TRITONS BEGINS SEASON-LONG FOUR-GAME HOMESTAND ALONE ATOP CCAA
The seventh-ranked University of California San Diego women's soccer program has once again taken the top perch in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). At the exact midway point of the regular-season schedule, it opens a season-long four-game homestand with a pair of matches this weekend at Triton Soccer Stadium on North Campus in La Jolla. UC San Diego (7-2, 4-0 CCAA) welcomes in second-place Cal Poly Pomona (7-1-1, 3-0-1 CCAA), the only other team left in the CCAA with an undefeated league record, on Friday, Sept. 29, at 4:30 p.m.. The Tritons then take on Cal State San Bernardino (5-3-1, 3-1 CCAA) on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 1, at 11:30 a.m. Both games will kick off doubleheaders with the UCSD men's team. Admission is free.
TRITON SOCCER MATCHDAY
Once again in 2017, all regular-season home matches at Triton Soccer Stadium are free to attend. Parking permits are required, however, on weeknights on the UC San Diego campus. Parking permits can be purchased at machines situated at corners of either of the nearest parking lots, behind the spectator stand, as well as the Hopkins Parking Structure adjacent to RIMAC. Parking is free on Saturday and Sunday.
TRITON SOCCER ON UCSDTRITONS.TV
UCSD's remaining four regular-season home games in 2017 will feature a live video stream on UCSDtritons.tv. Broadcasts are in high definition and can be viewed from smartphones and tablets alongside desktop and laptop computers. Local media personality Miles Himmel (@mileshimmel) handles the play-by-play duties. The single-day fee is $5.99, meaning the men's and women's games can be seen together for one price, though viewing is still free from UCSD campus IP addresses. Events are archived. All games have live stats. Fans can access live coverage from the Schedule/Results page, or by clicking on the links above. Starting lineups, live in-game updates and other news and notes can be found by following Triton Soccer all season long on the UCSD Athletics Twitter handle (@UCSDtritons). Finally, check out the CCAA live scoreboard here to keep up on results around the league.
MAKE-A-WISH PRESENTATION FRIDAY
Friday's match against Cal Poly Pomona will feature a special Make-A-Wish presentation. Dalja is 17 years old and has been granted a wish through Make-A-Wish San Diego, which, with the help of the Triton Athletes' Council (TAC), will be revealed to her and her family at halftime of Friday's women's game. We need your help to cheer her on. Be there for this amazing event!
FREE TRITON GAME DAY T-SHIRTS!
UC San Diego students sticking around for this Friday night's men's match against Cal Poly Pomona at approximately 7 p.m. will receive their 2017-18 Triton game day t-shirt for free courtesy of Toyota. There will be another t-shirt giveaway for the women's match the following Friday, Oct. 6.
Free posters of the 2017 UCSD fall sports will be available at Triton Soccer Stadium this Friday night and Sunday.
UCSD IN THE UNITED SOCCER COACHES POLL
• Sept. 26: 7 (2nd in West)
• Sept. 19: 10 (2nd West)
• Sept. 12: 19 (3rd in West)
• Sept. 5: 9 (2nd in West)
• Preseason: 10
A LOOK BACK AT LAST WEEK
UCSD rolled through its first CCAA road weekend to stay alone atop the league table. The Tritons edged last-place Cal State Dominguez Hills, 2-1, on Friday night behind a Mary Reilly brace, the winner coming through a great individual effort in the 52nd minute. They then blanked Cal State LA, 3-0, on Sunday afternoon in a rematch of the 2016 CCAA Tournament final. Jordyn McNutt notched the first two early in the second half, with Megumi Barber slamming the door shut late. Angelica Ramos posted her fifth clean sheet.
UCSD has now won 18 consecutive CCAA regular-season matches, and 24 straight against league opposition, since a 1-0 loss at Sonoma State on Oct. 18, 2015. The Tritons have held a hefty 65-6 scoring advantage and trailed in only one of those contests, for a grand total of 47:23, after an early goal by Cal Poly Pomona in the 2016 regular-season finale. UCSD overturned that 1-0 halftime deficit thanks to goals by Mary Reilly and Katie O'Laughlin, to complete its perfect ledger. Indeed last season, for the first time in the storied 17-year CCAA history of the UC San Diego women's soccer program, the Tritons completed their league slate unbeaten and untied, at a perfect 12-0. It marked the first such effort by a CCAA squad since Sonoma State went 14-0 in 1998. UCSD went on to win both of its CCAA Tournament games, 2-0 and 1-0, to give it a 14-0 mark against CCAA foes, outscoring them 35-2 during the regular season and 38-2 overall.
COUNTDOWN TO 500
Legendary UC San Diego head coach Brian McManus needs nine more wins to give him 500 for his outstanding 31-year tenure in charge of the Tritons. Only three others in the history of NCAA women's soccer have reached the milestone, in North Carolina's Anson Dorrance (809), UConn's Len Tsantiris (563) and William Smith's Aliceann Wilber (536), with those reflected totals heading into the 2017 season.
UCSD senior Katie O'Laughlin and junior Mary Reilly, two local products, make up arguably the top forward tandem in the West Region, and one of the best in all of the NCAA Division II. They have combined for 60 career goals, including exactly 50 in 2015 and 2016, each reaching double figures in both years. In 2016, O'Laughlin had a region-best 16 goals and 41 points, with nine assists, while Reilly produced 13 goals and nine assists of her own. They were 1-2 in the West in goals and thus also 1-2 on the CCAA chart for the second year in a row, this time with spots flipped. Reilly hit for 11 and O'Laughlin for 10 in 2015. They both started their 2017 accounts over the opening weekend, with O'Laughlin finding the target once in both games and Reilly providing the first in a 2-1 victory over Central Washington. O'Laughlin added a 58th-minute tally in that match that was the 30th of her career and proved to be her 10th game-winner. The two Tritons share the team lead at four goals apiece in 2017. Reilly (36) and O'Laughlin (31) are again 1-2 in the CCAA in shots.
ASSISTS MARK WITHIN JORDY'S REACH
Jordyn McNutt has held at least a share of the CCAA lead in assists in each of her first three years in Triton colors. Her first of 2017, the milestone 30th of her career, came on Sept. 2. The senior winger has two on the year and 31 as a Triton, now eight away from matching the program's all-time record. She has increased her total every year, from seven as a freshman, to 10, to a career-best 12 in 2016, tops in the West and tied for ninth in Division II. McNutt produced her first collegiate three-assist effort against Humboldt State on Oct. 2, 2016, which was in fact the first three-assist game by a Triton since Sara Bolton on Sept. 2, 2010. She has five multi-assist games, with two last season. Her 31 assists give her sole possession of the No. 6 spot in UCSD history, just ahead of a group that includes associate head coach Kristin Jones.
Eight Tritons made their first appearance during the first weekend, including redshirt sophomore goalie Angelica Ramos, redshirt freshman Amanda Erickson, and true freshmen Michelle Baddour, Caitlin McCarthy, Abby Ross, Maddy Samilo, Delaney Whittet and Natalie Widmer. Samilo needed just 7:02 after coming on late in the first half of the season opener, to notch her first collegiate goal, with McCarthy assisting. Though Widmer was the only newcomer to start that match, the 3-0 shutout of city rival Point Loma ended with six true freshmen on the pitch. McCarthy's first college goal was the winner in another 3-0 decision over Concordia Irvine on Sept. 5. A seventh true freshman, forward Alexis Kirson out of Las Vegas, Nev., earned her college debut against Chico State on Sept. 15.
UC San Diego is the unanimous favorite to repeat as champion of the CCAA, as voted on by the league's 13 head coaches for the 2017 preseason poll, garnering 144 points due largely to 12 first-place nods ... Katie O'Laughlin earned the season's first CCAA Player of the Week award for the second straight year, which marked her fourth career weekly recognition from the league office ... UCSD is 16-1-1 in season openers in the NCAA Division II era, suffering its only such defeat in 2014 at Seattle Pacific ... UCSD is 10-8 in CCAA openers, now with two straight wins after a 4-0 romp at Cal State San Marcos last season and 3-0 home victory over Chico State this year ... When UCSD fell 4-0 at 2016 national quarterfinalist Colorado Mines on Sept. 8, it marked its first loss by more than one goal since a 2-0 defeat at Cal Poly Pomona on Nov. 2, 2014 ... The Tritons have four 3-0 victories in 2017.
The CCAA grind is tough enough, but UCSD head coach Brian McManus has given his side the best possible chance of gaining another NCAA Championship berth in 2017. Of the five non-conference opponents the Tritons faced prior to league competition, Mines and Regis were picked to finish 1-2 in the RMAC, Concordia and Point Loma 3-4 in the PacWest, and Central Washington second in the GNAC.
UCSD's 29-player 2017 roster has seven seniors in fourth-year team members Makenzie Brito, Aimee Ellis, Jordyn McNutt, Katie O'Laughlin and Taylor Ramos, alongside third-year transfers Brie Diaz and Elisa Martinez ... Eleven newcomers have joined the program, including 10 true freshmen ... Twelve players are from San Diego, in Michelle Baddour (San Diego/University City HS), Megumi Barber (San Diego/Mt. Carmel HS), Sydney Davey (La Jolla/La Jolla HS), Georgina Herrera (San Ysidro/San Diego Mesa College/San Ysidro HS), Elisa Martinez (El Cajon/University of Sioux Falls/Francis Parker School), Caitlin McCarthy (Carlsbad/Carlsbad HS), Jordyn McNutt (San Diego/University City HS), Katie O'Laughlin (Carlsbad/Pacific Ridge School), Taylor Ramos (San Diego/Coronado HS), Mary Reilly (Chula Vista/Hilltop HS), Natalie Saddic (San Diego/UC Davis/Torrey Pines HS) and Maddy Samilo (San Diego/Rancho Bernardo HS) ... Kristin Jones (Oceanside HS), a two-time national champion and two-time All-American as one of the greatest players to ever come through the storied UCSD women's soccer program, begins her third year as associate head coach and her 18th straight year as a Triton player or coach, having joined Brian McManus' staff immediately upon exhausting her eligibility.
CCAA TOURNAMENT RETURNS TO LA JOLLA
UC San Diego is the proud host of the 2017 CCAA Tournament semifinals and finals, for the first time since 2008 and fourth in all. Two women's and two men's semifinals will be contested at Triton Soccer Stadium on Friday, Nov. 3, with the two finals set for Sunday, Nov. 5. Start times are to be determined. First-round matchups will take place on the campuses of the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds on Tuesday, Oct. 31. In all three previous instances that UCSD has served as the host, the Triton women have won the event, in 2001, 2006 and 2008. The women's champion will once again earn the CCAA's automatic berth into the NCAA Championship.
CCAA FORMAT UNCHANGED
For the fourth year in a row, the CCAA slate will consist of a single round robin, with all teams meeting once for 12 matches total, and the top six sides (based on most points; three points for a league win, one for a tie) in the final regular-season standings qualifying for the 2017 CCAA Tournament. Cal State San Marcos, a new addition in 2015, is eligible for the first time.
2017 SEASON OUTLOOK
Brian McManus saw his entire 2016 starting 11 recognized in some fashion with postseason CCAA athletic honors, including seven of 11 first-teamers, with an incredible seven student-athletes gaining All-America consideration by one or both award entities. Seven of those 11 return, led by Division II Conference Commissioners Association West Region Player of the Year and CCAA Offensive Player of the Year Katie O'Laughlin (Carlsbad/Pacific Ridge School), a senior All-American whose 16 goals and 41 points were best in the West. Further unfortunate for Triton opponents, is that her lethal strike partner and fellow San Diego product Mary Reilly (Chula Vista/Hilltop HS) is also back. Reilly, a junior, added 35 points from 13 goals and nine assists, comfortably leading the CCAA in shots taken for a second successive season. The other two All-CCAA First Team returners are winger Jordyn McNutt (San Diego/University City HS) and right back Makenzie Brito, both seniors. Senior left back Aimee Ellis, redshirt sophomore holding central midfielder Natalie Saddic (San Diego/UC Davis/Torrey Pines HS) and senior central midfielder Elisa Martinez (El Cajon/University of Sioux Falls/Francis Parker School) are the remaining starters back. They are joined by the likes of Brie Diaz and fellow senior Taylor Ramos (San Diego/Coronado HS), as well as the junior duo of Summer Bales and Megumi Barber (San Diego/Mt. Carmel HS).
UCSD went 19-3 overall and a perfect 12-0 in the CCAA a year ago. A 16-game win streak was snapped in the West Region final by eventual national champion Western Washington, 2-1 in overtime in Golden, Colo. The Tritons won the CCAA Tournament for a second straight and record 10th time, as the top seed.
HEAD COACH BRIAN McMANUS
Brian McManus is in his 31st season in charge of the UC San Diego women's soccer program. With a career record of 491-90-51, he has achieved the most wins in NCAA Division II women's soccer history, and fourth-most for all divisions. McManus' winning percentage of .818 heading into 2017 ranks among the top 12 in college women's soccer annals, both overall (No. 11) and Division II only (No. 5). The six-time and reigning CCAA Coach of the Year is also third in win percentage among active Division II coaches. McManus has directed UCSD to seven national titles and a record nine CCAA crowns and 10 tournament banners (first regular-season one in 2016), with the Tritons advancing to the national semifinals a remarkable 15 times in his 30 years. Under his guidance, UCSD has qualified for the NCAA Championship all 13 seasons during the Division III days, and all but three (2004, 2013-14) of 17 years since the move up to Division II. McManus' Tritons have missed the CCAA Tournament just once in 2013, having earned 13 straight berths after joining the conference.
ABOUT THE BRONCOS
Cal Poly Pomona (7-1-1, 3-0-1 CCAA) is receiving votes just outside of the national top-25 poll, and is rated fourth in the West behind reigning national champion Western Washington, UCSD and Sonoma State. The Broncos were picked third in the CCAA preseason poll. They are a perfect 3-0 outside of Pomona, and are coming off of two 1-0 victories at home last weekend. Senior Ricki Ives (0.54 GAA, 33 saves) has started every match in goal for CPP, with five individual clean sheets, and is the reigning CCAA Player of the Week. Jay Mason is in his second season as the Broncos' head coach.
UCSD leads the all-time series, 35-13-4, and took last year's only meeting in dramatic fashion. On the final day of the regular season, host CPP scored the game's first goal in the 17th minute. The Tritons, trailing for the first and only time during the league slate, responded with two second-half goals, by strikers Mary Reilly (64th) and Katie O'Laughlin (75th), to win it 2-1 and complete their perfect CCAA season. CPP won the 2015 regular-season matchup in La Jolla, 3-2 in overtime, rallying from a 2-0 deficit. The Tritons then raced past the Broncos in the first round of the 2015 CCAA Tournament, 4-1, also in La Jolla. UCSD dropped both tilts in 2014, 1-0 at home during the regular season on an unassisted Daisy Duran goal just 2:35 into the contest, and 2-0 in Pomona in a first-round matchup of the CCAA Tournament. UCSD had swept the home-and-home series four years in a row before the teams played to a 2-2 draw in the initial 2013 meeting in La Jolla. A first-half opener by Jamie Benedetto and 70th-minute equalizer by Cassie Callahan bookended a pair of Bronco scores. The return date that year in Pomona went the way of the Tritons, 1-0, on Michelle Yasutake's strike in the 81st minute.
ABOUT THE COYOTES
Cal State San Bernardino (5-3-1, 3-1 CCAA) was favored for seventh in the CCAA preseason poll. The Coyotes have taken three straight after three losses in a row, including a 2-0 home setback to Cal State LA in their league opener. The win streak included home shutouts over Cal State Dominguez Hills (1-0) and Cal State Monterey Bay (2-0), and most recently a 2-1 overtime triumph over Cal State East Bay last Sunday. The decider in that one came from sophomore midfielder Cassandra Bermudez at 98:17. Cal State San Bernardino is 1-2-1 on the road and plays at Cal State San Marcos in its first CCAA road test of 2017 on Friday afternoon. LeBaron Hollimon is CSUSB's third-year head coach.
UCSD has largely dominated the all-time series at 33-6-6, and won 1-0 in San Bernardino last October on Aimee Ellis' unassisted tally at 58:19. The Tritons did suffer a tough 3-2 overtime defeat to the Coyotes in the prior meeting in La Jolla in 2015. They rallied from 2-0 down in that one with goals by Maxia Espino and Summer Bales over the last 15:49 of regulation, only to allow a Denae Verdine goal at the 97:00 mark. UCSD previously upset then-eighth-ranked CSUSB, 1-0, in La Jolla on Oct. 3, 2014. That result marked the Coyotes' first loss of 2014 after nine straight wins to open, with Cassie Callahan tapping in Jordyn McNutt's corner kick from close range in the 80th minute. In 2013, the teams played to a 1-1 draw in San Bernardino, before the Tritons won 2-1 in La Jolla on another late Callahan decider, in the 82nd. They split their two meetings in 2012, with the Coyotes grabbing a 1-0 overtime win in La Jolla after the Tritons had earlier posted a 1-0 victory of their own in double overtime, once again through a Callahan tally.
For the latest in Triton athletic gear, make sure to visit ucsdtritonsgear.com. Run by UCSD Athletics' online partner Advanced-Online, the site provides an on-demand option for Triton athletic apparel and merchandise. Fans have access to over 600 products that can be processed and shipped within 24 hours.
FOR THE YOUNGER CROWD
Got some young Triton fans in your family? If they are eighth grade or under, check out the Junior Triton Club. Membership includes a free t-shirt, admission to over 100 UCSD home athletic events, and much more!
The Tritons conclude this homestand next week, welcoming in city rival Cal State San Marcos for a midweek derby on Wednesday, Oct. 4, at 4:30 p.m., and then SF State on Senior Night on Friday, Oct. 6, with an approximate kickoff time of 7 p.m.