LA JOLLA, Calif. - The 2018 University of California San Diego women's soccer schedule features eight home dates out of 18 regular-season contests, highlighted by a renewal of its regional rivalry with Western Washington University, as well as a three-match trip to Hawaii.
UC San Diego's season begins just to the north at Concordia Irvine on Thursday, Aug. 30, at 3:30 p.m. The home opener is a big one on Saturday, Sept. 1, as the Tritons welcome Western Washington back into Triton Soccer Stadium on North Campus in La Jolla. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. for the rematch of the 2017 NCAA Division II West Region final, a 2-0 UC San Diego victory over the 2016 national champions through fantastic individual-effort strikes by rising senior forwards Megumi Barber (San Diego/Mt. Carmel HS) and Mary Reilly (Chula Vista/Hilltop HS).
The non-conference portion of the schedule next takes the Tritons over to Hawaii for three matches, Sept. 4-9. In between games against Division II foes Hawai'i Pacific and Hawai'i Hilo, UC San Diego squares off on Sept. 7 with Division I side and future (2020) Big West Conference opposition University of Hawai'i. It will mark the Tritons' first date with a Division I program of their Division II era which began in 2000, and first since a 3-0 home victory over UH on Oct. 19, 1997, while in Division III. That serves as the only previous matchup between UC San Diego and Hawai'i.
The trip itself will be UC San Diego's fourth-ever to Hawaii. The Tritons were last there for the first and second rounds of the 2010 NCAA Championship, knocking off San Francisco State, 3-1, and host BYU-Hawaii, 1-0, en route to finishing as national runners-up. They also paid an early-September visit in 2007, blanking Hawai'i Pacific, 5-0, and BYU-Hawaii, 1-0. UC San Diego was first in Hawaii for a singular 2-0 decision at Hawai'i Pacific on Sept. 5, 1997.
UC San Diego kicks off the 12-game California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) slate at home on Friday, Sept. 14, against Cal State Monterey Bay, and Sunday, Sept. 16, versus Cal State East Bay. The Tritons then leave league action one final time on Saturday, Sept. 22, hosting crosstown CCAA rival Cal State San Marcos.
The season-long five-match homestand concludes with league foes Sonoma State and Humboldt State on Friday, Sept. 28, and Sunday, Sept. 30, respectively. Sonoma State was the adversary in a thriller of a CCAA Tournament final in La Jolla last Nov. 5, won 4-3 in comeback fashion by the host Tritons on a headed goal by redshirt junior Natalie Saddic (San Diego/Torrey Pines HS) with 34 ticks left in regulation.
UC San Diego then heads into the longest road stretch of its 2018 campaign, of four games. The short trip north to Cal State San Marcos on Oct. 3 precedes a flight to Northern California for a date with San Francisco State on Oct. 7, and more local forays to Cal State San Bernardino and Cal Poly Pomona the following weekend.
Homecoming on the UC San Diego campus comes Oct. 19-21. The Tritons face an always-tough Cal State LA side in primetime at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19. The men's game leads things off at 4:30 p.m., as all 12 CCAA match days will once again be played as doubleheaders. Cal State Dominguez Hills is the opponent on Senior Day for three Tritons on Sunday, Oct. 21, at approximately 2 p.m.
A Northern California return wraps up the regular season, at Stanislaus State on Oct. 25 and Chico State on Saturday, Oct. 27.
The six-team CCAA Tournament will again begin on a Tuesday, this year on Oct. 30, as the Nos. 3-6 seeds contest a pair of first-round matches at campus venues of the two higher-seeded squads. The site of the semifinals and final, Nov. 2-4, has yet to be made official by the league office. The NCAA Championship runs Nov. 8-Dec. 1, with Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pa., serving as the ultimate destination.
Legendary head coach Brian McManus awaits the start of his 32nd season in charge at UC San Diego. He welcomes back a formidable group that pulled off a second straight CCAA double in 2017, repeating as the regular-season champion before adding a third successive and record 11th overall CCAA Tournament banner. The Tritons went unbeaten over the CCAA schedule for the second year in a row (10-0-1), and are 24-0-1 over their last 25 league matches. Including non-conference tilts and the CCAA Tournament, they are 32-0-2 over the last 34 games against CCAA teams, since a 1-0 loss at then-11th-ranked Sonoma State on Oct. 18, 2015.
Reilly and Saddic lead UC San Diego on offense and defense, respectively. Saddic was the 2017 CCAA Defensive Player of the Year as a unanimous All-American, with Reilly, a fellow unanimous All-West Region selection, also joining her on the All-CCAA First Team. Summer Bales is back as a senior winger who made the All-CCAA Second Team, as well as 2017 CCAA Newcomer of the Year Angelica Ramos in goal.
The CCAA is still a 13-team league in women's soccer. This season again features a single-game round-robin format, split evenly with six at home and six on the road.
All regular-season contests at Triton Soccer Stadium will once again be free to attend. Parking is still only free on weekends, like Sept. 1 against the WWU Vikings.