The loss makes UCSD 14-2-3 overall and snaps its 10-match win streak and 13-match unbeaten run. SFSU is now 11-4-4 and advances to the CCAA championship game to face Cal State L.A., who beat Cal State Stanislaus in double-overtime on Friday night, 2-1.
Annette Ilg opened the scoring for UCSD in the 13th minute, knocking in a shot in front of the goalmouth off a cross from Hayley Johnson. Ilg, the 2010 CCAA Newcomer of the Year, leads the Tritons with nine goals scored on the year.
The Gators would tie the match five minutes into the second half, as Carly Bliss headed home a cross from Myriah Johnson. The goal would amount to the only shot on frame for SFSU throughout the entire 110 minutes played.
UCSD goalkeeper Kristin Armstrong was forced to make zero saves on the night, as the Tritons out-shot the Gators, 18-10. Shelby Wong led UCSD with five shots, two on-frame, while Ilg fired off four shots, three on-frame.
"We just didn't finish our chances," said UCSD head coach Brian McManus. "We had a lot more opportunities in the box than they did but we didn't cash in."
After both teams missed their opening attempts in the penalty kick shootout, SFSU's Nicole Vanni and UCSD's Lisa Bradley scored to make it 1-1. The next two shooters for each team would make their attempts, bringing it to 3-3. Allison Day would miss the Gators' final attempt, giving Triton forward Sarah McTigue a chance to send her team to Sunday's final.
However, McTigue couldn't find the net from the spot, allowing Myriah Johnson to make it 4-3 after converting the Gators' next kick. Ilg couldn't score on her do-or-die attempt, giving SFSU a ticket to the CCAA championship match.
"When we went to penalty kicks, their keeper made a couple of good saves. You've got to give her credit, and we just missed two," said McManus. "You put those two factors together and you're not going to win too many shootouts."
The loss marks the second year in a row the Tritons have lost in the CCAA semifinal in penalty kicks. UCSD lost to Cal State Dominguez in similar fashion after tying the Toros 1-1 through full-time, falling 5-3 in penalties on Nov. 6, 2009.
UCSD, the third-ranked team in the NCAA Division II West Region, will await its fate as the NCAA selection committee determines seeds and sites this Monday for the first and second rounds of the NCAA Division II Championships held on Veterans Day weekend, Nov. 12-14. BYU-Pacific and Seattle Pacific are currently ranked number one and number two, respectively, in the West Region.