LA JOLLA, Calif. -
The No. 2 UC San Diego women's soccer team will open the 2011 campaign with a trip to the Northwest to take on Western Washington and No. 10 Seattle Pacific.
Match No. 1
No. 2 UCSD (0-0) at Western Washington (0-0)
Thursday, Apr. 1 - 7:00 p.m.
Orca Field - Bellingham, Wash.
Match No. 2
No. 2 UCSD (0-0) at No. 10 Seattle Pacific (0-0)
Saturday, Apr. 3 - 7:00 p.m.
Interbay Stadium - Seattle, Wash.
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2011- A LOOK AHEAD
UCSD enters the 2011 campaign as the second-ranked team in NCAA Division II, fresh off its run to the national championship match in 2010. Brian McManus' squad returns a total of 17 letterwinners from last season, including nine players who started in both games of the Final Four. In addition, eight new Tritons- five freshman, two junior college transfers and a sophomore- will be injected into the 2011 Triton squad. Noticeably absent from this year's team will be two-time All-American Lisa Bradley and 2010 CCAA Newcomer of the Year Annette Ilg, who have moved on from La Jolla. It won't take long for the Tritons to see if their No. 2 ranking will hold up - two of the ladies' first three games are against Top 25 teams.
2010 AT A GLANCE
Triton women's soccer put together one of its finest seasons at the Division II level in 2010, going 19-3-3 and reaching its first national championship game since taking home the title in 2001. UCSD finished second in the CCAA South to Cal State L.A. and fell in the CCAA Tournament First Round to San Francisco State, but rebounded to take down SFSU, BYU-Hawaii, Seattle Pacific and St. Edward's to advance to the Final Four. The Tritons ousted undefeated No. 1 St. Rose in the national semifinal before falling to Grand Valley State in the national championship match. In all, UCSD players totaled 20 different postseason accolades, led by Division II All-Americans Bradley and Kristin Armstrong.
ON THE ROAD... AGAIN
Last season it was widely noted that the women's soccer team traveled nearly 12,100 miles in the air during the NCAA Tournament with postseason trips to Hawaii, Texas and Kentucky. UCSD is picking up right where it left off last December and will be on the road for its first seven contests in September. The Tritons play at Western Washington, Seattle Pacific, Cal State LA, Cal State San Bernardino, San Francisco State, Cal Poly Pomona and Cal State Dominguez Hills, before finally returning home on September 25 for three consecutive home matches. Last year, the Tritons went 8-1-2 away from Triton Soccer Field.
UCSD kicks-off the season in Bellingham, Wash. against the Western Washington Vikings at 7:00 p.m. WWU was recently picked to finish second in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches Poll and will return eight starters from a 2010 squad that finished fourth in the GNAC with a 10-4-4 overall and 7-4-3 conference record. The Viking defense allowed a mere 10 goals in 18 games a year ago, and the team handed GNAC Champion Seattle Pacific its only conference loss. UCSD is 4-0 all-time against WWU
BATTLE IN SEATTLE
After their bout with WWU, the Tritons will head south for a Top 10 clash at 10th-ranked Seattle Pacific. It hasn't been too long since the two last tangled; UCSD bounced SPU 1-0 in the NCAA Sweet 16 just a season ago. SPU returns nine starters from the team that compiled a 16-2-2 overall record in 2010, won its seventh GNAC title and earned its eighth straight postseason invitation. The Falcons are picked to win the GNAC once again in 2011. Saturday's contest will mark the first regular season match-up between the two programs. SPU and UCSD have split four NCAA Tournament matches with two wins apiece.
Kristin Armstrong (Sr., GK) - A Division II All-American, All-NCAA Tournament Team selection and All-CCAA First Team honoree, Armstrong returns to lead a Triton defense that gave up a conference-low 0.62 goals per game in 2010. Armstrong posted four consecutive shutouts in the first four rounds of the NCAA Tournament and had a CCAA-best 0.63 goals against average. With three of four starters returning on the Triton back line, Armstrong is poised for another stellar year.
Sarah McTigue (Sr., F) - A starter for all 25 contests a year ago, McTigue finished second on the team with nine goals and 21 points. McTigue led the Tritons with 58 shots - 26 on frame - and accounted for four game-winning goals. She will shoulder much of the offensive load for the Tritons until someone steps up to take the place of leading goal scorer and 2010 CCAA Newcomer of the Year, Annette Ilg.
Anne Wethe (Sr., MF) - One of five Tritons to account for double-digit points in 2010, Wethe scored three goals and added four assists during her junior campaign. Wethe scored three game winners, and played 1,934 minutes at center-mid, the most minutes played by a Triton midfielder in 2010.
Hayley Johnson (Jr., D) - UCSD's dead-ball specialist, Johnson has the capability to bend the ball in with her left and right foot from either side of the field. Johnson led the team with 10 assists in 2010, including two during the NCAA Tournament. She also logged the third-most minutes on the team (2,293) behind fellow defenders Ellen Wilson (2,320) and Sara Spaventa (2,307).
The second-ranked Tritons had quite the summer. UCSD traveled to Costa Rica in late July to train with the National Team, do a bit of exploring and enjoy the beaches and jungles of Central America. To read about the team's trip, visit Tritons on the Road - International Edition 2011.