HAYWARD, Calif. - Annette Ilg scored the game-winning goal the 50th minute as the No. 9 UC San Diego women's soccer team extended its winning streak to nine matches with a 1-0 victory at Cal State East Bay in California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) play Friday night in Hayward.
The Tritons are now unbeaten in their last 12 matches, compiling a 13-2-2 overall record and an 11-2-2 record in the CCAA. The Pioneers fall to 6-9-3 overall and 4-9-2 in CCAA play and remain in last place in the CCAA South Division.
After the teams battled to a scoreless draw to end the first half, Ilg spent little time getting the Tritons on the board in the final stanza. It would take her just 50 seconds after the opening whistle to fire off a shot wide-right of frame. However, less than five minutes later, Anne Wethe would find Ilg in behind the Pioneer defense, providing Ilg with a one-on-one with the goalkeeper. Ilg would finish her shot from eight yards out, giving UCSD just the edge it needed to close out the match.
Ilg leads all Triton attackers with eight goals, eighth-best in the conference. Wethe has dished out four assists on the year.
In a match in which UCSD outshot CSUEB, 10-6, the Tritons took it to the Pioneers from the opening whistle. Sarah McTigue was able to get off a shot within the first minute of the match and the Tritons followed with four shots within the first 20 minutes. UCSD goalkeeper Kristin Armstrong was only forced to make two saves in the match, the first coming on a header from CSUEB's Breanna Baker in the 32nd minute. McTigue had a pair of shots, with Shelby Wong, Jessica Wi, Hayley Johnson, Rachel Leslie, and Wethe also logging shots.
Having already clinched a spot in the four-team CCAA post-season tournament, UCSD trails Cal State L.A. by a single point for the top spot in the CCAA South after CSULA matched the Tritons' victory with a 4-1 drubbing of Cal State San Bernardino on Friday night. UCSD, who has 35 points, will need help from CSULA's Sunday opponent, Cal Poly Pomona, if it is to take the top seed from the Golden Eagles, who sit in first with 36 points. CPP took down CSULA in the pair's last tilt in overtime, 2-1, on Sept. 24th.
UCSD can clinch the CCAA postseason tournament's top-seed with a win over CSUEB and a CSULA loss to CPP, or a win versus CSUEB and a CSULA tie with CPP. If UCSD ties and CSULA loses, UCSD and CSULA would finish the regular season with 36 points apiece, however, CSULA would win the tie-breaker with a +1 goal differential in matches between the squads this year. CSULA beat UCSD, 3-1, on Sept. 10 before falling to the Tritons, 1-0, on Oct. 10.
In the CCAA, the North and South Division winners plus the next two teams with the highest point totals advance to a four-team single elimination tournament to determine the CCAA champion and automatic entrant into the NCAA Division II Championship. UCSD and CSULA have already clinched postseason births, but still are battling for the top seed. San Francisco State (32 points) sits in first place in the CCAA North and has already clinched a postseason bid as well, but can only qualify for the No. 2 seed if SFSU wins and UCSD loses. Cal State Stanislaus (2nd place, CCAA North, 28 points) and Cal State Dominguez Hills (3rd place, CCAA South, 28 points) are battling for the fourth and final seed.
The Tritons have won three of the previous five CCAA championships ranging back to 2005, their last coming during the 2008 campaign.
UCSD will honor seniors Ilg and Lisa Bradley before facing CSUEB on Sunday, Oct. 31 at 2:00 p.m. at Triton Soccer Field.