Photo by: Derrick Tuskan
All-American captain Natalie Saddic helped set up both Triton goals on Saturday, while aiding in the shutout.

No. 2 UC San Diego Blanks Cougars in Non-Conference Finale Behind Reilly's 40th, Samilo Clincher; Tritons Eye No. 1

UCSD

LA JOLLA, Calif. - San Diego products Mary Reilly (Chula Vista/Hilltop HS) and Maddy Samilo (Rancho Bernardo/Rancho Bernardo HS) scored goals in the first and second halves, respectively, to lead the second-ranked University of California San Diego women's soccer team to a 2-0 victory over city and California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) rival Cal State San Marcos in its non-conference finale Saturday night in front of 422 spectators at Triton Soccer Stadium.

Reilly's goal was her league-leading seventh, and milestone 40th of her great four-year career. She moves into a tie with Erika Alfredson (1998-01) for sixth all-time in program history, and first for its Division II era, since 2000.

The Tritons remain unbeaten at 7-0-1 overall, while CSUSM falls to an even 3-3-1 overall. The teams will have their CCAA matchup in San Marcos on Wednesday, Oct. 3, at 12:30 p.m.

With reigning national champion Central Missouri suffering a 1-0 loss at Missouri Western on Friday, UC San Diego will likely ascend to the No. 1 spot when the new United Soccer Coaches poll comes out on Tuesday morning. The Jennies had gone a perfect 26-0 to win last year's top prize, and reeled off six straight to begin this new campaign, before that 32-game streak was snapped in St. Joseph, Mo.

The Tritons are still unbeaten over their last 25 games (21-0-4) overall going back to the 2017 season. UC San Diego is now undefeated in its last 37 meetings (35-0-2) with CCAA opposition, when including non-conference tilts like the one tonight, and the CCAA Tournament, which the Tritons have won for each of the past three years.

Angelica Ramos made three stops for her third individual clean sheet of 2018 and 15th of her Triton career. The score line could have been worse for the visitors if not for Yesenia Betancourt between the posts, as the sophomore totaled eight saves. That included several tough ones, most notably on senior forward Megumi Barber (San Diego/Mt. Carmel HS) in the 63rd minute, and fellow Carlsbad High School graduates Christine Oddone in the 73rd and Caitlin McCarthy in the 86th.

Holding central midfielder Natalie Saddic (San Diego/Torrey Pines HS), center back Kelsey Kimball, left back Delaney Whittet and right back Natalie Widmer all played the full 90 minutes of the shutout in front of Ramos, with Saddic also helping to set up both goals offensively.

In the 23rd minute, Saddic played a square ball to Whittet on the left, who took two touches forward before sending a perfect left-footed pass more than 30 yards up the field. Reilly ran onto it, dribbled once toward the left edge of the six-yard box, and was never going to miss from there, slotting a shot with the inside of her right foot, into the bottom right corner. Only Whittet was credited with an assist, her first.

Just 2:05 after the interval, Samilo made it 2-0. McCarthy passed to Saddic right in the middle of the center circle. The All-American rounded one defender and hit fellow first-year co-captain Summer Bales on her left wing. Bales' left-footed cross narrowly eluded Reilly in the middle, but Samilo was there at the back post for the narrow-angle finish with her right foot, into the upper left netting. Bales was credited with her league-leading fourth assist, and Saddic the first of her career.

The score was actually eerily reminiscent of Samilo’s solitary winner in last year’s CCAA Tournament semifinal, on that same north goal in La Jolla, as that one was McCarthy to Bales, Bales with the left-sided cross, and Samilo again from close range at the back post in the 67th minute for a 1-0 Triton victory over the Cougars.

UC San Diego held a 17-7 shot advantage, with Reilly turning in game highs of five attempts, and four on goal. She leads the CCAA in shots for a fourth consecutive year, and also paces the league in goals, points and game-winning goals (tied).

The Tritons return to CCAA play with 23rd-ranked fellow unbeaten Sonoma State (4-0-3, 2-0-1 CCAA) on Friday, Sept. 28, at 4:30 p.m. at Triton Soccer Stadium, in a rematch of a thrilling 2017 CCAA Tournament final, which host UC San Diego rallied to win, 4-3. Admission is free on North Campus in La Jolla, or watch live on UCSDtritons.tv.

Triton Notes: UC San Diego leads the all-time series, 6-0-2 ... The Cougars have in fact still never scored on the Tritons, spanning 760 minutes ... UC San Diego has allowed 13 goals during this 25-game unbeaten stretch, with one own goal, one penalty kick, one free kick, and now 14 shutouts ... UC San Diego is 23-0-1 over its last 24 home dates ... Delaney Whittet's assist was the fourth of her career, and Summer Bales' her 19th.

About UC San Diego Athletics
With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country. The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in summer 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference. UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's preeminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent. A total of 80 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 36 have earned prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships. In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.

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