TRITONS LOOK TO REMAIN UNBEATEN WITH TRIO IN O'AHU
The No. 2 University of California San Diego women's soccer program flew to Honolulu, Hawai'i, on Sunday, and will play its next three matches on the island of O'ahu over a six-day stretch.The Tritons (2-0) are at Hawai'i Pacific (0-1) on Tuesday, Sept. 4, and at the University of Hawai'i (3-1) on Friday, Sept. 7. The trip concludes with a neutral-site affair against Hawai'i Hilo (0-0) on Sunday, Sept. 9. All three games are at the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park complex in Waipahu, with the HPU and UHH contests on Field 5, and the UH meeting under the stadium lights. Admission into all three matches is free of charge. HPU and UHH are both Division II foes from the Pacific West Conference (PacWest), while Hawai'i is a Division I member and future Big West Conference rival of the Tritons.
This week's action will ready UC San Diego for the 2018 California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) slate, though it will have a sixth and final non-league matchup remaining on Sept. 22. The Tritons begin the week on a 19-game (16-0-3) unbeaten streak, and are 5-0-2 over their last seven road dates going back to last season.
TRITON SOCCER MATCHDAY
Once again in 2018, all regular-season home matches at Triton Soccer Stadium are free to attend. Parking permits are required, however, on weeknights on the UC San Diego campus. Parking permits can be purchased at machines situated at corners of either of the nearest parking lots, which are behind the spectator stand, and the Hopkins Parking Structure adjacent to RIMAC. Parking is free on Saturday and Sunday.
All UC San Diego home games in 2018 feature a live pay-per-view video stream on UCSDtritons.tv. The cost is $5.99 for a 24-hour window, and $34.99 for the entire 2018-19 academic year, to include other Triton athletics teams. Broadcasts are in high definition and can be viewed from smartphones and tablets alongside desktop and laptop computers. Seth Smith (@ItsSethESmith) handles the play-by-play duties. Events are archived. This week, only the Hawai'i Pacific and Hawai'i Hilo matches will have live video, at a cost of $7.95 each, without audio commentary. 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 UC San Diego Athletics Twitter handle (@UCSDtritons). Finally, check out the CCAA live scoreboard here to keep up on results around the league.
UC SAN DIEGO IN THE UNITED SOCCER COACHES POLL
• Sept. 4: 2 (1st in West)
• Preseason: 5
A LOOK BACK AT LAST WEEK
UC San Diego took a pair of dramatic one-goal decisions to open the 2018 season, with both game-winners courtesy of sophomore winger Maddy Samilo. On Thursday afternoon at Concordia Irvine, the Tritons rallied from a 1-0 halftime deficit. Michelle Baddour, like Samilo a true sophomore, notched the unassisted equalizer in the 54th minute of her first career start. Samilo then got on the end of a left-sided Summer Bales cross at 86:23 to steal it. Saturday's home opener saw UC San Diego get past No. 7 Western Washington, 1-0, in a rematch of the last two West Region finals, which the two rivals split. Samilo's incredible goal at 84:00 was the difference. Fellow sophomore Caitlin McCarthy provided the through ball, and Samilo did the rest, putting a deadly body fake on the Viking goalie before tapping into the empty net from close range. Angelica Ramos gained credit for her first clean sheet.
This trip marks UC San Diego's fourth to Hawai'i all-time. The Tritons were last there for the first and second rounds of the 2010 NCAA Championship, knocking off San Francisco State, 3-1, and host BYU-Hawai'i, 1-0, en route to finishing as national runners-up. They also paid an early-September visit in 2007, blanking Hawai'i Pacific, 5-0, and BYU-Hawaii, 1-0. UC San Diego was first in Hawai'i for a singular 2-0 decision at Hawai'i Pacific on Sept. 5, 1997. The Tritons are a perfect 5-0 on O'ahu, outscoring their opponents, 12-1.
DIVISION I DATE
This Friday night, UC San Diego squares off with Division I side and future (2020) Big West opponent Hawai'i. It will mark the Tritons' first date with a Division I program of their Division II era, which began in 2000, and first since a 3-0 home victory over UH on Oct. 19, 1997, while in Division III. That serves as the only previous matchup between UC San Diego and Hawai'i.
UC San Diego is now 17-1-1 in season openers in its NCAA Division II era (since 2000), suffering the lone defeat in 2014 at Seattle Pacific. The Tritons have outscored their opponents, 12-2, in four consecutive wins since. They are 10-8 in CCAA openers, with two straight wins after a 4-0 romp at Cal State San Marcos in 2016 and 3-0 home victory over Chico State last year.
CCAA FAVORITES FOR THIRD YEAR RUNNING
Two-time defending CCAA regular-season champion UC San Diego is again the favorite to retain its crown in the 2018 preseason coaches' poll. The Tritons, also the three-time reigning CCAA Tournament champions, accumulated 136 points and seven first-place votes. UC San Diego went a perfect 12-0 during the 2016 CCAA season, and followed that up with a 10-0-1 ledger in 2017. Sonoma State, whom the Tritons edged in a thrilling 2017 CCAA final in La Jolla, 4-3, was second with 129 points and five first-place votes. Cal State LA, the 2016 tourney finalist, was third (126) with the remaining first-place nod.
UC San Diego is an undefeated 20-0-1 over its last 21 home matches, dating back to a 1-0 defeat to Colorado School of Mines on Sept. 11, 2016. The Tritons wound up 13-0-1 in La Jolla in 2017. They were winners of 19 straight at home ahead of a 1-1 draw with UC-Colorado Springs in last year's national quarterfinals, eliminated via penalty-kick tiebreaker. Thirteen marked UC San Diego's most home wins since going 15-1 in La Jolla in 2001 en route to winning its second straight Division II national title, at Triton Soccer Stadium. The only other times the Tritons have completed a home season unbeaten in their Divison II era, were 2006 (11-0-1), 2002 (9-0-1) and 2000 (12-0).
UC San Diego 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 last Oct. 26, and 29 straight games against CCAA foes before a scoreless tie at Cal State San Marcos last Oct. 21. UC San Diego has held a 78-11 scoring advantage and trailed in only three of those 34 matches. In 2016, the Tritons completed their league slate unbeaten and untied for the first time since joining the CCAA in 2000, at a perfect 12-0. It marked the first such effort by a CCAA squad since Sonoma State went 14-0 in 1998. UC San Diego 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. UC San Diego is the first team in CCAA women's history to post back-to-back unbeaten league slates. The current 25-game unbeaten run is a league record.
UC San Diego has surrendered just nine goals during this current 19-game unbeaten run (16-0-3) going back to last season, with an own goal and penalty kick among them, and posted 12 shutouts ... The Tritons have come out on the right side of 13 straight one-goal decisions, finishing 12-1 in such games a year ago, and winning back-to-back narrow affairs to begin this new campaign, 2-1 and 1-0.
UC San Diego's 30-player 2018 roster has just three seniors in fourth-year team members Summer Bales, Megumi Barber and Mary Reilly, though Kelsey Kimball is a listed redshirt junior, also in her fourth year at the school ... Bales and Natalie Saddic are first-time team co-captains in 2018 ... Thirteen newcomers have joined the program, including 12 true freshmen ... Eight players are from San Diego, in Saddic (San Diego/Torrey Pines HS), Michelle Baddour (San Diego/University City HS), Megumi Barber (San Diego/Mt. Carmel HS), Sydney Davey (La Jolla/La Jolla HS), Caitlin McCarthy (Carlsbad/Carlsbad HS), Christina Oddone (Carlsbad/Carlsbad HS), Mary Reilly (Chula Vista/Hilltop HS) and Maddy Samilo (Rancho Bernardo/Rancho Bernardo HS) ... Sophomore forwards Mia Bonifazi (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) and Alexis Kirson (Las Vegas, Nev.) are the only two Tritons from outside of California ... 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 UC San Diego program, is in her 19th straight season as a Triton player or coach.
CCAA TOURNAMENT REMAINS IN LA JOLLA
UC San Diego is the proud host of the 2018 CCAA Tournament semifinals and finals for the second consecutive year and fifth time in all. Two women's and two men's semifinals will be contested at Triton Soccer Stadium on Friday, Nov. 2, with the two finals set for Sunday, Nov. 4. Exact times are to be determined. First-round matchups take place on the campuses of the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds on Tuesday, Oct. 30. In all four instances that UC San Diego has served as the host, the Triton women have won the event, in 2001, 2006, 2008 and 2017. The women's champion once again earn the CCAA's automatic berth into the NCAA Championship.
CCAA FORMAT UNCHANGED
For the fifth year in a row, the CCAA slate consists 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 2018 CCAA Tournament.
2018 SEASON OUTLOOK
UC San Diego is led offensively and defensively by Mary Reilly (Chula Vista/Hilltop HS) and Natalie Saddic (San Diego/Torrey Pines HS), respectively. Reilly is back for a fourth and final season up top, with 33 career goals and as the CCAA's shots leader by a wide margin in each of her first three years. She has added 19 assists for 85 total points as a Triton. Saddic is back at holding central midfielder after a rash of injuries forced her to center back for the 2017 postseason. The third-year transfer from UC Davis was a unanimous All-American, and the CCAA Defensive Player of the Year and CCAA Tournament Most Valuable Defensive Player last fall. Joining Reilly as fourth-year Tritons are winger Summer Bales, forward Megumi Barber (San Diego/Mt. Carmel HS), and Kelsey Kimball, who takes over at center back after sitting out the entire 2017 season through injury. Barber is Reilly's new strike partner. True sophomores Delaney Whittet and Natalie Widmer return around Kimball at left and right back, respectively. Redshirt junior goalkeeper Angelica Ramos, the 2017 CCAA Newcomer of the Year, also is back from injury, with sophomore Katie Wilkes having taken over for the three NCAA Championship matches last November after Ramos left the CCAA final with a season-ending injury. Caitlin McCarthy (Carlsbad/Carlsbad HS) remains in central midfield, with fellow true sophomores and locals Michelle Baddour (San Diego/University City HS) and Maddy Samilo (Rancho Bernardo/Rancho Bernardo HS) slotting into the starting spots in central midfield and on the right wing, respectively. Baddour has taken over the No. 10 shirt.
UC San Diego went 17-2-3 overall and an unbeaten 10-0-1 in the CCAA a year ago. The season ended with a 17-game undefeated streak (14-0-3) as the Tritons played to a 1-1 home draw with UC-Colorado Springs in the national quarterfinals, and were eliminated via penalty-kick tiebreaker. That was after a second successive showdown with Western Washington in the West Region final, this one going to UC San Diego in front of the home crowd, 2-0, to complete its treble. The regular-season champion Tritons won the CCAA Tournament for a third straight and record 11th time, as the top-seeded host.
ABOUT THE SHARKS
Hawai'i Pacific (0-1) was picked to finish eighth in the 12-team PacWest in its preseason poll. Senior Lauren Spencer is the Preseason PacWest Goalkeeper of the Year, and joined on the Preseason All-PacWest Team by junior forward Ebony Madrid. The Sharks went 8-8-2 overall in 2017, including 5-3-2 at home. They were edged in double overtime in their opener by Antelope Valley, 2-1, on Saturday in Waipahu. Gina Brewer is the eighth-year head coach.
UC San Diego has won the only two previous meetings, both on O'ahu. The Tritons routed HPU in early September of 2007, 5-0. The first matchup was a 2-0 decision on Sept. 5, 1997.
ABOUT THE RAINBOW WAHINE
Hawai'i (3-1) was picked to finish ninth in the nine-team Big West. Senior midfielder Raisa Strom-Okimoto was its lone representative on the Preseason All-Big West Team, and is also the reigning Big West Offensive Player of the Week. Redshirt junior goalkeeper Alexis Mata is the Big West Defensive Player of the Week. The Rainbow Wahine are winners of three straight, most recently a 5-0 dismantling of Pacific on Sunday to sweep a two-match California trip. Strom-Okimoto scored in both contests, and leads UH with three goals on the young season. Michele Nagamine directs the Rainbow Wahine.
UC San Diego came out on top in its only previous matchup with Hawai'i, 3-0 at home on Oct. 19, 1997.
ABOUT THE VULCANS
Hawai'i Hilo (0-0) hasn't kicked off its 2018 season yet, and does so only on Friday afternoon against Eckerd College. The school is located on the Big Island of Hawai'i, with its neutral-site games against Eckerd and UC San Diego on O'ahu this week, about 250 miles away. The Vulcans took up the ninth spot in the PacWest preseason poll, having finished 7-9-1 overall in 2017. Gene Okamura is the third-year head coach of his alma mater.
UC San Diego and Hawai'i Hilo have never met in women's soccer.
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The Tritons return from Hawai'i on Monday night, Sept. 10, and begin the 12-game CCAA portion of their schedule with a home pair on Friday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m. against Cal State Monterey Bay, and Sunday, Sept. 16, at 2 p.m. against Cal State East Bay. Both matches will cap doubleheaders with the Triton men. Admission is free into Triton Soccer Stadium on North Campus in La Jolla.