY
UCSD is making its fourth NCAA Division II Championship appearance and third in the last four seasons under Jon Pascale. The Tritons have advanced to their second West Region final at the Division II level, having been knocked out by Simon Fraser on penalties previously in 2013. They earned their first victory in the Division II tourney last Sunday, 2-0 over Western Washington, and are now 1-1-3. They had previously played to three successive 1-1 ties, the first two in 2013. UCSD advanced past Chico State on penalty kicks in the second round at home after a first-round bye, before getting knocked out in the same fashion by Simon Fraser in Denver, Colo., in the third round. In 2014, Cal State LA outlasted the Tritons on penalties, 5-4, in Azusa in the first round. UCSD was eliminated by Chico State in its Division II championship debut, 2-0, on Nov. 14, 2003, allowing two late goals in the Far West Regional semifinal at Toro Field in Carson. Before that, UCSD went 26-10-4 (.700) in 15 NCAA Division III Championship appearances between 1983-99. That history includes three national titles in 1988, 1991 and 1993.
NCAA Division II Championship
2016 - Triton Soccer Stadium, La Jolla
Second Round - UC San Diego 2, Western Washington 0
2014 - Cougar Soccer Complex, Azusa
First Round - UC San Diego 1, Cal State LA 1 (2OT) (CSULA advanced on penalty kicks, 5-4)
2013 - Regis University Match Pitch, Denver, Colo.
Third Round - UC San Diego 1, Simon Fraser 1 (2OT) (SFU advanced on penalty kicks, 4-3)
2013 - Triton Soccer Stadium, La Jolla
Second Round - UC San Diego 1, Chico State 1 (2OT) (UCSD advanced on penalty kicks, 5-4)
2003 - Toro Field, Carson
Far West Regional Semifinal - Chico State 2, UC San Diego 0
TRITONS COMPLETE DOUBLE IN DRAMATIC FASHION
Top-seeded UCSD rallied from a 1-0 halftime deficit to down No. 2 seed Sonoma State 2-1 in overtime in the CCAA Tournament final on Nov. 6 in Turlock, adding a first-ever tourney banner to its first-ever league title. True freshman Jonathan Stoop picked a fine time for his first collegiate goal, leveling the score at 1-1 in the 66th minute off an overhead kick from a Uly de la Cal throw-in. Playing a man up after a Seawolf red card late in regulation, the Tritons found the winner at 93:30, with senior Sam Palano firing home after a fine run and pass by Malek Bashti down the right flank. Justice Duerksen had scored the lone goal in the 55th minute of a 1-0 shutout over Cal State San Bernardino in Friday's semifinal. Palano was the CCAA Tournament Most Valuable Offensive Player, with Kuba Waligorski the Most Valuable Defensive Player. Joining them on the All-Tournament Team were de la Cal, Duerksen, Riley Harbour and goalie Cameron McElfresh.
RETURN TO PREMIER DEFENSE
UCSD has allowed 10 goals over 1962:13, for a goals-against average of 0.46, which ranks third in all of the NCAA Division II. Six have come from the run of play, with three penalties and one free kick. The Tritons are second in save percentage (.870) and third in shutout percentage (0.62). The team's longest shutout stretch of the year has been 513:54 through four-plus clean sheets, with two more of 356:51 and 353:12. The Tritons boasted one of the top seven defenses nationally in Division II in terms of team GAA for three straight seasons between 2012-14, but fell back to the 48th spot a year ago (1.09). They led the country in that category in 2012 with a then-CCAA-record mark of 0.44, before finishing fourth in 2013 (0.52) and seventh in 2014 (0.65). The CCAA standard is 0.415 (Cal State LA in 2014), with the program record 0.42 (1990).
McELFRESH AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS
Cameron McElfresh is third in the entire nation with his career-best goals-against average of 0.469, and is second in save percentage (.867).
HOME DOMINANCE UNDER PASCALE
UC San Diego is an unbeaten 10-0-1 at home in 2016 after going 5-1-2 inside the friendly confines in 2015. Under Jon Pascale over eight-plus years, the Tritons are 56-20-15 (.698) in La Jolla. They are 12-0-2 in their last 14 at Triton Soccer Stadium, since a 2-1 loss to Stanislaus State on Sept. 27, 2015. UCSD has thus not lost at home in over a full calendar year.
OFFENSE MUCH IMPROVED
UC San Diego has a CCAA-leading 36 goals over 21 games in 2016, after managing just 15 in 18 matches a year ago. The Tritons struck twice in both of their first two matches, having not produced multiple scores in back-to-back games even once in 2015. UCSD then hit for six on Sept. 10 against Saint Martin's, achieving its first 6-0 scoreline since another home defeat, that one over Cal State East Bay, in the 2010 finale (Oct. 31). Five of those goals came before the break, marking the first period of play for the Tritons with five goals, since the second frame of that East Bay matchup. UCSD scored twice in successive games Oct. 7-9, and strung together a season-best stretch of three contests with multiple goals, Oct. 16-23, for the first time since a four-gamer, Sept. 9-18, 2014.
The nation's No. 3-ranked defense has consisted the past 11 games, and last 14 of 15, of senior captain Kuba Waligorski and true freshman Kelvin Uribe at center back, junior Nolan Mac at left back, and redshirt sophomore Jeff Powers at right back. Junior Kyle Panganiban started the first six contests next to Waligorski prior to suffering an injury. Fifth-year senior Brett Sampiere played all 90 minutes of the season opener vs. Azusa Pacific (9/1) at right back, but has been hurt since. Junior newcomer Steven Ortiz played the full 90 minutes vs. Westmont (9/3) and Saint Martin's (9/10) at left back, with sophomore Quinn Allan also filling in as an injury replacement at left back (10/2). Of the 21 games so far, the defensive central midfield role has been occupied by sophomore Matt Merrill 15 times, and true freshman Jonathan Stoop on six occasions.
On Wednesday morning, four UCSD seniors earned Division 2 Conference Commissioners Association All-West Region distinction, with Cameron McElfresh and Kuba Waligorski making the first team and thus advancing to the All-America ballot, and Riley Harbour and Sam Palano gaining spots on the second team. Only Waligorski was an all-region honoree previously, with a second-team nod in 2014.
EIGHT EARN CCAA RECOGNITION
Eight Triton players earned some type of postseason recognition from the CCAA, led by senior goalkeeper Cameron McElfresh as the CCAA Defensive Player of the Year. Jon Pascale was the CCAA Coach of the Year for the third time in his nine years. McElfresh was joined on the All-CCAA First Team by Riley Harbour and Kuba Waligorski. Making the second team were Justice Duerksen, Sam Palano and Kelvin Uribe. Malek Bashti and Nolan Mac picked up All-CCAA honorable mentions.
Six times in 2016, UCSD has surrendered a game's first score before rallying for a 2-1 victory via late goals, including the last four times now away from home. The Tritons achieved the feat twice at home to begin the year. Sam Palano volleyed in the 68th-minute equalizer and turned provider for twin brother Nick Palano with just 1:41 left in the second overtime to down Azusa Pacific on Sept. 1. Then it was Riley Harbour's hero turn on Sept. 3 against Westmont, as he slotted home his first of the year in the 79th minute, after Uly de la Cal had tied the match late in the first half. On Oct. 7 at SF State, Justice Duerksen converted a penalty kick at 78:57 to level the score in a contest with giant postseason implications. He then produced a perfect cross for de la Cal to flick home for the decider at 81:08. Duerksen's cross set up Christian Cordell's equalizing header in the 66th at Stanislaus State on Oct. 21, before Kuba Waligorski put the Warriors away 3:12 into overtime. On Oct. 29, two goals in the last 4:27 of regulation wrecked reigning West Region champion Cal Poly Pomona's CCAA title hopes, as Duerksen put in the rebound of his own saved penalty at 85:33, and provided the corner-kick service for Cordell's decisive tap-in at 88:06. Most recently on Nov. 6 in Turlock, Jonathan Stoop's first college goal in the 66th tied matters with Sonoma State, before Palano was again the hero at 93:30 of overtime.
OVERTIME FORTUNES OVERTURNED
The double-overtime triumph over Azusa Pacific on Sept. 1 marked UCSD's first overtime win since Malek Bashti's first collegiate goal took down rival Chico State in the 2013 CCAA semifinals in Turlock. The Tritons went 0-1-12 in overtime contests in 2014 and 2015, with 12 straight draws since, ironically, a 1-0 double-overtime loss to APU in La Jolla on Sept. 20, 2014. They have added three more overtimes victories, 1-0 at home against Humboldt State on Oct. 2, 2-1 at Stanislaus State on Oct. 21, and 2-1 over Sonoma State in the CCAA final in Turlock in Nov. 6. UCSD is 4-0-2 in extras.
UCSD's seven-game win streak, which was snapped by a 3-1 defeat at Cal State San Bernardino on Oct. 27, was its longest since another seven-gamer from Sept. 20-Oct. 11, 2013. The nine-game unbeaten run of 8-0-1 was the Tritons' best under ninth-year head coach Jon Pascale, and the program's lengthiest single-season unbeaten stretch of the NCAA Division II era, since 2000. UCSD was unbeaten for 10 straight games (8-0-2) over two seasons, from Oct. 12, 2007, to Sept. 17, 2008, and previously for nine (8-0-1) during the 1999 campaign, it's final one in Division III, from Sept. 22-Oct. 22. The Tritons also won four in a row on the road, before that result at CSUSB.
McELFRESH BREAKS RECORD
On Sept. 25 against Chico State, Cameron McElfresh posted his fourth individual shutout of 2016 and 23rd of his career, breaking former All-American teammate Josh Cohen's program record for the Division II era, since 2000. He had matched it with a clean sheet at Concordia on Sept. 17. McElfresh now has 12 on the season, tied for first in the CCAA, and 31 as a Triton, No. 2 on the all-time list. The school standard is held by UCSD Athletics Hall of Famer Brian Siljander (1987-90), at 37.
The Sept. 1 season opener versus Azusa Pacific meant the first time in the four-year college careers of Nick Palano and Sam Palano that the identical twin brothers combined on a goal, and was also the first time they both scored in the same match. Sam continues to lead the team with 19 points from six goals and seven assists, all career and team bests. His first collegiate brace came against rival Chico State on Sept. 25. The twins have accounted for four of UCSD's 17 game-winning tallies, and five decisive assists. Sam in fact had produced three straight goals for the team, with no other Triton having found the net over 594:39, leading up to Riley Harbour's overtime winner at 97:12 against Humboldt State on Oct. 2.
HISTORIC GOAL MEANS CCAA NOD FOR CORDELL
Christian Cordell was named on Nov. 1 as the final CCAA Player of the Week for the 2016 season, thanks to his game-winning goal with 1:54 left in regulation at Cal Poly Pomona on Oct. 29 that gave UCSD its first-ever CCAA championship.
As UCSD's game at SF State kicked off at 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7, the Tritons sat in a two-way tie for eighth in the league table. Through four successive wins beginning that afternoon and going through Oct. 16, they moved into a tie for sixth, a tie for fourth, a tie for first, and finally, sole possession of the top spot in the CCAA standings. UCSD dipped briefly back to second after Sonoma State's 3-0 home win over Humboldt State on Oct. 19, but a 2-1 victory at Stanislaus State two nights later put the Tritons alone again in pole position.
FIRST CCAA WEEKLY AWARD FOR CAM
On Oct. 18, Cameron McElfresh became UCSD's first CCAA Player of the Week for the 2016 season. It was his first such award, coming after two more individual shutouts in a pair of home victories, with a career-best seven saves in the latter contest on Senior Day on Oct. 16 against CSUDH.
PROGRAM FIRST FOR CAM
Cameron McElfresh on Oct. 4 became the first UCSD men's player named the NSCAA Division II National Player of the Week, following his back-to-back home shutouts over the previous weekend. The NSCAA expanded its weekly awards program to include the Division II ranks back in 2013.
The first three of fourth-year senior central midfielder Riley Harbour's four goals this year were game-winners at home, including two in critical 1-0 CCAA triumphs, with an overtime strike vs. Humboldt State (Oct. 2) and a first-half tally vs. No. 12 Cal State LA (10/14) ... After sitting 2015 out through injury and entering the year with one career assist, redshirt junior striker Malek Bashti is tied for first in the CCAA with seven helpers, along with teammates Uly de la Cal and Sam Palano, despite missing four games ... Prior to victories at SF State (2-1) on Oct. 7 and Cal State Monterey Bay (2-0) on Oct. 9, UCSD had last swept a CCAA road weekend in 2013, winning at Stanislaus State (2-0) on Oct. 4 and Cal State East Bay (2-0) on Oct. 6 ... Click here to watch Riley Harbour's overtime winner against Humboldt State on Oct. 2, and here for Christian Cordell's stunner against Cal State Dominguez Hills on Oct. 16 ... UC San Diego is 9-6-2 in CCAA openers after a 1-0 loss at CSUSM on Sept. 21, which snapped a string of two straight wins ... UCSD is 12-3-2 in season openers in its NCAA Division II era, since 2000, following the Sept. 1 defeat of Azusa Pacific, 2-1, with the Tritons an unbeaten 3-0-1 over their last four ... UCSD was picked fifth in the CCAA preseason coaches' poll, with reigning West Region champion CPP the favorite.
2016 SEASON OUTLOOK
UC San Diego had no seniors on its 2015 roster, but has eight in 2016. The Tritons welcome back the core of their defense in redshirt seniors Cameron McElfresh in goal and Brett Sampiere and Kuba Waligorski on the back line alongside junior Kyle Panganiban. Waligorski is a two-time All-CCAA Second Team pick, with McElfresh gaining All-CCAA honorable mentions for each of the past two years without missing a single minute between the posts. Sampiere, making a permanent return to his natural spot at right back, earned All-CCAA honorable mentions in 2013 and 2015. Nolan Mac and Jeff Powers were in the lineup at times and will vie for minutes.
The offensive production should be boosted by the return of Malek Bashti after missing 2015 through injury. Junior Uly de la Cal tied for the team high in points from two goals and three assists a year ago. Senior Riley Harbour, one of two Tritons he shared that designation with, is back in central midfield, as are Justice Duerksen, Zachary Lagotta and Nick Palano among wing options. Lagotta was All-CCAA honorable mention as a sophomore in 2015. Forward Sam Palano joins his identical twin brother as a fourth-year senior who will be counted on.
Among 29 players on the 2016 roster are 23 returners, just six newcomers, and eight seniors. There are four San Diego products, in redshirt senior right back Brett Sampiere (Solana Beach/Torrey Pines HS), junior winger Zachary Lagotta (Cathedral Catholic HS), sophomore forward Nathaniel Bloom (Encinitas/San Dieguito HS Academy) and redshirt freshman midfielder Daniel Boemer (San Diego/Scripps Ranch HS).
HEAD COACH JON PASCALE
Jon Pascale, now a three-time CCAA Coach of the Year through back-to-back honors in 2012 and 2013 and another this season, has posted a 91-48-33 (.625) overall record in his ninth year in charge of the UC San Diego men's soccer program. He is 65-39-24 (.602) in arguably the toughest NCAA Division II conference in the nation, the CCAA. Pascale has this season guided the Tritons to the very first CCAA regular-season and tournament titles in the program's 17 years as a league member. This is UCSD's seventh straight campaign with an overall record of .500 or better, with seven winning seasons out of Pascale's nine. The Tritons have earned four successive berths in the CCAA Tournament, with trips to the NCAA Championship in 2013, 2014 and 2016. A 1-0 home victory over Sonoma State on Sept. 29, 2013, gave Pascale career win No. 50, while a 2-0 triumph at Stanislaus State in the very next match on Oct. 4 marked his 100th contest at the Triton helm. He directed his first postseason tilt on Nov. 8, 2013, in Turlock, a come-from-behind, 2-1 overtime win over Chico State in a CCAA semifinal. He made his NCAA tourney debut as a head coach on Nov. 16, 2013, in La Jolla. A 2-0 home decision over Cal State East Bay on Oct. 12, 2014, meant CCAA win No. 50 for Pascale, who coached his 100th CCAA tilt at Cal State Monterey Bay five days later. Last Sunday's 2-0 decision against Western Washington meant Pascale's first NCAA tournament win as a head coach.
ABOUT THE BRONCOS
Cal Poly Pomona (13-5-3, 8-3-1 CCAA) played to a scoreless draw before knocking out third-ranked and top-seeded Simon Fraser via penalty-kick tiebreaker, 4-3, last Saturday in Seattle, Wash., to advance to a second straight West Region final. The Broncos began the tournament with a 2-0 win over No. 4 seed Sonoma State on Thursday, Nov. 10. Sergi Monso, from Barcelona, Spain, leads CPP with 12 goals and 28 total points. Fellow junior Jason Trejos is tied with Cameron McElfresh at 12 individual clean sheets apiece. Yossi Raz is in his fourth season in charge of the CPP men.
UCSD leads the all-time series, 27-9-2, including an improbable, come-from-behind 2-1 triumph in Pomona in the regular-season finale, scoring twice over the last 4:27 of regulation to steal the CCAA title in a winner-take-all. The Tritons earned a 1-0 victory in La Jolla on Sept. 18, 2015, on a 58th-minute Uly de la Cal goal, after which the Broncos ultimately finished the year as national runners-up (17-3-3). UCSD fell 2-0 in La Jolla in the lone meeting in 2014. The Tritons swept the home-and-home series in 2013, twice winning 1-0 late in the season. UCSD swept the two-game set in 2012 as well, with another pair of 1-0 shutouts. The Tritons had actually won five consecutive 1-0 decisions over the Broncos since a 3-0 loss in Pomona on Sept. 18, 2011, with CPP scoreless for just over 533 minutes of play, before two strikes in quick succession in the second half on Sept. 28, 2014.
ABOUT THE HILLTOPPERS
St. Edward's (18-2-1, 11-2-1 HC) edged No. 25 Regis, 1-0, at home in the second round on Saturday to make it to La Jolla. The Hilltoppers boast the nation's top defense, and have allowed just seven goals in their 21 matches. Out of Austin, Texas, they are the Heartland Conference tournament champions. Dylan Armstrong and Grant Mobley each have 19 points from seven goals and five assists. Senior Kevin Leib is the nation's No. 1 goalie (0.33 GAA). Brian Young is in his 11th season as the head coach at St. Edward's.
UCSD and St. Edward's have never met in men's soccer.
ABOUT THE MUSTANGS
Midwestern State (17-3-1, 13-1 HC) is out of Wichita Falls, Texas, and is the Heartland Conference regular-season champion. The Mustangs are led by Gabriel Cavalcante and Christian Okeke with 21 and 20 points, respectively. They had reeled off 11 straight victories, including a 1-0 decision at St. Edward's, before dropping a 2-0 home decision to the Hilltoppers in the final of the Heartland tournament on Nov. 6. MSU bounced back with a 1-0 home triumph over No. 15 Colorado Mesa to get to La Jolla. Doug Elder is in his 17th season in charge.
UCSD and MSU have never met in men's soccer.
TRITONS IN THE MEDIA
A selection of features on the UC San Diego men's soccer program from this season:
• NCAA Second Round Recap in San Diego Union-Tribune (11/13/16)
• Tritons on NCAA.com (10/21/16)
For the latest in Triton athletic gear, make sure to visit ucsdtritonsgear.com. Run by UCSD Athletics' online partner Advanced-Online, the site provides an on-demand option for Triton Athletic apparel and merchandise. Fans have access to over 600 products that can be processed and shipped within 24 hours.
FOR THE YOUNGER CROWD
Got some young Triton fans in your family? If they are eighth grade or under, check out the Junior Triton Club. Membership includes a free t-shirt, admission to over 100 UCSD home athletic events, and much more!
SOCIAL MEDIA (#AllForOne)
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Should the Tritons advance past this weekend's games, the national semifinals and final are Dec. 1-3 in Kansas City, Mo.