No. 6 Tritons Too Much for Stanislaus State, Lock Up Third Consecutive CCAA Regular-Season Title With 3-0 Romp
TURLOCK, Calif. - The sixth-ranked University of California San Diego women's soccer team cruised to a 3-0 victory over Stanislaus State at Warrior Stadium on Thursday night, and in doing so, locked up a third consecutive California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) regular-season championship.
Though a 1-0 loss at city and CCAA rival Cal State San Marcos back on Oct. 3, UC San Diego's first defeat in over a calendar year, was certainly unexpected, Kristin Jones and her staff made sure it was just a minor blip. Their Tritons won each of the next six, without a single goal conceded, culminating in Thursday's dominant show.
"This has very special meaning for our team, our coaching staff, and the legacy of UC San Diego women’s soccer” remarked Jones. "This team has been through it all, and has grown into an unbelievable, cohesive unit."
UC San Diego improved to 15-1-1 overall and 10-1 in the CCAA. Stanislaus State, eliminated from postseason contention, fell to 7-7-3 overall and 3-6-2 in league play.
The Tritons have now won the last six trophies that the CCAA has handed out, as three-time reigning CCAA Tournament champions as well. Thursday's result also locked up a first-round tourney bye, with UC San Diego serving as host of the semifinals and final for a second straight year. The Tritons roll directly into a semifinal tilt on Friday, Nov. 2, in La Jolla, with the time likely to be 1:30 p.m.
UC San Diego's three goals came from a trio of fourth-year players in redshirt junior center back Kelsey Kimball, and senior strikers Mary Reilly (Chula Vista/Hilltop HS) and Megumi Barber (San Diego/Mt. Carmel HS). Kimball headed in Barber's corner kick to give the Tritons a 1-0 lead at the break, before her forward teammates clinched all three points after the interval.
UC San Diego grabbed the opener in the 25th minute. The Tritons earned a corner kick from the left side, and Barber sent a curler into the box. Kimball started just to the right of the penalty spot, and made a tremendous run to the near post, putting her glancing header on target for her first goal of 2018. Barber's assist was her third.
The Tritons had several good chances to increase their advantage from there before the halftime whistle. Reilly got the outside of her right foot on the ball from close range after a left-sided cross, but senior goalie Haley Crook made a nice save.
In the 39th minute, a right-sided Ashlynn Kolarik corner kick was punched in the air by Crook, and then nodded down by a Warrior defender. Christina Oddone (Carlsbad/Carlsbad HS) put on a left-footed swing from the top of the penalty box, and a third true freshman midfielder, Marissa Ray, got her head to it, but found the crossbar. The ball fell to sophomore Mia Bonifazi, whose effort was deflected wide.
Still before halftime, Emily Killeen, another true freshman midfielder, saw her left-footed shot from outside the area on the left, flash just wide of the right post.
Reilly's league-leading 13th goal of 2018 was arguably her easiest, just 3:19 into the second half. The score came again from a corner, this one also by a fourth-year senior, in winger and team co-captain Summer Bales. Bales' whipped left-footer from the right side appeared to dip right over the head of Kimball, and took two deflections. The first was either by sophomore Triton midfielder Caitlin McCarthy (Carlsbad/Carlsbad HS), or a Warrior, and the latter definitely by an opponent. Reilly fortuitously found the ball at her feet, and merely tapped in from close range.
Bales was credited with the only assist, her league- and career-best eighth, though sophomore winger Maddy Samilo (Rancho Bernardo/Rancho Bernardo HS) also played a significant role, as she picked off Crook's clearance attempt on the right flank, raced toward the end line, and earned the corner kick to begin with.
Barber put the capper on the festivities at 66:47. She intercepted a pass, touched the ball past the defender in front of her, and shot right-footed from just inside 25 yards at the top of the box. It bounced off the shoulder of the Warrior center back, and looped directly over Crook and into the net for Barber's unassisted, career-best fifth.
Redshirt junior goalkeeper Angelica Ramos made four saves for UC San Diego for her eighth individual clean sheet on the year. The second of those, in the 58th, was potentially her best this year, as the San Clemente product went horizontal in the air and got her right hand up to parry Skyler Hoy's tough right-footed shot from the left edge of the 18-yard box, out for a corner. Crook had five stops for the hosts.
The Tritons out-shot the Warriors, 19-10. Reilly again led all players with six.
"It is always a good sign when you think back to the 90 minutes, and can't find one player who had an off night," concluded Jones. "The players were incredible tonight. I am so proud to be their coach."
UC San Diego remains in Northern California for its regular-season finale at 25th-ranked, second-place rival Chico State this Saturday, Oct. 27, at 11:30 a.m.
Triton Notes: UC San Diego leads the all-time series, 17-5-2, and has won six straight meetings by an aggregate score of 12-2 ... The Tritons fielded the same starting lineup for the 16th time out of 17 games this year ... This is a season-best six straight clean sheets for the Tritons, with the shutout stretch currently at 566:13 ... Angelica Ramos now has 20 individual clean sheets for her Triton career ... Both of Kelsey Kimball's college goals have been corner-kick headers in CCAA road games, the other the capper in a 4-0 win at Cal State San Marcos on Sept. 21, 2016 ... Kimball's first of 2018, was ultimately her first collegiate winner, to earn her side another trophy ... Megumi Barber's assist was the eighth of her career, and the goal her 11th ... Mary Reilly's goal was the 46th of her career, and Summer Bales' assist her 23rd ... Reilly has matched her single-season career high of 13 goals.
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.
Follow the Tritons
For complete coverage and information regarding UC San Diego Athletics, follow the Tritons online at UCSDtritons.com and through social media on Twitter (@UCSDtritons), Instagram (@ucsdtritons) and Facebook (UCSDtritons). For more information on UC San Diego Women's Soccer, follow on Instagram (@ucsdwsoc).