LA JOLLA, Calif. - Tenth-ranked University of California San Diego got a goal in either half by its star forward duo of Mary Reilly (Chula Vista/Hilltop HS) and Katie O'Laughlin (Carlsbad/Pacific Ridge School) and hung on to edge Central Washington, 2-1, in non-conference women's soccer action between top West Region sides Saturday night at Triton Soccer Stadium.
With the victory, UC San Diego moves to 2-0 on the young season. The match served as the 2017 season opener for Central Washington (0-1), out of Ellensburg, Wash. The Wildcats were also NCAA Championship qualifiers a year ago, and are picked for second in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference while also receiving votes just outside of the preseason national top 25.
Reilly opened her 2017 account in the 24th minute. Fellow junior Summer Bales sent a corner kick from the right to the far side, where O'Laughlin headed it back to the near post. Senior winger Jordyn McNutt (San Diego/University City HS) was there, and hit the ball toward the goal mouth, where Reilly finished it. McNutt and O'Laughlin were credited with assists. For McNutt, it was her 30th as a Triton.
O'Laughlin then scored her second in as many matches, to give the Tritons a cushion in the 58th minute that they would ultimately and sorely need. Senior central midfielder Elisa Martinez (El Cajon/Francis Parker School), following some nice work down the right-hand side, sent a dangerous cross into the middle. The Central Washington defender scuffed her clearance attempt, and O'Laughlin pounced for the 30th goal of her career.
A defensive miscue gifted Wildcat senior Mackenzie Nolte a goal at 84:46 and made the final five-plus minutes interesting, but UCSD was able to see the game out.
Reilly had almost added a second in the 52nd minute, but her shot was turned away by sophomore CWU goalie Emily Holt, who finished with four saves. Redshirt sophomore Angelica Ramos came up with a pair of stops in the Triton net.
Reilly and O'Laughlin wound up with eight and seven shots, respectively, of UCSD's 25, to CWU's five. They finished 1-2 in shots in the California Collegiate Athletic Association a year ago.
UCSD concludes a three-game season-opening homestand this Tuesday night, Sept. 5, hosting Concordia Irvine in primetime at 7 p.m. inside Triton Soccer Stadium. Admission is free.
Triton Notes: UC San Diego remains a perfect 8-0 all-time against Central Washington, including 4-0 at home, and has outscored the Wildcats in those contests, 33-4 ... The Tritons also won 2-1 a year ago, in come-from-behind fashion in Ellensburg on Katie O'Laughlin's overtime winner ... O'Laughlin has thus notched the decider against CWU in back-to-back seasons, and has 10 career game-winners.