LOS ANGELES - Tenth-ranked University of California San Diego struck twice early in the second half to break open a scoreless deadlock, both courtesy of senior tri-captain Jordyn McNutt (San Diego/University City HS), and went on to down Cal State LA, 3-0, in a California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) women's soccer match at Jesse Owens Track on Sunday afternoon.
First-place UC San Diego remained the only unbeaten and untied team in the CCAA at 4-0, improving to 7-2 overall with a fourth straight win. Cal State LA dropped to 4-2-2 overall and 2-1-1 in league play with its first conference defeat. It was a rematch of the 2016 CCAA Tournament final, which the Tritons won 2-0 in Turlock last November after an identical 2-0 victory during the regular season in La Jolla.
Senior right back Aimee Ellis turned away a couple of Cal State LA attacks over the first 15 minutes, laying out to cut the first one down on the left diagonal of the penalty area. On the other side, Caitlin McCarthy (Carlsbad HS) got on the end of fellow Carlsbad product Katie O'Laughlin's (Pacific Ridge School) right-sided cross in the 19th minute, but put her shot just wide of the right post. UCSD looked mostly in control over the first 45, holding a commanding 12-2 shot advantage.
The Tritons took that control on the scoreboard shortly after the restart, in the 52nd. Junior forward Mary Reilly (Chula Vista/Hilltop HS) was adjudged to have been fouled by the Cal State LA center back inside the penalty area. McNutt hit a perfect penalty kick with her right foot, high and into the right corner, for a 1-0 edge.
Just under three minutes later in the 55th, the same duo was involved in doubling the lead. Reilly sent a beautiful pass from left to right for McNutt to latch onto, with the winger shooting right-footed again and low past the charging goalkeeper for 2-0. It gave McNutt her first collegiate brace, and three goals on the season, with Reilly adding a third assist for 2017.
In between, redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Angelica Ramos kept it 1-0 with a terrific save down to her left on a shot from the top of the box by Meranda Salazar.
Megumi Barber (San Diego/Mt. Carmel HS) nearly made it three in the 81st, her shot from outside the box whizzing narrowly wide of the right post. In the 86th, she did make it 3-0, accepting a pass from roommate and fellow junior Summer Bales deep on the left flank, cutting her defender in toward the middle, and producing a tremendous narrow-angle, right-footed shot from just beyond the penalty area that rattled off the crossbar above the goalie and in. It was her second of the year, and gave Bales a second assist in as many matches on the road this weekend. Bales was also involved in McNutt's second, feeding Reilly.
Ramos made five saves in goal for UCSD, notching her fifth individual clean sheet of the season. She was aided in front of her by Ellis, senior center back Brie Diaz, freshman left back Delaney Whittet and redshirt sophomore holding midfielder Natalie Saddic (San Diego/UC Davis/Torrey Pines HS). Redshirt junior Adriana Maldonado had eight stops for the Golden Eagles, four of them over the first 13 minutes of the game. The final shot tally was 25-8 in favor of the visitors.
UCSD returns to La Jolla for a season-long four-game homestand, all with UC San Diego students finally back on campus for the fall quarter. The first visitor into Triton Soccer Stadium is Cal Poly Pomona on Friday, Sept. 29, for a 4:30 p.m. kickoff. With a second straight 1-0 home triumph on Sunday, CPP (7-1-1, 3-0-1) is the only other team left in the CCAA with an unbeaten league ledger. Admission is free.
Triton Notes: The Tritons have won 18 consecutive CCAA contests and 24 in a row against CCAA opposition in all competitions (CCAA Tournament and non-conference), since a 1-0 loss at Sonoma State on Oct. 18, 2015 ... UCSD has held a 65-6 scoring advantage in those 24 games, and trailed in just one ... Cal State LA had won each of the previous two matchups in Los Angeles, both by the final score of 1-0 ... Head coach Brian McManus sent out the exact same starting lineup for the second straight game ... Jordyn McNutt now has 18 career goals, including seven game-winners, and is a perfect 5-for-5 on penalty kicks ... It was McNutt's first collegiate two-goal effort in her 70th career game ... The Tritons as a team eclipsed the 20-shot mark for the fourth time this season and for the third game in a row, matching their season high with 25 ... The result was UCSD's fourth 3-0 victory of 2017.