Match 23 - NCAA Championship Semifinals
vs. No. 3 Grand Valley State
Thursday, Nov. 29 • 2 p.m. PT
Blanchard Woods Park • Evans, Ga.
TRITONS OFF TO GEORGIA IN SEARCH OF EIGHTH CROWN
UCSD travels cross-country this Monday, Nov. 26, with a final destination of Evans, Ga., for the showcase event of the 2012 NCAA Division II Soccer Championship. The semifinals and title matches for both the men and women of Division II will take place at Blanchard Woods Park, with the Peach Belt Conference serving as the host. The 48-team championship field is all the way down to the final four. The second-seeded West Region champion Tritons (16-2-4) will take on top-seeded Midwest Region winner Grand Valley State (20-1-3) in the first semifinal on Thursday, Nov. 29. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. PT. Top-seeded South Region winner West Florida (22-1) faces third-seeded East Region champion Saint Rose in the second semifinal that same day at 5 p.m. PT. The winners will meet on Saturday, Dec. 1, at 12 p.m. PT to conclude the 25th edition of the tournament and determine the 2012 NCAA Division II women's soccer champion. UCSD will be the designated visitor against GVSU.
The 2012 NCAA Division II Semifinals feature four teams that have either won the national championship or finished as national runners-up over the previous four seasons. UCSD dropped the 2010 title match to Grand Valley State, which is making a fourth straight semifinal appearance and has played in three consecutive finals, winning back-to-back national titles in 2009 and 2010 before being edged, 2-1, by Saint Rose a year ago. Saint Rose is a semifinalist for a fifth year in a row, having posted three third-place showings in the lead-up to the 2011 crown. West Florida lost 1-0 (2OT) in the 2008 final to Seattle Pacific and returned to the semifinal round again in 2009.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY
The Tritons are in search of an eighth national title. The first five came during the NCAA Division III days, with the last two coming in UCSD's first two seasons at the Division II level (2000, 2001). UCSD has subsequently made eight consecutive NCAA tournaments and 12 of 13 since moving to Division II. The Tritons take a record of 22-8-3 in NCAA Division II Championship games heading to Georgia.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP TICKETS
Tickets for the championship are $10 a day general admission for adults, and $5 a day for seniors (65+), students and military personnel, all with identification. Children two years of age and under will be admitted free.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP COVERAGE
All three games of the final weekend of the 2012 NCAA Division II Women's Soccer Championship will have live webcasts and live stats available, free of charge. The broadcasts, produced by NCAA Productions, will feature commentary by Kyle Binder. Fans can access the links through both NCAA.com and UCSDtritons.com.
McMANUS ATOP DIVISION II WINS LIST
With the 2-1 overtime victory over Western Washington on Nov. 16, Brian McManus achieved win No. 433 in his 26th season as the UCSD head coach. That number puts him one win ahead of Gabe Mejail of Merrimack (MA) for the most all-time among NCAA Division II women's soccer coaches. McManus has led the Tritons to seven national titles, with five in Division III and two in Division II, as well as a record eight California Collegiate Athletic Association crowns. All-time regardless of division or active status, McManus ranks fourth in wins and seventh in winning percentage (.839).
REMATCH OF 2010 FINAL
When UCSD and GVSU meet on Nov. 29, it will serve as a rematch of the 2010 national championship game, which went to the Lakers, 4-0, under frigid conditions (high 20s, light snow) in Louisville, Ky. From the current Triton roster, four players (Danielle Dixon, Hayley Johnson, Jessica Wi, Ellen Wilson) started that match, as did first-year assistant coach Sarah McTigue, while Gabi Hernandez and Rachel Leslie came off the bench. GVSU had four current players start that contest, and five appear as substitutes. Kayla Addison accounted for the game-winning assist in the first half and scored the fourth goal late.
FABULOUS 15 FOR McMANUS
The trip to Georgia this week marks UCSD head coach Brian McManus' to the NCAA Semifinals in his 26 seasons in charge. McManus took 10 Triton squads to the Division III semifinals, with five national crowns, and now awaits a fifth Division II semifinal match (3-1 record).
The Tritons were ranked No. 5 in the final regular-season NSCAA/Continental Tire national poll. The ranking matched UCSD's season high from Sept. 25. Of the participants in Georgia, semifinal opponent GVSU is No. 3, West Florida is No. 2, and defending national champion Saint Rose is No. 20.
SCOUTING THE LAKERS
Grand Valley State University (20-1-3, 11-1-1 GLIAC) is located in Allendale, Mich. The Lakers are making their fourth straight NCAA Semifinals appearance. They have 10 NCAA Division II Championship berths to their credit, all coming over these past 10 years. To make it to Georgia this season, GVSU knocked off Rockhurst (3-1) and UW-Parkside (2-0), before outlasting No. 17 Minnesota State on penalty kicks, 5-4, following a dramatic 2-2 draw. The Lakers had taken a 2-0 advantage into the final 10 minutes of that affair at home on Nov. 18, before seeing the visiting Mavericks draw level with goals in the 83rd and 86th minutes. GVSU was an automatic NCAA qualifier as the tournament champion for the sixth straight year of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). Senior goalkeeper Chelsea Parise is the 2012 Daktronics Midwest Region Player of the Year and GLIAC Defensive Player of the Year. She has posted a 0.34 goals-against average to lead the nation. As a team, GVSU is tops nationally in goals-against average (0.365) and shutout percentage (0.75), with 18 clean sheets among its 24 matches. The Lakers have allowed just nine goals in an even 2220 minutes this season. The team is led offensively by its senior striker tandem of Ashley Botts (17 G, 5 A) and Kayla Addison (12 G, 5 A). Freshman Casey McMillan and senior Maria Brown have added nine goals and five helpers apiece. Senior Alyssa Mira has provided a team-best nine assists to go along with her three goals. The Lakers are 7-1-1 outside of Allendale, 0-0-3 in overtime and 1-0-2 against ranked foes in 2012. GVSU has not played away from its home venue since Oct. 28. Dave Dilanni is 197-17-17 in his 10th season as the GVSU women's head coach, all resulting in trips to the NCAA postseason.
UCSD is 0-1 all-time against the Lakers, having dropped a 4-0 decision in the 2010 NCAA Division II championship game in Louisville, Ky.
SCOUTING THE ARGONAUTS
The University of West Florida (22-1, 0-0 GSC) is out of Pensacola, Fla., with the Argonauts members of the Gulf South Conference (GSC). West Florida qualified automatically for the NCAA postseason as the champions of the GSC Tournament. Winners of 11 straight, the Argos beat North Alabama (4-2), Tampa (2-0) and Armstrong (1-0), all at home, to advance to Georgia. Of those seven goals, junior forward Chelsea Palmer has scored one and assisted on five others. Palmer leads the squad for the season with 46 points from 14 goals and 18 assists. Junior teammates Shelby Bush (15 G, 6 A) and Sashana Campbell (11 G, 6 A) follow Palmer on the points chart. Sarah Story, another junior, is the regular West Florida goalkeeper (0.57 GAA, 86 Saves, 12 Sho). UWF is a perfect 9-0 away from Pensacola and 4-1 against ranked teams this season. The Argos have not contested a single overtime match in 2012, or had to play on the road since Oct. 28. Joe Bartlinski is the West Florida head coach.
UCSD and West Florida have never met in women's soccer.
SCOUTING THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS
The College of Saint Rose (20-2-2, 12-1-2 NE-10), the defending national champion, is making a fifth straight appearance in the semifinal round of the NCAA Division II Championship. The Golden Knights, out of Albany, N.Y., had their stretch of five straight Northeast-10 Conference (NE-10) titles snapped in the semifinal round of their tournament, and thus earned at-large qualification into the 48-team NCAA field to extend their streak to seven straight NCAA postseason appearances. Saint Rose has won four straight matches since then, all away from home, to get to Georgia, and 12 of its last 13, outscoring opponents 30-5 during that span. Junior forward Carmelina Puopolo, the 2012 Daktronics East Region Player of the Year, leads all of Division II in assists (17) and total points (57), having scored a team-leading 20 goals. Junior midfielder Sydney Bond has 13 goals and four assists. A third junior, California native (Harbor City) Jessica Gerski, is Saint Rose's starting goalie (0.42 GAA, 64 Saves). Saint Rose is an undefeated 11-0-1 outside of Albany, 0-1-2 in overtime and 2-1 against ranked sides this season. Of the 12 goals the Golden Knights have surrendered in 2012, only one has come in the first half. Two-time NSCAA National Coach of the Year (2009, 2011) Laurie Darling Gutheil is in her 17th season at the helm.
UCSD is 1-0 against Saint Rose, having edged the Golden Knights, 1-0, in the 2010 NCAA Semifinals in Louisville, Ky. It was the only loss that Saint Rose suffered that season as the then-top-ranked Golden Knights finished 21-1. Annette Ilg tallied the lone goal of the match at 55:41, with current Triton assistant coach Sarah McTigue providing the assist. The match was played in temperatures in the low 30s with snow flurries.
ROAD TO GEORGIA GOES THROUGH DENVER
UCSD got through the NCAA Third Round/Quarterfinals at Metro State in Denver, Nov. 16-18, thanks to an overtime winner (90:51) by Gabi Hernandez against No. 23 Western Washington (2-1) and a second triumphant penalty-kick tiebreaker this postseason against No. 15 Colorado Mines (6-5) following a scoreless draw. Kelcie Brodsky stopped three shots in that tiebreaker, and senior Alexa Enlow converted the decisive spot-kick.
LOTS OF EXTRA SOCCER
UCSD has played 10 overtime matches this season, going 5-1-4 in those contests. The Tritons have kept their 2012 campaign alive through four consecutive overtime games this postseason, with sudden-victory winners coming from Jessica Wi (2OT vs. SPU) and Gabi Hernandez (OT vs. WWU), in between a pair of penalty-kick tiebreak successes. This is the most overtime matches the Tritons have had since at least the 2000 season.
GABI THE GOAL-GETTER
Senior tri-captain Gabi Hernandez has really stepped up her scoring prowess in this, the final postseason of her college career. Leading up to the scoreless draw with Colorado Mines in Denver on Nov. 18, she had notched a goal in four straight matches to begin the Tritons' second season. The run has included winners against Stanislaus and Western Washington. Hernandez also converted her kicks in tiebreakers against Sonoma State and Mines.
FIVE TRITONS NAMED TO DAKTRONICS ALL-REGION SQUADS
Cassie Callahan and seniors Hayley Johnson, Jessica Wi and Ellen Wilson were selected on Nov. 19 to the Daktronics All-West Region First Team, with Gabi Hernandez earning a spot on the second team. It was a second such honor for Johnson in as many years, and third for Wilson after second-team nods as a freshman and junior.
WRITE THEIR NAMES IN INK
Senior defenders Hayley Johnson and Ellen Wilson have each started all 89 games that UCSD has played since they stepped foot onto the La Jolla campus. Johnson has generally played at left back, with Wilson a center back in head coach Brian McManus' traditional three-defender alignment. Alongside forward Gabi Hernandez, the three fourth-year seniors are tri-captains this season. Wilson is the only Triton to have played every minute in 2012. She has led UCSD field players in minutes played in each of her four years.
BRODSKY DOING WONDERS IN NET
The Tritons have not missed a beat following the departure to graduation of two-time All-American goalkeeper and 2011 CCAA Most Valuable Defensive Player Kristin Armstrong, thanks to the play of Kelcie Brodsky. The true freshman out of Agoura Hills has started all 22 games thus far and posted league-leading numbers of a 0.56 goals-against average and .884 save percentage. Her goals-against average ranks her 12th in the nation in the NCAA Division II. The All-CCAA Second Team pick is seventh in save percentage. Most recently, Brodsky posted her ninth shutout through 110 minutes of scoreless soccer before saving three attempts in the Nov. 18 penalty-kick tiebreaker with Colorado Mines to lead UCSD through to the NCAA Semifinals.
JOHNSON ON ASSISTS CHART
Hayley Johnson is fifth on the program's all-time assists list with 33 over her stellar four-year career. She is tied for third on the team in 2012 with six assists after back-to-back team-leading double-figure season totals of 10 in 2010 and 14 in her All-America 2011 campaign. Earlier this year, Johnson passed current UCSD assistant coach and former Triton All-American Kristin Jones' total of 29 assists from 2000-03. She is three helpers away from tying a trio of former program greats in second.
NEW ONLINE STORE
Triton Athletics is excited to announce a new partnership with Advanced-Online which provides a web-based, on-demand option for UCSD apparel and merchandise. Fans now have access to over 600 products that can be processed and shipped within 24 hours. Advanced-Online also offers special-event and championship gear. Access the site at UCSDTritonsGear.com.
FOLLOW THE TRITONS
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