No. 1 UCSD (13-1-4, 12-1-3) vs. No. 2 Cal State L.A. (12-3-3, 10-3-3) or No. 3 Chico State (10-5-3, 10-4-2)
Sunday, November 6 - 11:30 a.m.
Warrior Stadium - Turlock, Calif.
TRITONS TAKE TOP SEED
UCSD will be making its 12th consecutive appearance at the CCAA Championship Tournament this weekend. The Tritons earned the No. 1 seed for the tournament for the first time since 2006 by securing 39 points in conference competitions, six more than second-seeded Cal State L.A. UCSD will open the tournament against No. 4 Cal State Stanislaus on Friday at 1:30 p.m. The Tritons and Warriors battled to a 0-0 tie on October 9 at Warrior Stadium. The winner will play the victor of No. 3 Chico State and No. 2 CSULA for the conference championship on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. UCSD is 1-1-2 against teams in the CCAA Tournament this season.
CCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY
The Tritons have won the CCAA Tournament a total of seven times over their first 11 years in the competition, more than any other team within that same time span. UCSD has not won the conference's postseason competition since 2008, when Brian McManus' squad defeated Cal State Dominguez Hills 2-1 to bring home the title. Since then, UCSD has been eliminated in the semifinals via penalty kicks in each of the last two appearances. In 2010 San Francisco State downed UCSD in penalty kicks 4-3 after finishing full time tied 1-1. The Tritons are 13-2-3 all-time in the CCAA Tournament.
IN THE RANKS
After starting the year as the second-ranked team in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Top 25, UCSD has dropped to as far as eighth but has never fallen outside of the top 10. The Tritons spent two weeks at No. 5 after a tie with unranked Western Washington, but jumped to No. 4 on September 20 with wins over Cal Poly Pomona and SFSU. UCSD would outscore opponents 19-1 between September 18 and October 2 and would spend two more weeks at No. 2. After a pair of 0-0 ties and their only loss of the season to CSULA, UCSD fell to No. 8 on October 18. However, UCSD rebounded by shutting out five straight opponents to end the season and has spent the final two weeks of the season at No. 7. The Tritons have been ranked No. 1 in the West Region for nine consecutive weeks since the first regional poll came out on September 6.
UCSD began the season with the team's longest undefeated start to a season since 1994, going 8-0-4 over the team's first 12 matches. UCSD's 12 matches without a loss to start 2011 is the fifth-longest such streak in school history. However, UCSD was finally upended by CSULA 1-0 on October 14 for the Tritons' only loss this season (13-1-4). The only other time UCSD finished the regular season with only a single loss at the NCAA Division II level was back in 2006, when the team went 16-1-2. That squad advanced to the Sweet 16 and finished the year 20-2-2. Interestingly, UCSD's regular season winning percentage of .833 matches the Tritons' winning percentage during the regular season from 2010 (14-2-2, .833). The 2010 team ended up marching all the way to the national championship match before falling to Grand Valley State for the title.
No. 7 GETS 7
The seventh-ranked Tritons placed seven players on the CCAA all-conference team, it was announced on Wednesday. Senior goalkeeper Kristin Armstrong took home Defensive Player of the Year honors while midfielder Cassie Callahan was awarded with Freshman of the Year. Head coach Brian McManus was voted Coach of the Year for the fourth time in his career. UCSD placed a conference-high five players on the first team. Armstrong, senior forward Sarah McTigue, senior midfielders Anne Wethe and Shelby Wong, and junior defender Hayley Johnson represented the Tritons on the first team. Callahan and junior midfielder Jessica Wi were Honorable Mention selections.
SCORE IF YOU CAN
In the game of soccer, it's nearly impossible to win when your team can't score. That's just what the Tritons have done all season though- keep opponents from scoring. UCSD boasts the lowest goals against average in the NCAA DII with a .211 mark and is tied for first with the least amount of goals surrendered with four. Despite having the most amount of shutouts in DII with 14, UCSD ranks second in shutout percentage, holding opponents scoreless 77.8 percent of the time (14 of 18). Kristin Armstrong has the lowest individual goals against average in DII at .211 and her .935 save percentage ranks second nationally. UCSD has outscored opponents 36-4 this season.
Johnson's assist on the second goal of UCSD's 2-0 win over Cal Poly Pomona gave her 13 assists this season, tying her for third-most in a single season in school history. She needs four more to set a school record for assists in one year ... UCSD's only loss this season to CSULA on October 14 was the team's first regular season loss since September 17, 2010 to Humboldt State. Between Sept. 17, 2010 and Oct. 14, 2011, UCSD put together a 19-0-6 record during the regular season ... UCSD has placed seven players on the CCAA all-conference team in each of the last three seasons.