Photo by: UCSD
UCSD Earns No. 3 Seed in West Region of NCAA Division II Championships
The winner of the UCSD-SFSU match-up will advance to face No. 2 seed BYU-Hawaii on Saturday night at 10: 00 p.m. PST.
Fourth-seeded Cal State L.A. will square off with No. 5 Montana State in the other West Sub-Regional, with host and top-seeded Seattle Pacific awaiting the winner.
The Tritons received an at-large berth into this year's NCAA Championships when they failed to take home the California Collegiate Athletic Association's (CCAA) automatic bid. UCSD entered the semifinals of the CCAA Championships last weekend on a 10-match win streak, earning the No. 2 seed behind top-seeded CSULA. Annette Ilg scored the opening goal against SFSU; however, the Gators would tie the match, 1-1, and go on to prevail in penalty-kicks, 4-3. It marked the second consecutive season that the Tritons were eliminated in a penalty kick shootout in the CCAA semifinal round.
Unbeaten in 13 of its last 14 contests, UCSD enters the NCAA Tournament with an overall record of 14-2-3.
Kickoff for the Tritons' bout with the Gators is scheduled for 10:00 p.m. PST at BYU-Hawaii's Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park.
Neither game between UCSD and SFSU this season was decided in regulation time. On October 1, the teams battled to a 0-0 tie through 110 minutes of play, before the Gators beat the Tritons in a shoot-out after their 1-1 draw at the CCAA Championships on November 5.
UCSD head coach Brian McManus expects this Thursday's game to be just as tight.
"San Francisco State is a top quality team and they have shown it in the two times we have played them so far," said McManus. "We've tied twice and in a tournament like this, anything can happen."
SFSU enters the NCAA Tournament on the heels of its first CCAA Conference Championship in program history after defeating CSULA, 3-2, in a penalty kick shootout on Sunday. The Gators finished the season with an 11-4-5 overall record.
BYU-Hawaii enters the tournament having won 10 of its last 11 contests. The Seasiders won an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament after taking home the regular season Pacific West Conference title with a 12-1-1 record.
The winner of the BYU-Hawaii Sub-Regional and the winner of the Seattle Pacific Sub-Regional will meet at the highest remaining seed's home field to determine champion of the West Region. The West Region Champion will be one of eight teams advancing to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals.
The semifinals and championship matches will be played and Dec. 2 and 4 at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky.
UCSD has qualified for the NCAA Tournament 23 out of the last 24 years and has won seven national titles during that span. The Tritons' last national championship came in 2001, when UCSD won back-to-back titles in the program's first two seasons at the Division II level.
The Tritons were selected as hosts of the opening rounds of the 2009 NCAA Division II Championships. UCSD beat the Chico State, 2-1, in the second round before falling to Cal State Dominguez in the third round, once again in penalty-kicks.