Photo by: Derrick Tuskan
Triton co-captains Natalie Saddic (16) and Summer Bales challenge for the ball against Sonoma State Friday.

No. 1 Tritons Pass Another Tough Test, Defeat No. 24 Sonoma State Via Pair of First-Half Goals, 2-1


LA JOLLA, Calif. - The No. 1-ranked University of California San Diego women's soccer team downed No. 24 Sonoma State, 2-1, in California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) action at Triton Soccer Stadium on Friday.

With a sixth successive victory, UC San Diego improved to a still-unbeaten 8-0-1 overall and perfect 3-0 in the CCAA. Sonoma State suffered its first loss, falling to 5-1-3 overall and 3-1-1 in league play.

The Tritons stay unbeaten over their last 26 games (22-0-4) overall going back to the 2017 season. UC San Diego is undefeated in its last 28 CCAA matches (27-0-1), and 38 meetings (36-0-2) with CCAA opposition, when including non-conference contests and the CCAA Tournament, which the Tritons have won in each of the past three years. Those latter two runs began after a 1-0 loss at Sonoma State on Oct. 18, 2015. The Tritons and Seawolves had last met in a thrilling CCAA Tournament final last Nov. 5, an instant classic which went 4-3 in favor of host UC San Diego.

Mary Reilly (Chula Vista/Hilltop HS) began the scoring in the 13th minute, with all three fourth-year senior Tritons combining on the sequence. Co-captain Summer Bales played a short pass to Megumi Barber (San Diego/Mt. Carmel HS), who sent a delicate pass over the top from the left side, into the penalty area. From just to the left of the penalty spot, Reilly powered a right-footed shot into the left side of the goal, for her league-best eighth goal on the year. She now has 41 for her career, tied for fifth in program history, and has hit the target in a career-best four consecutive matches. Bales' assist was her league-leading fifth, and Barber's her first of 2018.

The excitement did not last long, however, and that's a bit of an understatement, as it took 24 seconds for the visitors to find an equalizer. From the kickoff, UC San Diego earned a throw-in from its defensive third, but in mere moments, Miranda Sanchez fed Julia Pritchard, who unleashed a tremendous right-footed shot from just inside 25 yards on the left edge, that traveled over redshirt junior goalkeeper Angelica Ramos and into the back of the net for her second goal of the season.

The winner came from the Tritons' second group, with five true freshmen on the field and six newcomers in all, to make it that much more gratifying for their coaches. Sophomore starting left back Delaney Whittet sent a pass down the left flank, and Marissa Ray, with her back to goal, laid it off with a single touch. Fellow freshman Christina Oddone, a product of Carlsbad (Carlsbad HS) struck a left-footed shot from right outside the penalty box, and found the left-side netting. It was her second goal, both game-winners. The assists were the second for Ray and Whittet.

Ramos finished with one save for UC San Diego. Senior Kristen Spear had three stops for the Seawolves, who entered the contest on a shutout run of 451:04. Reilly's opener ended that stretch at 463:26.

UC San Diego out-shot Sonoma State, 17-10, including 8-2 after the halftime interval. Both of those second-half attempts by the Seawolves came over the first 1:30, before the Tritons locked things down for the remaining 43:30. Reilly, the CCAA shot leader for a fourth year in a row, led all players with seven, equaling her season high.

The Tritons round out a season-long five-match homestand this Sunday, Sept. 30, against Humboldt State. Kickoff is set for 11:30 a.m. at Triton Soccer Stadium. The 13th-ranked UC San Diego men will follow at 2 p.m. Parking and admission are free on North Campus in La Jolla.

Triton Notes: UC San Diego leads the all-time series, 20-2-3 ... The Tritons used the same starting lineup for the ninth successive game to begin the season ... UC San Diego has allowed 14 goals during this 26-game unbeaten stretch, with one own goal, one penalty kick, one free kick, and 14 shutouts ... UC San Diego is 24-0-1 over its last 25 home dates ... The Tritons have come out on the right side of 17 straight one-goal decisions, with six of their eight wins this year of the one-goal variety ... UC San Diego is 2-0 against ranked teams in 2018.

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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