Michelle Baddour the Goal-Scorer as No. 11 Tritons Edge Toros on Senior Day, 1-0, Tighten Grip on First Place
LA JOLLA, Calif. - The No. 11 University of California San Diego women's soccer team got a lone goal early in the second half from local product Michelle Baddour (San Diego/University City HS) and held on to beat Cal State Dominguez Hills, 1-0, in a California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) contest on Senior Day Sunday at Triton Soccer Stadium.
Baddour, a true sophomore, ran onto a clever through ball by redshirt junior holding central midfielder and team co-captain Natalie Saddic (San Diego/Torrey Pines HS), and from the right diagonal inside the penalty box, tucked her right-footed shot into the bottom left corner for the only tally of the afternoon. It was her second goal on the year and first since producing UC San Diego's initial goal of the season, also early in the second half, in the Aug. 30 opener at Concordia Irvine. The score also marked Baddour's first collegiate game-winner. Saddic, a unanimous 2017 All-American, picked up her third assist and second in as many games, with both of them on deciders
With a fifth consecutive shutout victory since its one loss, UC San Diego improved to 14-1-1 overall and 9-1 in the CCAA. With Chico State's 2-1 loss at San Francisco State, the Tritons strengthened their grip on first place in the standings, as they look to complete a threepeat of regular-season titles. CSUDH dropped to 2-10-3 overall and 1-7-2 in league play.
UC San Diego completed its regular-season home schedule a perfect 8-0. The Tritons had already on Friday night, clinched a fifth straight CCAA Tournament berth, as well as assuring themselves of at least one postseason home match. They are now guaranteed of no worse than the No. 3 seed for the league tourney, for which they will for the second year in a row, host the semifinals and final on Nov. 2 and Nov. 4, respectively. UC San Diego needs a solitary point from a draw, to clinch a first-round bye on Tuesday, Oct. 30, and head right into a home semifinal. One win on its remaining road trip, is enough for that third regular-season banner in succession.
Triton goalkeeper Angelica Ramos was credited with just a single save, that in the second half, for her seventh individual shutout of 2018. She had left in the 24th minute with an eye injury Friday night against Cal State LA, with her status in doubt for Sunday until the San Clemente product, technically a redshirt junior but recognized in pregame festivities, was able to answer the call on Senior Day.
Fourth-year Tritons Summer Bales, Megumi Barber (San Diego/Mt. Carmel HS), Kelsey Kimball and Mary Reilly (Chula Vista/Hilltop HS) joined Ramos in being celebrated prior to kickoff. Bales, with Saddic, is a first-year co-captain. Kimball, like Ramos, has a year of college eligibility left, and has the option of returning in 2019.
Kimball, the center back, sophomore left back Delaney Whittet and sophomore right back Natalie Widmer, all played the full 90 minutes of the shutout, as did Saddic, who patrols the field right in front of those three.
Saddic dribbled a good 15-20 yards right up the middle of the field, after accepting a back pass from Barber at the center line, before laying the ball off with her right foot. Baddour took one controlling touch into the box, and found the target. Saddic's work on the play was not totally unlike her assist on Friday night's opener.
UC San Diego held a final shot advantage of 21-4, after that tally was 21-5 on Friday. Only three opposing attempts were on target over the two matches. The Tritons also went the entire weekend without allowing a single corner kick.
UC San Diego flies to the Bay Area on Wednesday to take on a pair of top rivals to wrap up the regular season. The Tritons are at Stanislaus State in primetime on Thursday, Oct. 25, at 7 p.m., and then at second-place Chico State on Saturday, Oct. 27, at 11:30 a.m. They can wrap up the CCAA championship in Turlock on Thursday.
Triton Notes: UC San Diego leads the all-time series, 28-17-5, and has won six straight by an aggregate score of 16-5 ... The Tritons fielded the same starting lineup for the 15th time out of 16 games this season ... UC San Diego finished with 20-plus shots as a team for the second consecutive game and seventh time this year ... The Tritons completed their regular-season home schedule a perfect 8-0 ... UC San Diego is an undefeated 27-0-1 over its last 28 contests in La Jolla ... This is a season-best five straight clean sheets for the Tritons, with the shutout stretch currently at 476:13 ... Natalie Saddic now has three collegiate assists, all coming over the last nine matches, as she set up both game-winning goals in this weekend's home sweep ... Angelica Ramos has 19 individual clean sheets for her Triton career.
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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