TRITONS TAKE CCAA STREAK ON THE ROAD
The No. 10 University of California San Diego women's soccer program continues California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) play on the road for the first time this week. First-place UC San Diego (5-2, 2-0 CCAA) takes its 16-match conference win streak to Carson on Friday night, Sept. 22, for a primetime meeting with Cal State Dominguez Hills (0-5, 0-2 CCAA) at 7 p.m. The Tritons then go to Cal State LA on Sunday morning, Sept. 24, for an 11:30 a.m. kickoff. Both games are a part of doubleheaders with the UCSD men.
Both matches in Los Angeles this week will have pay-per-view video broadcasts, as well as free live stats. The cost is $7.99 on Friday in Carson and $5.95 for Sunday's doubleheader at Cal State LA. 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). Finally, check out the CCAA live scoreboard here to keep up on results around the league.
UC San Diego was ranked 10th in the rebranded United Soccer Coaches (formerly National Soccer Coaches Association of America) preseason poll, and moved up to a season-best ninth after a pair of wins. After a 1-2 second week dropped the Tritons to No. 19, they are back up to No. 10 as of Sept. 19, and second in the United Soccer Coaches' West Region top 10.
A LOOK BACK AT LAST WEEK
Coming off a Colorado road trip that saw it suffer back-to-back shutout defeats, UCSD got back on track to begin CCAA play and rolled through the first weekend on home turf. The Tritons dumped Chico State 3-0 on Friday night behind goals by Caitlin McCarthy, Mary Reilly and Katie O'Laughlin. Jordyn McNutt's first goal of 2017 was all that was needed to down rival Stanislaus State on Sunday afternoon. Angelica Ramos notched both clean sheets.
UCSD has now won 16 consecutive CCAA regular-season matches, and 22 straight against league opposition, since a 1-0 loss at Sonoma State on Oct. 18, 2015. The Tritons have held a hefty 60-5 scoring advantage and trailed in only one of those contests, for a grand total of 47:23, after an early goal by Cal Poly Pomona in the 2016 regular-season finale. UCSD overturned that 1-0 halftime deficit thanks to goals by Mary Reilly and Katie O'Laughlin, to complete its perfect ledger. Indeed last season, for the first time in the storied 17-year CCAA history of the UC San Diego women's soccer program, the Tritons completed their league slate unbeaten and untied, at a perfect 12-0. It marked the first such effort by a CCAA squad since Sonoma State went 14-0 in 1998. UCSD went on to win both of its CCAA Tournament games, 2-0 and 1-0, to give it a 14-0 mark against CCAA foes, outscoring them 35-2 during the regular season and 38-2 overall.
COUNTDOWN TO 500
Legendary UC San Diego head coach Brian McManus needs 11 more wins to give him 500 for his outstanding 31-year tenure in charge of the Tritons. Only three others in the history of NCAA women's soccer have reached the milestone, in North Carolina's Anson Dorrance (809), UConn's Len Tsantiris (563) and William Smith's Aliceann Wilber (536), with those reflected totals heading into the 2017 season.
UCSD senior Katie O'Laughlin and junior Mary Reilly, two local products, make up arguably the top forward tandem in the West Region, and one of the best in all of the NCAA Division II. They have combined for 58 career goals, including exactly 50 in 2015 and 2016, each reaching double figures in both years. In 2016, O'Laughlin had a region-best 16 goals and 41 points, with nine assists, while Reilly produced 13 goals and nine assists of her own. They were 1-2 in the West in goals and thus also 1-2 on the CCAA chart for the second year in a row, this time with spots flipped. Reilly hit for 11 and O'Laughlin for 10 in 2015. They both started their 2017 accounts over the opening weekend, with O'Laughlin finding the target once in both games and Reilly providing the first in a 2-1 victory over Central Washington. O'Laughlin added a 58th-minute tally in that match that was the 30th of her career and proved to be her 10th game-winner. She now has a team-best four in 2017 and 32 as a Triton.
ASSISTS MARK WITHIN JORDY'S REACH
Jordyn McNutt has held at least a share of the CCAA lead in assists in each of her first three years in Triton colors. Her first of 2017, the milestone 30th of her career, came on Sept. 2. The senior winger has two on the year and 31 as a Triton, now eight away from matching the program's all-time record. She has increased her total every year, from seven as a freshman, to 10, to a career-best 12 in 2016, tops in the West and tied for ninth in Division II. McNutt produced her first collegiate three-assist effort against Humboldt State on Oct. 2, 2016, which was in fact the first three-assist game by a Triton since Sara Bolton on Sept. 2, 2010. She has five multi-assist games, with two last season. Her 31 assists give her sole possession of the No. 6 spot in UCSD history, just ahead of a group that includes associate head coach Kristin Jones.
Eight Tritons made their first appearance during the first weekend, including redshirt sophomore goalie Angelica Ramos, redshirt freshman Amanda Erickson, and true freshmen Michelle Baddour, Caitlin McCarthy, Abby Ross, Maddy Samilo, Delaney Whittet and Natalie Widmer. Samilo needed just 7:02 after coming on late in the first half of the season opener, to notch her first collegiate goal, with McCarthy assisting. Though Widmer was the only newcomer to start that match, the 3-0 shutout of city rival Point Loma ended with six true freshmen on the pitch. McCarthy's first college goal was the winner in another 3-0 decision over Concordia Irvine on Sept. 5. A seventh true freshman, forward Alexis Kirson out of Las Vegas, Nev., earned her college debut against Chico State on Sept. 15.
UC San Diego is the unanimous favorite to repeat as champion of the CCAA, as voted on by the league's 13 head coaches for the 2017 preseason poll, garnering 144 points due largely to 12 first-place nods ... Katie O'Laughlin earned the season's first CCAA Player of the Week award for the second straight year, which marked her fourth career weekly recognition from the league office ... UCSD is 16-1-1 in season openers in the NCAA Division II era, suffering its only such defeat in 2014 at Seattle Pacific ... UCSD is 10-8 in CCAA openers, now with two straight wins after a 4-0 romp at Cal State San Marcos last season and 3-0 home victory over Chico State this year ... When UCSD fell 4-0 at 2016 national quarterfinalist Colorado Mines on Sept. 8, it marked its first loss by more than one goal since a 2-0 defeat at Cal Poly Pomona on Nov. 2, 2014.
The CCAA grind is tough enough, but UCSD head coach Brian McManus has given his side the best possible chance of gaining another NCAA Championship berth in 2017. Of the five non-conference opponents the Tritons faced prior to league competition, Mines and Regis were picked to finish 1-2 in the RMAC, Concordia and Point Loma 3-4 in the PacWest, and Central Washington second in the GNAC.
UCSD's 29-player 2017 roster has seven seniors in fourth-year team members Makenzie Brito, Aimee Ellis, Jordyn McNutt, Katie O'Laughlin and Taylor Ramos, alongside third-year transfers Brie Diaz and Elisa Martinez ... Eleven newcomers have joined the program, including 10 true freshmen ... Twelve players are from San Diego, in Michelle Baddour (San Diego/University City HS), Megumi Barber (San Diego/Mt. Carmel HS), Sydney Davey (La Jolla/La Jolla HS), Georgina Herrera (San Ysidro/San Diego Mesa College/San Ysidro HS), Elisa Martinez (El Cajon/University of Sioux Falls/Francis Parker School), Caitlin McCarthy (Carlsbad/Carlsbad HS), Jordyn McNutt (San Diego/University City HS), Katie O'Laughlin (Carlsbad/Pacific Ridge School), Taylor Ramos (San Diego/Coronado HS), Mary Reilly (Chula Vista/Hilltop HS), Natalie Saddic (San Diego/UC Davis/Torrey Pines HS) and Maddy Samilo (San Diego/Rancho Bernardo HS) ... Kristin Jones (Oceanside HS), a two-time national champion and two-time All-American as one of the greatest players to ever come through the storied UCSD women's soccer program, begins her third year as associate head coach and her 18th straight year as a Triton player or coach, having joined Brian McManus' staff immediately upon exhausting her eligibility.
CCAA TOURNAMENT RETURNS TO LA JOLLA
UC San Diego is the proud host of the 2017 CCAA Tournament semifinals and finals, for the first time since 2008 and fourth in all. Two women's and two men's semifinals will be contested at Triton Soccer Stadium on Friday, Nov. 3, with the two finals set for Sunday, Nov. 5. Start times are to be determined. First-round matchups will take place on the campuses of the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds on Tuesday, Oct. 31. In all three previous instances that UCSD has served as the host, the Triton women have won the event, in 2001, 2006 and 2008. The women's champion will once again earn the CCAA's automatic berth into the NCAA Championship.
CCAA FORMAT UNCHANGED
Conference action began last Friday, Sept. 15. For the fourth year in a row, the CCAA slate will consist of a single round robin, with all teams meeting once for 12 matches total, and the top six sides (based on most points; three points for a league win, one for a tie) in the final regular-season standings qualifying for the 2017 CCAA Tournament. Cal State San Marcos, a new addition in 2015, is eligible for the first time.
2017 SEASON OUTLOOK
Brian McManus saw his entire 2016 starting 11 recognized in some fashion with postseason CCAA athletic honors, including seven of 11 first-teamers, with an incredible seven student-athletes gaining All-America consideration by one or both award entities. Seven of those 11 return, led by Division II Conference Commissioners Association West Region Player of the Year and CCAA Offensive Player of the Year Katie O'Laughlin (Carlsbad/Pacific Ridge School), a senior All-American whose 16 goals and 41 points were best in the West. Further unfortunate for Triton opponents, is that her lethal strike partner and fellow San Diego product Mary Reilly (Chula Vista/Hilltop HS) is also back. Reilly, a junior, added 35 points from 13 goals and nine assists, comfortably leading the CCAA in shots taken for a second successive season. The other two All-CCAA First Team returners are winger Jordyn McNutt (San Diego/University City HS) and right back Makenzie Brito, both seniors. Senior left back Aimee Ellis, redshirt sophomore holding central midfielder Natalie Saddic (San Diego/UC Davis/Torrey Pines HS) and senior central midfielder Elisa Martinez (El Cajon/University of Sioux Falls/Francis Parker School) are the remaining starters back. They are joined by the likes of Brie Diaz and fellow senior Taylor Ramos (San Diego/Coronado HS), as well as the junior duo of Summer Bales and Megumi Barber (San Diego/Mt. Carmel HS).
UCSD went 19-3 overall and a perfect 12-0 in the CCAA a year ago. A 16-game win streak was snapped in the West Region final by eventual national champion Western Washington, 2-1 in overtime in Golden, Colo. The Tritons won the CCAA Tournament for a second straight and record 10th time, as the top seed.
HEAD COACH BRIAN McMANUS
Brian McManus is in his 31st season in charge of the UC San Diego women's soccer program. With a career record of 489-90-51, he has achieved the most wins in NCAA Division II women's soccer history, and fourth-most for all divisions. McManus' winning percentage of .818 heading into 2017 ranks among the top 12 in college women's soccer annals, both overall (No. 11) and Division II only (No. 5). The six-time and reigning CCAA Coach of the Year is also third in win percentage among active Division II coaches. McManus has directed UCSD to seven national titles and a record nine CCAA crowns and 10 tournament banners (first regular-season one in 2016), with the Tritons advancing to the national semifinals a remarkable 15 times in his 30 years. Under his guidance, UCSD has qualified for the NCAA Championship all 13 seasons during the Division III days, and all but three (2004, 2013-14) of 17 years since the move up to Division II. McManus' Tritons have missed the CCAA Tournament just once in 2013, having earned 13 straight berths after joining the conference.
ABOUT THE TOROS
Cal State Dominguez Hills (0-5, 0-2 CCAA) was picked 10th in the CCAA preseason poll. The Toros have managed a single goal over their five defeats, playing just once at home. Aileen Nasypany is in her fourth season in charge.
UCSD leads the all-time series, 26-17-5, and has won four straight by an aggregate score of 13-4, including a 2-0 home defeat a year ago. In Carson on Oct. 2, 2015, Mary Reilly struck for all four goals in a 4-2 triumph. In 2014, the Tritons first earned another 4-2 decision in Carson in non-conference action on Sept. 19 behind four different goal-scorers. Kiera Bocchino, who capped the scoring in that one, then hit a brace in a 3-0 rout in La Jolla on Senior Day on Oct. 30. The teams split two matchups in 2013, with each winning on the road. The lone goal in a 1-0 Triton victory in Carson on Sept. 13 came from a 61st-minute Cassie Callahan penalty kick. The Toros won 2-0 in La Jolla on Oct. 18. UCSD was unbeaten over its previous nine (6-0-3) against the Toros since a 2-1 overtime loss in La Jolla in the 2009 regular-season finale.
ABOUT THE GOLDEN EAGLES
Cal State LA (3-1-2, 1-0-1 CCAA) was picked fourth in the CCAA preseason poll after suffering a 2-0 defeat to UCSD in the 2016 CCAA Tournament final in Turlock. The Golden Eagles, ranked sixth in the West Region, are an unbeaten 2-0-2 over their last four, with a total of eight goals in those contests. They blanked Cal State San Bernardino on the road, 2-0, in their CCAA opener, before playing to a 2-2 draw at Cal Poly Pomona. Cal State LA hosts Cal State San Marcos on Friday evening prior to welcoming the Tritons in on Sunday. USC great Isabelle Harvey is in her fifth season at the helm. CSULA swept the CCAA regular-season and tournament titles in 2014.
UCSD leads the all-time series, 19-11-2, with a pair of 2-0 victories in 2016. Those came in La Jolla during the regular season, and then in Turlock in the CCAA Tournament final. The rivals faced off twice in 2015. In non-conference play in La Jolla, the Tritons edged then-14th-ranked CSULA, 2-1, as Megumi Barber notched her first career goal at 75:08 after scores by Mary Reilly and Danielle Telles had cancelled each other out over the first nine minutes. A Telles penalty kick in the 74th minute was the lone goal later in Los Angeles. The teams played each other both in non-conference and conference action in 2014 as well. CSULA won 1-0 at home in CCAA play, just four days after a 1-1 stalemate in La Jolla. The Tritons had taken three straight over the Golden Eagles prior to their 2013 season finale, when they dropped a difficult 1-0 decision at home, Andrea Lammers scoring with just 42 seconds left in double overtime. UCSD needed to win that contest in order to qualify for a 14th straight CCAA Tournament. The Tritons won the first meeting in 2013, 3-1 in Los Angeles, overturning a 1-0 halftime deficit through an Izzy Pozurama equalizer and two Cassie Callahan goals. CSULA took the next three league matchups, all by a narrow 1-0 scoreline.
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FOR THE YOUNGER CROWD
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The Tritons are back home and back in front of the UC San Diego student body for the first time next week, hosting Cal Poly Pomona on Friday, Sept. 29, at 4:30 p.m., and Cal State San Bernardino on Sunday, Oct. 1, at 11:30 a.m.