No. 1 Tritons Back on the Road, With Wednesday Match in San Marcos and Nationally-Televised Sunday Tilt at SF State
TRITONS BACK ON THE ROAD, LOOKING FOR ANOTHER RECORD
The No. 1-ranked University of California San Diego women's soccer program plays its first two California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) road games of 2018 this week, having completed a perfect five-match homestand. The third-place Tritons (9-0-1, 4-0 CCAA), winners of a league-best seven straight, make the short trip north to sixth-place city rival Cal State San Marcos (4-4-1, 3-1 CCAA) on Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 3, for a 12:30 p.m. derby at The Cage. UC San Diego then flies to the Bay Area on Saturday, Oct. 6, for a nationally-televised tilt at fourth-place San Francisco State (5-4-1, 3-2-1 CCAA) on Sunday, Oct. 7, at 11:35 a.m. Both matches will open doubleheaders with the ninth-ranked, also-undefeated UC San Diego men, who are an identical 9-0-1 overall. Parking is free in San Marcos on Wednesday, in the gravel lot adjacent to the field.
In the CCAA's preseason poll, UC San Diego was the favorite for a third straight year, with CSUSM sixth and SFSU seventh. The Tritons are one of two unbeatens left in the conference in terms of overall record, alongside leader Chico State (6-0-4, 5-0-1 CCAA). They are undefeated over their last 27 matches overall, at 23-0-4, equaling the program standard. The Tritons are 28-0-1 over their last 29 CCAA contests, a conference-record streak without a loss, and 37-0-2 for their last 39 against league foes in all competitions. UC San Diego is the only school in Division II with both soccer teams in the top 10 of the latest United Soccer Coaches national poll.
TRITON SOCCER MATCHDAY
Once again in 2018, 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, which are behind the spectator stand, and the Hopkins Parking Structure adjacent to RIMAC. Parking is free on Saturday and Sunday. By University policy, pets are not allowed at Triton Soccer Stadium, with the exception of service animals.
All UC San Diego home games in 2018 feature a live pay-per-view video stream on UCSDtritons.tv. The cost is $5.99 for a 24-hour window, meaning one fee for doubleheaders, and $34.99 for the entire 2018-19 academic year, to include other Triton athletics teams. Broadcasts are in high definition and can be viewed from smartphones and tablets alongside desktop and laptop computers. Seth Smith (@ItsSethESmith) handles the play-by-play duties. Events are archived. Both road games this week have live video broadcasts, for free. 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 UC San Diego Athletics Twitter handle (@UCSDtritons). You can also check out in-match Instagram stories during home dates on the UC San Diego Athletics account (@ucsdtritons). Finally, check out the CCAA live scoreboard here to keep up on results around the league.
TRITONS ON NATIONAL TELEVISION SUNDAY!
No. 1 UC San Diego's match at San Francisco State this Sunday, Oct. 7, will be televised to a national audience by ELEVEN SPORTS, with kickoff set for 11:35 a.m. at Cox Stadium on the SFSU campus. ELEVEN SPORTS is available in 55 million homes on national cable systems such as AT&T U-verse (channel 1665), DIRECTV (channel 623) and Verizon Fios (channel 597). ELEVEN can be found on various other cable and over-the-top (OTT) providers such as fuboTV, Google Fiber 251, RCN 571, Atlantic Broadband 501 and Hawaiian Telcom 1091. The game will also be available online at BAOSN.tv.
UC SAN DIEGO IN THE UNITED SOCCER COACHES POLL
• Oct. 2: 1 (1st in West)
• Sept. 25: 1 (1st in West)
• Sept. 18: 2 (1st in West)
• Sept. 11: 2 (1st in West)
• Sept. 4: 2 (1st in West)
• Preseason: 5
A LOOK BACK AT LAST WEEK
UC San Diego swept a second CCAA home weekend, edging No. 24 Sonoma State, 2-1, on Friday, before defeating Humboldt State on Sunday, 3-1. Mary Reilly and Christina Oddone scored the goals against the Seawolves, with Oddone's now her second decider, both coming within the last two minutes of the first half. On Sunday, Natalie Saddic's first of the season put the Tritons on the board in the 12th minute. Mia Bonifazi's goal before the interval went down as her second winner of 2018, with Megumi Barber clinching all three points late after the Jacks had pulled one back in the 74th.
CAL STATE SAN MARCOS CONNECTIONS
Eighth-year UC San Diego assistant coach Trent Painter is a 2011 graduate of Cal State San Marcos and former Cougar goalie ... Triton sophomore Alexis Kirson and Cougar redshirt freshman Chloe Kirson are twin sisters from Las Vegas, Nev. ... Alexis appeared in five games for UC San Diego and tallied her first collegiate goal against Cal State Monterey Bay on Sept. 14, but will not play Wednesday due to injury, while Chloe made her college debut versus Point Loma on Sept. 8.
ATOP THE POLL!
On Tuesday, UC San Diego remained the No. 1 team in the United Soccer Coaches Division II national poll for a second successive week. When the Tritons took over that spot on Sept. 25, it marked their first No. 1 ranking since Sept. 2, 2002. Triton great and current coach Kristin Jones was an All-American junior forward on that team, which began the year as the two-time defending Division II national champion. When UC San Diego took the field on Sept. 28, it was the first time it had taken the field as the No. 1 team in the land, since Sept. 2, 2002, when the lone goal in a 1-0 season-opening home win over Tusculum (TN), came from Jones in the 71st minute. Reigning national champion Central Missouri had its 32-game win streak (perfect 26-0 for first crown last year) snapped at Missouri Western in St. Joseph, Mo., on Sept. 21, 1-0, moving undefeated UC San Diego up from the No. 2 spot.
UC San Diego's current 27-game unbeaten run, at 23-0-4, is a new record for its Division II history, since 2000, and has matched the all-time program standard. The previous 27-gamer (24-0-3) was from Oct. 12, 1992, through Nov. 7, 1993, both years ending in Division III third-place finishes. The Tritons won 22 consecutive matches from Sept. 24, 2000, through Sept. 12, 2001, both those campaigns ending in national titles. They posted another lengthy 19-gamer (16-0-3) during the 2010 national runner-up year, from Sept. 19 through the Dec. 2 semifinals.
UC San Diego is an unbeaten 28-0-1 in its last 29 CCAA games and 37-0-2 over the last 39 matches against CCAA opposition, since a 1-0 loss at Sonoma State on Oct. 18, 2015. The Tritons had won 23 straight league matches prior to a 1-1 draw at Cal State East Bay last Oct. 26, and 29 straight games against CCAA foes before a scoreless tie at Cal State San Marcos last Oct. 21. UC San Diego has held a 93-15 scoring advantage and trailed in only three of those 39 matches. In 2016, the Tritons completed their league slate unbeaten and untied for the first time since joining the CCAA in 2000, at a perfect 12-0. It marked the first such effort by a CCAA squad since Sonoma State went 14-0 in 1998. UC San Diego 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. UC San Diego is the first team in CCAA women's soccer history to post back-to-back unbeaten league slates. The current 29-game run is a league record.
UC San Diego is an undefeated 25-0-1 over its last 26 home matches, dating back to a 1-0 defeat to then-sixth-ranked Colorado School of Mines on Sept. 11, 2016. The Tritons wound up 13-0-1 in La Jolla in 2017. They were winners of 19 straight at home ahead of a 1-1 draw with UC-Colorado Springs in last year's national quarterfinals, eliminated via penalty-kick tiebreaker. Thirteen marked UC San Diego's most home wins since going 15-1 in La Jolla in 2001 en route to winning its second straight Division II national title, at Triton Soccer Stadium. The only other times the Tritons have completed a home season unbeaten in their Divison II era, were 2006 (11-0-1), 2002 (9-0-1) and 2000 (12-0). Around that 2016 meeting with Mines, UC San Diego is 33-0-2 in La Jolla since its last home loss to an unranked team, a 3-2 overtime defeat to Cal State San Bernardino on Sept. 20, 2015.
Fourth-year senior striker Mary Reilly was named Sept. 18 as the United Soccer Coaches Division II and CCAA Player of the Week, both for the second time in her career. That was after her five-goal outburst in a pair of wins to open league play at home. Reilly's four-goal effort (watch here) in the 6-1 romp over Cal State Monterey Bay on Sept. 14, matched her career high, and marked her top output at Triton Soccer Stadium, having previously hit for four as a freshman at Cal State Dominguez Hills on Oct. 2, 2015. The performance included a first-half hat trick in a span of just 19:27, and bumped Reilly up over former strike partner (2015-17) Katie O'Laughlin (37) as the program's all-time goals leader for its NCAA Division II era, since 2000. The Chula Vista product began the year tied for 11th on the all-time chart, and is now tied for fifth, with 41 career tallies. The milestone 40th was the opening winner in a 2-0 non-conference home defeat of Cal State San Marcos (9/22). Reilly leads the CCAA for a fourth straight year in shots (48), as well as in goals (eight), points (16) and game-winning goals (tied-three). She got up over 300 shots for her career in that CSUSM match, now at 315.
SADDIC A STAR
Redshirt junior Natalie Saddic may not get the statistical recognition from her holding central midfield position, but the first-year Triton co-captain is again the anchor of the nation's top-ranked team. The 2017 unanimous All-American is UC San Diego's only player who has not come off the field, playing all 920 minutes thus far and leading three team shutouts through 10 matches. Offensively, Saddic helped set up both goals in a 2-0 home victory over city rival Cal State San Marcos (9/22), gaining credit for her first collegiate assist on the latter tally, and followed that up with her initial goal of 2018 to open the scoring in a 3-1 home win over Humboldt State (9/30).
Senior striker Megumi Barber on Tuesday was named the CCAA Player of the Week for the first time in her four-year career. She provided assists on the Tritons' opening goals in back-to-back wins over No. 24 Sonoma State (9/28) and Humboldt State (9/30), before also scoring the late clincher in a 3-1 victory over the Jacks. Starting for the first time in her career, Barber has laid claim to some memorable, terrific goals for the Tritons. Of her nine career tallies, six in a row had been right-footed strikes from distance, prior to a left-footed chip from inside the penalty area against HSU. Click here for the midfield strike at Division I Hawai'i (9/7), and here for the free-kick banger against Cal State Monterey Bay (9/14).
CCAA FAVORITES FOR THIRD YEAR RUNNING
Two-time defending CCAA regular-season champion UC San Diego is again the favorite to retain its crown in the 2018 preseason coaches' poll. The Tritons, also the three-time reigning CCAA Tournament champions, accumulated 136 points and seven first-place votes. UC San Diego went a perfect 12-0 during the 2016 CCAA season, and followed that up with a 10-0-1 ledger in 2017. Sonoma State, whom the Tritons edged in a thrilling 2017 CCAA final in La Jolla, 4-3, was second with 129 points and five first-place votes. Cal State LA, the 2016 tourney finalist, was third (126) with the remaining first-place nod.
Sophomores Michelle Baddour, Alexis Kirson and transfer Mia Bonifazi, along with true freshmen Ashlynn Kolarik and Christina Oddone, have notched their first collegiate goals this season. Kolarik and Oddone have been joined by Sophia Bruno, Emily Killeen, Hana Law, Marissa Ray and Lucy Tang as true freshmen to play their first collegiate games. Bonifazi made her first Triton appearance in the opener. Sydney Davey, a third-year Triton who had to sit out each of her first two seasons through separate injuries, earned her college debut in the CCAA opener against Cal State Monterey Bay.
The Tritons have used the exact same starting lineup for each of this season's first 10 contests ... UC San Diego has surrendered just 15 goals during this current 27-game unbeaten run (23-0-4) going back to last season, with an own goal, penalty kick and free kick among them, and posted 14 shutouts ... The Tritons have come out on the right side of 17 straight one-goal decisions, finishing 12-1 in such games a year ago, and with six of their nine wins this season of the one-goal variety ... UC San Diego is 7-0-3 over its last 10 matches away from home ... The Tritons have nine 1-0 victories during this 27-game undefeated run ... At the conclusion of a fourth-ever trip to Hawai'i, UC San Diego is an unbeaten 7-0-1 on O'ahu, outscoring opponents, 16-3 ... The Tritons' 2-1 victory at Hawai'i on Sept. 7 marked their first date with a Division I program in over two decades, since a 3-0 home win, also over UH on Oct. 19, 1997 ... Prior to the meeting with Hawai'i Hilo on Sept. 9, UC San Diego had last held an opponent without a single shot attempt in a 2-0 home decision over Cal State LA on Oct. 14, 2016 ... UC San Diego is 17-1-1 in season openers in its Division II era (since 2000), having suffered a lone defeat in 2014 at Seattle Pacific and outscored its opponents, 12-2, in four consecutive wins since ... The Tritons are 11-8 in CCAA openers, with three straight wins through comfortable decisions at Cal State San Marcos (4-0) in 2016, vs. Chico State (3-0) a year ago, and vs. CSUMB (6-1) on Sept. 14.
UC San Diego's 30-player 2018 roster has just three seniors in fourth-year team members Summer Bales, Megumi Barber and Mary Reilly, though Kelsey Kimball is a listed redshirt junior, also in her fourth year at the school ... Bales and Natalie Saddic are first-time team co-captains in 2018 ... Thirteen newcomers have joined the program, including 12 true freshmen ... Eight players are from San Diego, in Saddic (San Diego/Torrey Pines HS), Michelle Baddour (San Diego/University City HS), Megumi Barber (San Diego/Mt. Carmel HS), Sydney Davey (La Jolla/La Jolla HS), Caitlin McCarthy (Carlsbad/Carlsbad HS), Christina Oddone (Carlsbad/Carlsbad HS), Mary Reilly (Chula Vista/Hilltop HS) and Maddy Samilo (Rancho Bernardo/Rancho Bernardo HS) ... Sophomore forwards Mia Bonifazi (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) and Alexis Kirson (Las Vegas, Nev.) are the only two Tritons from outside of California ... 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 UC San Diego program, is in her 19th straight season as a Triton player or coach.
CCAA TOURNAMENT REMAINS IN LA JOLLA
UC San Diego is the proud host of the 2018 CCAA Tournament semifinals and finals for the second consecutive year and fifth time in all. Two women's and two men's semifinals will be contested at Triton Soccer Stadium on Friday, Nov. 2, with the two finals set for Sunday, Nov. 4. Exact times are to be determined. First-round matchups take place on the campuses of the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds on Tuesday, Oct. 30. In all four instances that UC San Diego has served as the host, the Triton women have won the event, in 2001, 2006, 2008 and 2017. The women's champion once again earn the CCAA's automatic berth into the NCAA Championship.
CCAA FORMAT UNCHANGED
For the fifth year in a row, the CCAA slate consists 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 2018 CCAA Tournament.
2018 SEASON OUTLOOK
UC San Diego is led offensively and defensively by Mary Reilly (Chula Vista/Hilltop HS) and Natalie Saddic (San Diego/Torrey Pines HS), respectively. Reilly began a fourth and final season up top with 33 career goals, and as the CCAA's shots leader by a wide margin in each of her first three years. Saddic is back at holding central midfielder after a rash of injuries forced her to center back for the 2017 postseason. The third-year transfer from UC Davis was a unanimous All-American, and the CCAA Defensive Player of the Year and CCAA Tournament Most Valuable Defensive Player last fall. Joining Reilly as fourth-year Tritons are winger Summer Bales, forward Megumi Barber (San Diego/Mt. Carmel HS), and Kelsey Kimball, who takes over at center back after sitting out the entire 2017 season through injury. Barber is Reilly's new strike partner. True sophomores Delaney Whittet and Natalie Widmer return around Kimball at left and right back, respectively. Redshirt junior goalkeeper Angelica Ramos, the 2017 CCAA Newcomer of the Year, also is back from injury, with sophomore Katie Wilkes having taken over for the three NCAA Championship matches last November after Ramos left the CCAA final with a season-ending injury. Caitlin McCarthy (Carlsbad/Carlsbad HS) remains in central midfield, with fellow true sophomores and locals Michelle Baddour (San Diego/University City HS) and Maddy Samilo (Rancho Bernardo/Rancho Bernardo HS) slotting into the starting spots in central midfield and on the right wing, respectively. Baddour has taken over the No. 10 shirt.
UC San Diego went 17-2-3 overall and an unbeaten 10-0-1 in the CCAA a year ago. The season ended with a 17-game undefeated streak (14-0-3) as the Tritons played to a 1-1 home draw with UC-Colorado Springs in the national quarterfinals, and were eliminated via penalty-kick tiebreaker. That was after a second successive showdown with Western Washington in the West Region final, this one going to UC San Diego in front of the home crowd, 2-0, to complete its treble. The regular-season champion Tritons won the CCAA Tournament for a third straight and record 11th time, as the top-seeded host.
ABOUT THE COUGARS
Cal State San Marcos (4-4-1, 3-1 CCAA) is coming off a split home weekend, blanking Humboldt State 2-0 on Friday before suffering a 1-0 defeat Sunday to 24th-ranked Sonoma State. The Cougars, who joined the league in 2015, qualified for their first CCAA Tournament a season ago in their initial year of Division II postseason eligibility. They drew 1-1 at Chico State before knocking off the No. 4 seed, 5-3 via penalty-kick tiebreaker. CSUSM then lost 1-0 in the tourney semifinals against host and top seed, UC San Diego. Bobby Renneisen is in his fifth season in charge of the Cougars, who are 4-3-1 at home.
UC San Diego leads the all-time series, 6-0-2, with a 2-0 non-conference triumph in La Jolla on Sept. 22 through goals by Mary Reilly and Maddy Samilo. The city rivals met three times a year ago, all tight affairs, resulting in two narrow Triton victories and a scoreless draw. UC San Diego won 1-0 at home in the CCAA matchup on Oct. 4, the lone goal coming at 3:43 as Katie O'Laughlin headed home Summer Bales' corner kick at the back post. The sides drew 0-0 in San Marcos in non-conference action on Oct. 21. It was another 1-0 decision for UC San Diego in the CCAA Tournament semifinals, thanks to Samilo's 67th-minute winner. The Cougars suffered a 4-0 thrashing in San Marcos in 2016, with four different Triton goal-scorers in the teams' CCAA opener. The Tritons produced a pair of 2-0 shutout victories in La Jolla in October of 2015, one in conference play and the latter in non-conference. The city foes previously played to a scoreless draw in La Jolla on Sept. 3, 2008. The Cougars have actually never scored on the Tritons, spanning 760 minutes.
ABOUT THE GATORS
San Francisco State (5-4-1, 3-2-1 CCAA) is an even 2-2 at home and hosts Cal State San Marcos on Friday afternoon, prior to welcoming in the Tritons. The Gators, like the Cougars, split a home weekend last week. They were edged 2-1 by Cal State LA on Friday, before shutting out Cal State Dominguez Hills, 1-0, on Sunday. Tracy Hamm is in her fourth season in charge at SF State.
UC San Diego leads the all-time series, 17-3-6, with a 1-0 home win last Oct. 6 courtesy of a 49th-minute Elisa Martinez penalty kick, and a 2-0 road win in 2016 through a Mary Reilly brace. The Tritons blanked the Gators 2-0 in La Jolla on Oct. 11, 2015, thanks to goals by then-freshmen Reilly and Danielle Nunn over the final 13 minutes. The teams played to a scoreless draw in San Francisco on Oct. 19, 2014. The Tritons had swept two-game sets in both 2011 and 2012 while San Francisco State was a fellow member of the CCAA South, and had won five straight in all, prior to a 1-1 tie in La Jolla on Oct. 25, 2013. UC San Diego had not allowed a goal to the Gators over 338:35 prior to Stephanie Vanni's 29th-minute opener. The equalizer came off of a free kick with just 30 seconds left in the first half. The Tritons are still unbeaten against San Francisco State over their last 12 (8-0-4), including another 1-1 tie in Turlock in the semifinals of the 2010 CCAA Tournament before the Gators advanced on penalty kicks, 4-3. They have again not surrendered a goal to the Gators over the last 461:27, since Vanni's goal in 2013. Reilly has three goals in three games against SFSU.
HOMECOMING AND HALL OF FAME WEEKEND
During UC San Diego Homecoming weekend, Oct. 19-21, all-time leading scorer Heather (Mauro) Hilliard (1986-89) will be inducted into the UC San Diego Athletics Hall of Fame. She will become the third member of the women's soccer program to be so honored, after Ele Johnson (Class of 2013) and Julia Cuder (2014).
On Nov. 27, 2017, UC San Diego was officially invited to become a member of the NCAA Division I Big West Conference. The Tritons will begin a four-year reclassification period starting in the fall of 2020. They will play a full Big West schedule that season and will be eligible for the NCAA Championship in men's volleyball, men's and women's water polo, and fencing. For the 2024-25 academic year, all sports will be eligible to compete in Big West and NCAA Division I championships. Read the full press release here.
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UC San Diego rounds out this season-long four-game road stretch next week, at Cal State San Bernardino on Friday, Oct. 12, at 3 p.m., and at Cal Poly Pomona on Sunday, Oct. 14, at 2 p.m.
About UC San Diego Athletics
With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country. The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in summer 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference. UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's preeminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent. A total of 80 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 36 have earned prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships. In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.
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