KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The reigning NCAA Division II West Region champion University of California San Diego women's soccer program is ranked No. 5 in the United Soccer Coaches preseason poll, released on Tuesday.
UC San Diego is coming off a treble-winning campaign that also a featured a second consecutive California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) sweep of the regular-season and tournament banners. The Tritons were also fifth in the final poll of 2017, at 17-2-3 overall. They were eliminated in the national quarterfinals at home, 4-3 via penalty-kick tiebreaker, after playing to a 1-1 deadlock through 110 minutes with the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, which begins the year at No. 3.
UC San Diego will contest its home opener against another preseason top-10 club in seventh-ranked regional rival Western Washington on Saturday, Sept. 1, at 3:30 p.m. The Tritons blanked the 2016 national champion Vikings, 2-0, in the West Region final in La Jolla last Nov. 17.
The Tritons completed a second successive unbeaten CCAA slate in 2017, at 10-0-1, having gone a perfect 12-0 in league matches in 2016. They boast a 25-game undefeated streak (24-0-1) in CCAA activity, which stretches to 34 games (32-0-2) when including three straight conference tournament titles (7-0) and a pair of non-conference meetings with city foe Cal State San Marcos (1-0-1).
Just ahead of its home-opening marquee showdown with Western Washington, UC San Diego kicks things off at Concordia Irvine on Thursday afternoon, Aug. 30, at 3:30 p.m. All regular-season contests at Triton Soccer Stadium are again free to attend. Parking is still only free on weekends, like Sept. 1 against WWU. The Tritons went a near-perfect 13-0-1 in La Jolla a season ago, and are 19-0-1 at home since their last loss there, a 1-0 decision to then-No. 6 Mines on Sept. 11, 2016.
UC San Diego reports back to campus this Sunday, Aug. 12, and begins practice the following morning.
The Tritons' only other match in the upcoming regular season against a side in Tuesday's United Soccer Coaches poll, is a home date on Friday, Sept. 28, with No. 25 Sonoma State. The two CCAA rivals last met for an instant classic in the 2017 CCAA Tournament final at Triton Soccer Stadium, with UC San Diego rallying for a 4-3 win.