DENVER - The No. 9 University of California San Diego women's soccer team was blanked by Regis University, 1-0, in non-conference action at Regis Match Pitch on Sunday afternoon.
UC San Diego fell to 3-2. Regis, picked to finish second in this year's Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) race, improved to 2-1-1. It was a second straight road defeat this weekend for the Tritons against a top RMAC foe, having dropped a 4-0 decision at 2016 national quarterfinalist Colorado Mines on Friday night. UCSD had routed Regis in La Jolla in the teams' only previous matchup, 5-0 last Sept. 9.
Freshman Caitlin McCarthy (Carlsbad/Carlsbad HS), making her first collegiate start in central midfield, was the first Triton to trouble Regis goalie Julia Coombs in the 12th minute, her shot going narrowly high of the target. Senior All-American forward Katie O'Laughlin (Carlsbad/Pacific Ridge School) was twice denied in the 14th, her initial try blocked before a rebound effort went directly into Coombs' lap.
UCSD was unable to get anything out of a dangerous corner-kick scrum in the 33rd minute, and then had a goal disallowed in the 39th at the end of a nice corner-kick organization, due to an offside infraction.
Within seconds, at 40:43, it was 1-0 the other way, as Annika Hills headed in her second goal of the season, with the assist going to Emily Ramos.
The Tritons earned a pair of free kicks from promising areas around the penalty box within the first five minutes of the second half, but one whizzed over the crossbar, and the other, a left-foot effort by McCarthy, was blocked by the defense.
UCSD probably came closest to equalizing in the 63rd minute as freshman Delaney Whittet dribbled toward the left end line and crossed it into the center. Coombs parried junior forward Mary Reilly's (Chula Vista/Hilltop HS) shot, and senior winger Jordyn McNutt (San Diego/University City HS) went high with the rebound.
The Tritons' last shot of the afternoon came at 75:16, and that one was pretty close to being a goal as well. Freshman reserve winger Abby Ross passed to Reilly around the left edge of the penalty area, and Reilly turned inside onto her right foot and unleashed a strong blast that Coombs leapt up to tip over the bar for a corner kick.
Redshirt sophomore Angelica Ramos was credited with five saves for UCSD. Among three in the first half was a difficult stop on Kalianna Crosby in the 21st to keep it scoreless. Coombs likewise wound up with five saves on the other side for the individual shutout. The Tritons actually finished with a 13-9 shot advantage.
UCSD begins the 12-game California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) slate with a home pair in the coming week, as the 2016 regular-season and tournament double champion and unanimous preseason favorite. The Tritons host Chico State in primetime on Friday, Sept. 15, at 7 p.m., and then rival Stanislaus State on Sunday, Sept. 17, at 2 p.m. Admission is free at Triton Soccer Stadium in La Jolla.
Triton Notes: The last time the Tritons were shut out in back-to-back games was two straight 1-0 defeats at Cal State LA on Sept. 26, 2014, and at home to Cal Poly Pomona two days later ... UC San Diego also lost two in a row after winning its first three games a season ago, but rebounded by rattling off 16 consecutive victories, sweeping through the CCAA regular season and tournament before falling in the West Region final ... After sending out the exact same starting 11 in each of the first four games, head coach Brian McManus was forced to make one injury adjustment Sunday, and with senior left back Aimee Ellis unavailable, moved Natalie Widmer back there from her central midfield spot, and gave fellow true freshman Caitlin McCarthy her first collegiate start.