LA JOLLA, Calif. - The No. 7 University of California San Diego women's soccer team was in control throughout the 90 minutes, and was able to produce the all-important goal in the 57th courtesy of junior forward Mary Reilly, to get by Cal State San Bernardino, 1-0, in California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) action at Triton Soccer Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Winning a sixth straight game after back-to-back defeats on its Colorado road trip, UC San Diego improved to 9-2 overall and an unblemished 6-0 in the CCAA. At the midway point of their conference ledger, the Tritons have opened up a five-point bulge atop the table in defense of their 2016 regular-season title. They have now won a remarkable 20 consecutive CCAA contests dating back to 2015. Cal State San Bernardino fell to 5-5-1 overall and 3-3 in league play.
On the goal, freshman left back Delaney Whittet played the ball ahead to senior forward Katie O'Laughlin (Carlsbad/Pacific Ridge School), and the Tritons' lethal strike partnership took care of the rest. O'Laughlin took two exquisite touches, first bringing the long pass down with her chest and then with the inside of her right foot, sending a cutting, dangerous ball from the center of the field, toward the left diagonal. Reilly dribbled into the middle and lofted a perfectly-weighted right-foot shot over the goalie and into the upper right corner. It was her team-best fifth goal, with assists going to O'Laughlin and Whittet.
UCSD redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Angelica Ramos had four saves for her seventh individual clean sheet, third in a row and fifth in six games. Junior Destiny Collins also had four stops on the other side. The Tritons held a 16-6 shot advantage.
The best scoring chance of the first half came from Reilly in the 20th minute. Senior central midfielder Elisa Martinez (El Cajon/Francis Parker School) provided the through ball that put Reilly into the penalty area, but Collins did very nicely to save her right-footed shot.
Cal State San Bernardino almost equalized in the 78th minute, but Ramos tipped senior Rachael Figg's hard shot over the crossbar and out for a corner kick. Just over three minutes later, the same thing happened on the opposite end as UCSD nearly clinched it on junior forward Megumi Barber's (San Diego/Mt. Carmel HS) right-footed effort from distance. Collins tipped that one over the bar for a corner kick.
UC San Diego continues a season-long four-game homestand this Wednesday, Oct. 4, hosting city rival Cal State San Marcos (6-4, 4-2 CCAA), currently tied for third place, at 4:30 p.m. The men's game will follow at approximately 7 p.m. Admission is free into Triton Soccer Stadium on North Campus in La Jolla.
Triton Notes: The Tritons have won 20 consecutive CCAA contests and 26 in a row against CCAA opposition in all competitions (CCAA Tournament and non-conference), since a 1-0 loss at Sonoma State on Oct. 18, 2015 ... UCSD has held a 67-6 scoring advantage in those 26 games, and trailed in just one ... The Tritons have allowed just one goal during this current six-game win streak, and that was an own goal at Cal State Dominguez Hills on Sept. 22 ... UCSD remains a perfect 7-0 at home in 2017 ... The assists by Katie O'Laughlin and Delaney Whittet were their third and second this season, respectively ... With two more wins this weekend, UCSD head coach Brian McManus is now just seven shy of 500 for his legendary career.