Photo by: Derrick Tuskan
Megumi Barber set up the first goal, and scored the late clincher Sunday against Humboldt State.

No. 1 for a Reason: Top-Ranked UC San Diego Completes Perfect Weekend Against Humboldt State, 3-1


LA JOLLA, Calif. - Top-ranked University of California San Diego scored an early goal and had little trouble in getting by Humboldt State, 3-1, in a California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) women's soccer match Sunday at Triton Soccer Stadium.

A seventh straight victory, to round out a season-long five-match homestand, left UC San Diego still undefeated at 9-0-1 overall and a perfect 4-0 in the CCAA. The Tritons are alone in third in the CCAA standings, with two games in hand on the two teams in front of them. Humboldt State dropped to 3-6-1 overall and 1-5 in league play.

The result meant that the Tritons have matched the program-record unbeaten streak of 27 games, now at 23-0-4 since their last loss, 1-0 at Regis on Sept. 10, 2017. UC San Diego had gone 24-0-3 from Oct. 12, 1992, through Nov. 7, 1993.

UC San Diego is undefeated in its last 29 CCAA matches (28-0-1), and 39 meetings (37-0-2) with CCAA opponents, when including non-conference contests and the CCAA Tournament, which the Tritons have won in each of the past three years.

UC San Diego's goals came from redshirt junior captain Natalie Saddic (San Diego/Torrey Pines HS), sophomore newcomer Mia Bonifazi and senior forward Megumi Barber (San Diego/Mt. Carmel HS). Saddic's first of the season put the Tritons on the board in the 12th minute, as she completed a corner-kick organization started by Barber. Barber then notched the clincher at 83:29, after the Jacks had made things just slightly uncomfortable with a headed 74th-minute tally.

Sophomore left back Delaney Whittet earned that corner that led to Saddic's opener. Barber's left-sided kick was headed back across at the back post, by sophomore Caitlin McCarthy (Carlsbad/Carlsbad HS), and her central midfield mate was at the right place at the right time to guide the ball across the goal line. The assists were a fourth for McCarthy and second for Barber for 2018.

A well-developed goal in the lead-up made it 2-0 at 32:39, courtesy of the Tritons' second group. Emily Killeen fed fellow true freshman Marissa Ray, for her to dribble up her right wing. The sequence nearly looked to have broken down as the ball got caught up around the right edge of the six-yard box. Unable to be cleared, it popped loose for Bonifazi, a University of San Francisco transfer and Colorado native, to poke into the back of the net. Both of her goals have gone down as Sunday game-winners at home. The score was credited as unassisted, at least for the time being.

Things looked comfortable behind a 2-0 cushion until Alex Jenkins headed Poppy Cartledge's left-sided, left-footed cross into the right side of the net for her team-best sixth at 73:26. Jenkins is only behind fellow senior forward Mary Reilly (Chula Vista/Hilltop HS) on the CCAA goals chart. Reilly has eight for the Tritons. Pikake Hix was also given an assist for her pass to Cartledge.

Barber put an end to any potential drama a little over 10 minutes later. Ray's shot attempt from near the top of the box was going wide to the left, but found Barber, who turned onto her left foot and chipped beautifully into the right netting for her third of the year and ninth of her career, the previous six all from outside the penalty area. Ray notched her third assist. Barber, who wasn't feeling well and only managed 28 first-half minutes played on Friday night, finished with a goal and an assist on the day for a career-best three points. She also assisted on Friday's opener.

Redshirt junior Angelica Ramos had a single save for UC San Diego, just 5:34 into the contest. In fact, the Jacks opened with the first two shots of the day over those five and a half minutes, and then did not register another attempt until Jenkins' goal. Sophomore transfer Brooke Townsend made her HSU debut and had five stops.

The Tritons finished with a 25-5 bulge in shots, getting above 20 for the fourth time this year. They also procured a season-high 10 corner kicks.

The Tritons now await their CCAA matchup with crosstown rival Cal State San Marcos this Wednesday, Oct. 3. Kickoff at The Cage on the San Marcos campus is set for 12:30 p.m. UC San Diego won a non-conference meeting between the rivals, 2-0, at home on Sept. 22. Six of its last eight regular-season matches will be on the road.

Triton Notes: UC San Diego leads the all-time series, 15-1-2, including 7-0-1 over the last eight meetings since its only loss in Arcata in 2010, with five straight wins ... The Tritons used the same starting lineup for the 10th successive game to begin the season ... UC San Diego has allowed 15 goals during this 27-game unbeaten stretch, with one own goal, one penalty kick, one free kick, and 14 shutouts ... UC San Diego is 25-0-1 over its last 26 home dates ... Mary Reilly's career-best streak of four consecutive games with a goal was ended ... Natalie Saddic now has five career goals ... Saddic remains the only Triton to have played all 920 minutes this season ... Caitlin McCarthy has 10 career assists, and Megumi Barber seven ... McCarthy's six shots were a game and career high.

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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