Primetime Rematch: It's No. 3 UCSD Against No. 7 Western Washington Again in Region Final Friday in La Jolla
NCAA Championship Third Round - South Central Region Final
No. 23 UC-Colorado Springs (16-4) vs. RV Colorado School of Mines (17-3-1)
Friday, Nov. 17 • 4 p.m.
Triton Soccer Stadium • La Jolla
Live Video • Live Stats
TRITONS READY FOR PRIMETIME REMATCH IN WEST REGION FINAL
The No. 3 University of California San Diego women's soccer program continues its quest for an eighth national title at home this week, as Triton Soccer Stadium on North Campus in La Jolla serves as the host for third-round and national quarterfinal matches of the 2017 NCAA Division II Championship. The action kicks off with a doubleheader on Friday, Nov. 17. At 4 p.m. in the South Central Region final, 23rd-ranked and second-seeded UC-Colorado Springs (16-4, 10-2 RMAC) will take on fourth-seeded Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) foe Colorado School of Mines (17-3-1, 10-1-1 RMAC). That will be followed by a primetime rematch at 7 p.m. for the West Region crown between top-seeded UC San Diego (16-2-2, 10-0-1 CCAA) and seventh-ranked, second-seeded defending national champion Western Washington (18-1, 11-1 GNAC). The two teams advancing out of Friday will meet in a national quarterfinal in La Jolla at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 19.
UCSD is a perfect 12-0 at home in 2017, and enters Friday on a 15-game (13-0-2) unbeaten run. The Tritons are winners of 18 straight home games dating back to Sept. 11, 2016, when in fact they lost 1-0 on a late goal to Colorado School of Mines. Western Washington is a winner of 23 consecutive matches away from Bellingham, Wash., going back to its 2016 opener on Sept. 1, a scoreless draw at Sonoma State.
Friday night will mark the third meeting in a West Region final between UC San Diego and Western Washington. The Vikings won 2-1 in overtime last year in Golden, Colo. The Tritons had taken a 2-1 decision in 2012 in Denver, Colo.
TRITON SOCCER MATCHDAY
There will be an admission charge for all three NCAA Championship matches this week at Triton Soccer Stadium. General admission is $8, with the entry fee $5 for seniors (65 and up), students (with identification), and children (7 and up). Kids six and under are admitted free. Tickets are available for purchase at the venue beginning at 3 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 17, and 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 19. Parking will be free on Sunday, but permits are required on the UC San Diego campus on Friday. They can be purchased at machines located in all lots. Parking is available behind the spectator stand, and inside the Hopkins Parking Structure adjacent to RIMAC.
FIRST 500 UCSD STUDENTS FREE!
The first 500 UC San Diego students, with identification, this Friday night will be admitted free of charge.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP ON UCSDTRITONS.TV
All three matches this week will feature a live video stream, free to all, on UCSDtritons.tv. Broadcasts are in high definition and can be viewed from smartphones and tablets alongside desktop and laptop computers. Local media personality Taylor Quellman (@TJQuellman) will call both regional finals on Friday night, with veteran national play-by-play broadcaster Steve Quis (@SteveQuis1) taking over for Sunday's quarterfinal. Events are archived. All games have live stats. 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).
UCSD IN THE UNITED SOCCER COACHES POLL
• Nov. 7 (Final Regular Season): 3 (1st in West)
• Oct. 31: 3 (1st in West)
• Oct. 24: 7 (2nd in West)
• Oct. 17: 8 (2nd in West)
• Oct. 10: 8 (2nd in West)
• Oct. 3: 7 (2nd in West)
• Sept. 26: 7 (2nd in West)
• Sept. 19: 10 (2nd West)
• Sept. 12: 19 (3rd in West)
• Sept. 5: 9 (2nd in West)
• Preseason: 10
A LOOK BACK AT LAST WEEK
UC San Diego got great goals within 40 seconds of one another from its star strike tandem of Mary Reilly and Katie O'Laughlin in the 54th and 55th minutes last Sunday and hung on in front of the home crowd despite allowing a late goal to eliminate Concordia (OR), 2-1, in the second round of the NCAA Championship. Katie Wilkes, a true freshman making her college debut in place of the injured Angelica Ramos, made four saves to notch her first career win. The result meant career win No. 500 for 31st-year Triton head coach Brian McManus.
UC San Diego topped the official NCAA regional poll throughout all three editions prior to the Nov. 6 unveiling of the 48-team NCAA Championship field live on NCAA.com. The Tritons' run to a record 11th CCAA Tournament title that weekend kept them in the No. 1 position in the West, thus keeping them at home throughout their involvement in the NCAA tournament over these first two weeks, as well as giving them a first-round bye. UCSD's thrilling win over Sonoma State in the CCAA final on Nov. 5, combined with defending national champion Western Washington's double-overtime win over Concordia (OR) in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) tourney final the day before, vaulted the Vikings over the Seawolves, from third to second. Western Washington therefore hosted the other side of the six-team West Regional, blanking third-seeded Sonoma State, 2-0, in the second round on Nov. 11, after the Seawolves had shut out sixth-seeded Pacific West Conference (PacWest) champion California Baptist on Nov. 9. All three West Region conferences in the CCAA, GNAC and PacWest had automatic qualifiers once again this year. The CCAA and GNAC's automatic qualifiers are their tournament champions.
The Tritons are in search of an eighth national title. The first five came during the NCAA Division III days, with the last two coming in UCSD's first two seasons at the Division II level (2000, 2001). UCSD is making its 15th Division II tourney appearance in its 18th year since moving to Division II. The Tritons take a record of 25-11-3 (.679) in NCAA Division II Championship games heading into Friday. They have six Division II West Region crowns, but none since 2012. UCSD previously was 37-8-2 (.809) in 14 NCAA appearances in Division III.
FIELD IN LA JOLLA
Coming to La Jolla this week are the West's No. 2 seed and defending national champion Western Washington, as well as No. 23 University of Colorado Colorado Springs and RMAC rival Colorado School of Mines to contest the South Central Region final. The Tritons lost 4-0 at Mines back on Sept. 8, with the Orediggers having dropped two matchups with UCCS, 2-1 in overtime in the regular season, and more recently 1-0 in a RMAC tournament semifinal at Regis on Nov. 3. UCSD has never met UCCS. The Tritons are 5-3-1 all-time against WWU, including 2-1 in the NCAA Championship, and 0-2-1 against Mines (0-0-1 NCAA). This is an eighth NCAA appearance for Western Washington (15-6), and a debut for UCCS. For Mines, a 10th trip (12-6-7). UCSD is 25-11-3 in its Division II tournament history. Of this week's foursome, Western Washington ranks third nationally in team goals-against average (0.313), Mines sixth (0.426), UCSD 24th (0.63) and UCCS 26th (0.643).
COUNTDOWN NO MORE! MCMANUS HAS HIS 500
Last Sunday's 2-1 home win over Concordia (OR) in the second round of the NCAA Championship earned legendary UC San Diego head coach Brian McManus career win No. 500 for his outstanding 31-year tenure in charge of the Tritons. Only four others in the history of NCAA women's soccer have reached the milestone, in North Carolina's Anson Dorrance (825), UConn's Len Tsantiris (570), William Smith's Aliceann Wilber (555) and The College of New Jersey's Joe Russo (502), with those reflected totals through Nov. 16. Russo achieved win No. 500 on Nov. 3, with No. 1 TCNJ a perfect 20-0 heading into the NCAA Division III Championship round of 16. Tsantiris announced his retirement on Nov. 7.
UC San Diego is a perfect 12-0 in La Jolla in 2017, and a winner of 18 straight home games dating back to a 1-0 defeat to Colorado School of Mines on Sept. 11, 2016. Twelve marks the Tritons' most home wins since going 15-1 in La Jolla in 2001 en route to winning their second straight Division II national title, at Triton Soccer Stadium. The only time that UC San Diego has completed a home season unbeaten and untied in its Divison II era, was at 12-0 in its first year at that level in 2000, before winning the national championship in Miami Shores, Fla.
HOPING TO END THE SYMMETRY
Last season, UC San Diego started 3-0 before dropping back-to-back games at home to No. 6 Colorado School of Mines (1-0) and at No. 17 Western Washington (3-2). They rattled off 16 straight wins from there, before a season-ending 2-1 defeat in overtime to WWU in the West Region final in Golden, Colo. The Tritons began this year with three wins in a row before getting swept on a Colorado road trip to Mines (4-0) and Regis (1-0). They are an unbeaten 13-0-2 over their last 15 matches since, and now face a home meeting, again in the West Region final, with the Vikings of WWU.
Friday night's West final will feature four of the best forwards in the region, and indeed the entirety of Division II, in Triton stars Katie O'Laughlin and Mary Reilly, and Viking juniors Gabriela Pelogi and Karli White. O'Laughlin and Reilly have eight goals apiece after each going for double digits in both of the past two years. Pelogi leads WWU with 15 goals, ahead of White (10), who started at Division I Seattle University the last two years prior to transferring.
NEXT TRITON UP
Three UC San Diego starters have suffered season-ending knee injuries this season, all in home matches, in fourth-year senior captains Makenzie Brito and Jordyn McNutt, and most recently on Nov. 5, redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Angelica Ramos. Senior center back Brie Diaz has missed the last three games due to injury. Fourth-year senior right back Aimee Ellis was out for the entire CCAA Tournament due to illness, but returned to the lineup on Nov. 12. The Tritons had seven true freshmen on the field to end the first half that day in the second round of the NCAA Championship, with Pacific Palisades product Katie Wilkes making her debut in goal.
CCAA TOURNAMENT RECAP
UCSD won two games to net a third straight CCAA Tournament championship and record 11th overall, in front of the home fans in La Jolla. In the semifinal round in primetime on Nov. 3, a third meeting with city rival Cal State San Marcos went the Tritons' way despite five veteran starters being unavailable. True freshman Maddy Samilo turned in a perfect left-sided cross by junior winger Summer Bales for the lone goal at 66:40. Angelica Ramos had a pair of saves for her 12th shutout. Then in an instant classic in the final on Nov. 5, UC San Diego outlasted No. 23 Sonoma State, 4-3, remarkably getting all four goals via set-piece headers, with two on corner kicks and two on free kicks. Elisa Martinez provided three of those, and Bales the other. The goals themselves were by Mary Reilly for openers, Caitlin McCarthy and Katie O'Laughlin with equalizers, and finally a dramatic winner with only 34 seconds left in regulation by the brightest of the Tritons' many stars on the weekend, redshirt sophomore Natalie Saddic.
CCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY
The Tritons earned a record 11th CCAA Tournament title and third in a row at home on Nov. 5. They made a 17th CCAA Tournament appearance, more than any other current member, in their 18th season in the conference. UCSD only missed the event in 2013. UCSD has won seven straight tourney matches, by an aggregate score of 18-6, since a 2-0 loss at Cal Poly Pomona in the first round on Nov. 2, 2014. UCSD is now 21-4-4 (.793) over its 17 appearances. The Tritons have won the event all four times they have hosted it, in 2001, 2006, 2008 and 2017.
UCSD is an unbeaten 24-0-1 in its last 25 CCAA games and 32-0-2 over the last 34 matches against CCAA opposition, since a 1-0 loss at Sonoma State on Oct. 18, 2015. The Tritons had won 23 straight league matches prior to a 1-1 draw at Cal State East Bay on Oct. 26, and 29 straight games against CCAA foes before a scoreless tie at Cal State San Marcos on Oct. 21. UCSD has held a 78-11 scoring advantage and trailed in only three of those 34 matches. 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. UCSD is the first team in CCAA women's history to post back-to-back unbeaten league slates.
UC San Diego student-athletes have picked up a number of awards over the past two weeks. For postseason conference honors, Natalie Saddic was named the CCAA Defensive Player of the Year, with Angelica Ramos the CCAA Newcomer of the Year. Brian McManus is the CCAA Coach of the Year for a record seventh time and second straight. Saddic was joined on the All-CCAA First Team by Aimee Ellis, Jordyn McNutt, Katie O'Laughlin and Mary Reilly, withSummer Bales, Brie Diaz and Elisa Martinez making the second team and Ramos gaining All-CCAA honorable mention. On Nov. 5, Saddic added CCAA Tournament Most Valuable Defensive Player distinction, with O'Laughlin the Most Valuable Offensive Player. Bales, Martinez, Reilly and Caitlin McCarthy were also chosen to the CCAA All-Tournament Team. On Wednesday, Saddic was chosen to the Division 2 Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA) All-West Region First Team. O'Laughlin and Reilly made it onto the second team, with both players now three-time all-region honorees.
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 68 career goals, 36 and 32, respectively, 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. The duo shares the team lead at eight goals apiece. Reilly's 30th was the double-overtime winner at Humboldt State on Oct. 13. She (79) and O'Laughlin (75) are 1-2 in the CCAA in shots for the second year running, as Reilly has paced the conference in that category in all three of her collegiate campaigns.
Through this current 15-game unbeaten streak (13-0-2), UCSD has surrendered seven scores, the first an own goal at Cal State Dominguez Hills on Sept. 22. Goalkeeper Angelica Ramos kept 12 individual clean sheets, including five straight from Sept. 24-Oct. 6 and 10 during this undefeated stretch. The three-person back line has consisted of seniors Makenzie Brito, Aimee Ellis and Brie Diaz, true freshmen Delaney Whittet and Natalie Widmer due to injuries, and redshirt sophomore Natalie Saddic, who played holding central midfielder for the first 17 games and center back during the last three The Tritons' longest shutout stretch of the season has been five-plus games and 515:36 in all from Sept. 22-Oct. 13. Their 0.63 team goals-against average ranks second in the CCAA, third in the West Region and 24th in Division II.
ANGELICA RAMOS A CCAA PLAYER OF THE WEEK
On Oct. 10, redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Angelica Ramos became the second Triton to earn CCAA Player of the Week distinction for 2017. She produced four saves in each of two 1-0 victories, at home against CSUSM and SF State. Ramos thus stretched her individual shutout streaks to five-plus games and 500:25 of action, which got up to as high as 515:36. Her 0.611 goals-against average ranks second in the CCAA, fourth in the West Region and 26th in Division II. She had 12 individual clean sheets before suffering an injury late in the CCAA Tournament final on Nov. 5.
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, and redshirt freshman Georgia Lodge in the CCAA semifinals against Cal State San Marcos on Nov. 3. True freshman Katie Wilkes was thrust into action in goal in the second round of the NCAA Championship following an injury to starter Angelica Ramos. She made four saves and earned her first career win.
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 Tritons have four 3-0 victories in 2017 and seven 1-0 triumphs, including four straight between Sept. 29-Oct. 6 ... They are 12-1 in one-goal games, and have been on the right side of 11 in a row ... For the fifth straight year and sixth in the last seven, UCSD recently earned the United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award with a 3.03 combined GPA for 2016-17.
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 ... Brito, Martinez, McNutt and O'Laughlin are 2017 team captains, and all four are first-time captains ... 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, is in her third year as associate head coach and her 18th straight season as a Triton player or coach, having joined Brian McManus' staff immediately upon exhausting her eligibility ... Jones as a player and a coach, has been a part of 284 of McManus' 500 career wins.
CCAA TOURNAMENT BACK IN LA JOLLA
UC San Diego was 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 were contested at Triton Soccer Stadium on Friday, Nov. 3, with the two finals on Sunday, Nov. 5. First-round matchups took place on the campuses of the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds on Oct. 31. In all four instances that UCSD has served as the host, the Triton women have won the event, in 2001, 2006, 2008 and 2017. The women's champion once again earned the CCAA's automatic berth into the NCAA Championship.
For the fourth year in a row, the CCAA slate consisted 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. Two games, however, were canceled due to the wildfires in Sonoma County, which necessitated a change this year only, to standings based on points per game.
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 defender 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 500-90-53, he has achieved the most wins in NCAA Division II women's soccer history, and fifth-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 10 CCAA crowns and 11 tournament banners (regular-season titles in 2016 in 2017), with the Tritons advancing to the national semifinals a remarkable 16 times in his first 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 18 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 VIKINGS
No. 7 Western Washington (18-1, 11-1 GNAC) finished second in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference table before winning the conference tournament, edging host Concordia 1-0 in double overtime in the final. Western Washington had previously seen its incredible 39-match win streak snapped by those same Cavaliers, whom the Tritons edged 2-1 in last Sunday's NCAA second-round tilt, on its Senior Day on Oct. 28. That gave Concordia (11-0-1) its first regular-season crown at the Vikings' expense. Defender Sierra Shugarts was the NSCAA National Player of the Year in 2016. Fellow senior Ashley Homer is ranked No. 3 nationally with her 0.281 goals-against average. The Vikings are two-time defending West Region champions, having lost 3-2 to eventual threepeat national champion Grand Valley State in the 2015 semifinals, before last year's first-ever national title for the program in Kansas City, Mo. WWU in fact knocked off GVSU, 3-2, in a thrilling final. Travis Connell is in his 15th season at the helm.
UCSD leads the all-time series, 5-3-1, but has dropped the last three meetings, including 2-1 in overtime in last year's West Region final in Golden, Colo., and 3-2 in Bellingham, Wash., in a regular-season matchup last season on Sept. 14. The other loss was 1-0 in La Jolla on Sept. 7, 2013, with the goal coming at 88:52. The Tritons were ranked No. 3 that preseason, with WWU 12th. The then-23rd-ranked Vikings were edged, 2-1, by UCSD in the 2012 West Region final in Denver, Colo., on Nov. 16. Triton goals came from Ellen Wilson in the first half and fellow senior Gabi Hernandez 51 seconds into the first overtime period. Prior to 2013, WWU had not scored in three prior trips to La Jolla, resulting in Triton triumphs of 1-0 (2001), 4-0 (2006) and 5-0 (2009). The sides played to a scoreless draw in Bellingham to start the 2011 season, with UCSD returning from there with a 2-1 overtime triumph in 2008. The Vikings are 1-3 in La Jolla, having been outscored there, 10-1.
ABOUT THE MOUNTAIN LIONS
No. 23 UC-Colorado Springs (16-4, 10-2 RMAC) is in the NCAA Division II Championship field for the first time. The Mountain Lions reeled off seven straight wins to play their way into that NCAA berth via the RMAC's automatic entry as conference tournament champs. They have posted four straight shutouts and enter Friday's South Central Region final having not allowed a goal in 457:25 of play. UCCS's last three victories have been by the final score of 1-0, with the lone goal coming between the 42nd and 51st minutes each time. Leading scorer Tarah Patterson tallied the decider at 43:49 in the NCAA Championship first round at home against West Texas A&M last Sunday. UCCS placed third in the final RMAC table. Sian Hudson is the first-year Mountain Lion head coach.
UCSD and UC-Colorado Springs have never met in women's soccer.
ABOUT THE OREDIGGERS
Colorado School of Mines (17-3-1, 10-1-1 RMAC) was receiving votes just outside of the final regular-season poll after being ranked as high as No. 6 in prior weeks. The Orediggers are going after a repeat South Central Region crown, having had their run of four straight RMAC regular-season titles snapped by Regis (11-0-1). CSM had also earned six consecutive RMAC tournament championships before being eliminated by Friday's opponent, UCCS, 1-0 in the semifinal round at Regis. Like UCSD, Mines had its 2016 season ended by eventual national champion Western Washington, 5-1 in Golden in the quarterfinals. Kevin Fickes is in his eighth season in charge of the program.
These teams have met three times previously, first playing to a 0-0 draw in a quarterfinal match of the 2012 NCAA Division II Championship on Nov. 18 in Denver, Colo. UC San Diego prevailed via penalty-kick tiebreaker, 6-5, advancing to the national semifinals in Evans, Ga. Mines then took a shock 1-0 decision on Sept. 11, 2016, in La Jolla through an unassisted, long-distance strike by current redshirt junior Kortney DesCamp at 85:29, entirely against the run of play. UCSD was ranked No. 7 at the time and the Orediggers No. 6, with the Tritons holding a 15-4 shot advantage on the afternoon. They had opened the 2016 campaign with three straight shutout wins. Most recently back on Sept. 8 this season, Mines won 4-0 at home.
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FOR THE YOUNGER CROWD
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Should UC San Diego advance out of this weekend's third round and quarterfinal, the Tritons would head to Kansas City, Mo., following the Thanksgiving holiday, for the national semifinals on Thursday, Nov. 30.