GOLDEN, Colo. - Ninth-ranked University of California San Diego gave up an early opener and couldn't recover in losing to Colorado School of Mines, 4-0, in a non-conference women's soccer match between formidable foes Friday night at Stermole Stadium.
The match pitted UC San Diego, the California Collegiate Athletic Association regular-season and tournament champion a year ago and preseason favorite, with a Mines squad that did its own double in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) en route to the national quarterfinals in 2016, and is the 2017 favorite.
UC San Diego suffered its first defeat in its initial road test of 2017, dropping to 3-1. Mines improved to 2-1. The Orediggers were ranked sixth nationally before a split of the first weekend pushed them into the receiving votes category.
The Tritons had an early chance after a clever dummy enabled freshman midfielder Natalie Widmer to take a right-footed shot on goal from the edge of the penalty area on the right side, but Mines goalie Shannon Mooney went low to her left to save it.
The Orediggers then took the lead in the 15th, as Jennifer Kendall slammed home Emily Garnier’s free kick for her first goal of 2017.
The home side doubled the advantage with just under 10 minutes to play in the opening period. Hannah Stoner beat her defender to an awry back pass and lifted her right-footed shot over redshirt sophomore Triton goalkeeper Angelica Ramos.
Colorado Mines effectively salted the game away in the 53rd minute on Kendall's second of the night. She finished off teammate Julia Hawn's saved effort. The Orediggers capped the scoring through Brooke Stoermer in the 80th off a corner kick. Assists went to Emily Townsend and Haley Cole.
Ramos was credited with four saves. Mooney had five stops for the Mines shutout.
Mines won last year's meeting in La Jolla, 1-0, through a long-distance late strike. The teams' only other matchup was a scoreless draw in the quarterfinals of the 2012 NCAA Championship, with UCSD advancing via penalty-kick tiebreaker.
The last time the Tritons surrendered four goals in a game was in a 4-1 loss at Stanislaus State on Oct. 4, 2013. It was indeed the first time they lost by more than one goal since the 2014 finale at Cal Poly Pomona, 2-0, on Nov. 2. The result marked UCSD's first four-goal setback since another 4-0 defeat in the 2010 national championship game to Grand Valley State in Louisville, Ky.
UCSD remains in Colorado to take on Regis University in Denver this Sunday, Sept. 10, at 11 a.m. PT. The Rangers were preseason favorites for second in the RMAC.