UCSD HOSTS MIDDLE OF NORTH DIVISION NEEDING WINS
The Tritons conclude a season-long six-match home stretch this weekend, playing host to the two squads in the middle of the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) North Division standings. UCSD takes on fourth-place San Francisco State on Friday, Oct. 25, at 4:30 p.m., and third-place Cal State Monterey Bay on Sunday, Oct. 27, at 11:30 a.m., at Triton Soccer Stadium. The Tritons are in third in the South, seven points behind leader Cal State San Bernardino and two back of Cal State L.A., at 5-5-4 overall and 4-4-4 in league play. Both games will serve as openers to doubleheaders with the 18th-ranked UCSD men, and have live stats. All regular-season matches at Triton Soccer Stadium are free to attend.
TRITONS ROCK HUNGER
The Triton Athletes' Council is joining with other campus organizations to collect canned goods and other non-perishable food items this week. Items collected will be donated to the San Diego Food Bank. Red barrels will be located at Triton Soccer Stadium, Canyonview Pool and RIMAC Arena during this week's home events, as well as the main RIMAC lobby, and all fans are invited to join in the Tritons Rock Hunger effort.
PUMPKIN CARVING CONTEST
The doubleheader at Triton Soccer Stadium this Friday, Oct. 25, will feature The Great Pumpkin Carving Contest, sponsored by Greek Life and the Triton Athletes' Council and open to all UCSD students. Students must bring their own carved pumpkin to the contest tent above the soccer field by 6 p.m. to register. Registration will begin at 5 p.m. Pumpkins may be of any size or shape, but only one entry per person will be accepted. Two winners will each receive $200 gift certificates to Chick-fil-A.
Free posters featuring both the UCSD men's and women's soccer teams together, sponsored by UCSD Dining Services and Pepsi, will be available at Triton Soccer Stadium over the final three home dates of the 2013 season this Friday, Oct. 25, Sunday, Oct. 27, and Sunday, Nov. 3.
GOOD NEWS FROM FIRST NCAA WEST REGION POLL
The NCAA's first regional polls were announced on Wednesday afternoon, with UCSD ranked No. 4 in the West behind Cal State Stanislaus, Sonoma State and Western Washington, and ahead of UH Hilo, Seattle Pacific, Cal State San Bernardino, Cal State L.A., Cal Poly Pomona and this Sunday's home opponent, Cal State Monterey Bay. The top six in the final edition earn qualification into the 2013 NCAA Championship.
AROUND THE CCAA
With four games remaining in the regular season, UCSD is on the outside looking in at the CCAA Championship picture. The Tritons have qualified for all 13 conference tourneys since they joined the CCAA for the 2000 campaign, and are record eight-time champions. They sit in third place in the South Division, seven points back of leader Cal State San Bernardino and two back of Cal State L.A. and the fourth and final playoff spot, with a home date remaining against the latter on Nov. 3. No. 7 Cal State Stanislaus is still eight points clear of No. 20 Sonoma State atop the North. Statistically speaking, junior All-American Cassie Callahan (Coronado/Coronado HS) is tied for sixth with six goals scored, and tied for seventh with 15 points. Jamie Benedetto is tied for 13th with four goals, while Kiera Bocchino is tied for 16th with three. Sophomore goalkeeper Kelcie Brodsky is tied for third with 73 saves, tied for sixth in shutouts (three) and eighth in save percentage (.785).
CALLAHAN LEADING TRITONS AGAIN
Callahan was named the Wilson/CCAA Player of the Week on Sept. 17 after having a hand in all four Triton goals in a pair of divisional road wins. She converted her 61st-minute penalty kick for the lone score at Cal State Dominguez Hills on Sept. 13, before assisting on Izzy Pozurama's 49th-minute equalizer and then heading in both the winner and the clincher in a 3-1 defeat of Cal State L.A. on Sept. 15. Callahan has 15 points from team bests of six goals and three assists this season. She also topped the UCSD charts in points (28), goals (10) and assists (eight) in 2012. Of her 19 career goals, no fewer than nine have come via header.
BOCCHINO A FIRST-TIME WEEKLY HONOREE
Bocchino was named on Oct. 15 as the Wilson/CCAA Women's Soccer Player of the Week for the week of Oct. 7-13. The redshirt freshman winger out of Laguna Hills opened the scoring in both key divisional wins at home that weekend, striking volleys in the 63rd minute against then-25th-ranked South leader Cal State San Bernardino on Oct. 11 and the 58th minute against Chico State on Oct. 13. The latter goal proved to be her first of the game-winning variety. All three of Bocchino's scores in 2013 have been right-footed volleys from inside the opposing penalty area in Triton home victories.
YOUTH BEING SERVED
Fourteen of the 28 players on the 2013 UCSD roster are true freshmen after the program lost 10 seniors to graduation a year ago. Head coach Brian McManus has had at least six freshmen and sophomores, with at least three true freshmen, start all 14 matches in 2013. The Tritons started a high of five true freshmen against Humboldt State on Sept. 27. A trio of them combined on UCSD's goal to cap the 2-0 triumph over Chico State on Oct. 13, as Benedetto provided a short feed to Jessica Dang, whose right-sided cross was headed off the post and in by Devon Roncoroni (San Diego/Bonita Vista HS) for her first collegiate score. Benedetto has started all 14 games at forward, with rookies Kristen Sampietro and Kylee Southwell earning the outside back spots. Fourth-year midfielder Rachel Leslie (Santee/West Hills HS) is UCSD's only senior. She, Callahan and Pozurama are Triton tri-captains.
ROAD STREAK ENDED
The loss at then-ninth-ranked Cal State Stanislaus on Oct. 4 put an end to UCSD's remarkable unbeaten streak in regular-season road matches at 30. The Tritons had gone 21-0-9 in such contests since a 2-1 loss in Arcata to Humboldt State on Sept. 17, 2010. Their only defeat outside of La Jolla in all of 2012 (11-1-3) came against West Florida in the national title match in Evans, Ga. UCSD is an even 2-2-2 on the road in 2013.
In addition to having a road-heavy schedule to begin the 2013 campaign, UCSD has faced a number of top teams. The 2-1 victory over No. 25 Cal State San Bernardino on Oct. 11 marked the Tritons' fifth game against a nationally-ranked opponent, with four at home. UCSD is 2-3 in such match-ups, and an even 2-2 inside Triton Soccer Stadium. The other win was a come-from-behind, 2-1 decision over then-21st-ranked Seattle Pacific in the season opener for both West Region rivals back on Sept. 5. UCSD went 3-2-3 against ranked sides a year ago.
The Tritons' highest National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) national ranking in 2013 was No. 3 in the preseason edition ... They were last rated No. 23 on Sept. 17 ... UCSD has overturned two 1-0 halftime deficits to rally and win this season, with a 2-1 home decision in the opener vs. then-21st-ranked Seattle Pacific (9/5) and a 3-1 victory at Cal State L.A. (9/15) ... Benedetto's first collegiate goal came just 24 seconds into the 1-1 draw at CSUSB (9/22).
HEAD COACH BRIAN McMANUS
McManus is in his 27th season in charge of the UCSD women's soccer program. With a career record of 439-72-46, he has achieved the second-most wins (now one behind Gabe Mejail of Merrimack College) in NCAA Division II women's soccer history. McManus' career winning percentage of .829 ranks among the top 10 in college women's soccer annals, both overall and Division II only. He is fifth among all divisions in wins. McManus has directed UCSD to seven national championships and a record eight CCAA crowns, with the Tritons advancing to the national semifinals an incredible 15 times in his 26 years. Under his guidance, UCSD has qualified for the NCAA postseason all 13 seasons during the Division III days and all but one of 13 years (2004) since the move up to Division II, including the last eight in succession. The Tritons have never missed a CCAA Championship, qualifying for all 13 since joining the conference.
ABOUT THE GATORS
San Francisco State is 5-6-3 overall and 4-6-2 in the CCAA. The Gators are coming off of a weekend split at home, having edged Cal State East Bay in double overtime, 1-0, before dropping a 1-0 overtime decision to No. 10 Cal State Stanislaus. Freshman midfielder Kelsey Wetzstein provided her first collegiate goal at 100:19 to give SF State the victory over East Bay. On the season, the Gators have tallied just seven goals over their 14 matches, with no player having found the back of the opposing net twice. Wetzstein has a team-best two assists to go along with her lone strike. Allison Land (0.88 GAA, six shutouts) has played every minute in goal. The junior had her streak of four straight clean sheets snapped by the Stanislaus score, and leads the CCAA in saves (77) and save percentage (.856). Long-time head coach Jack Hyde is in his 31st season in charge of the Gators. SF State is 1-3-1 on the road in 2013.
UCSD leads the all-time series, 14-3-4. The Tritons swept the two-game set in each of the last two years while SF State was a fellow member of the CCAA South, and have won five straight in all. UCSD has not allowed a goal to the Gators over the past 310:03. The Tritons are unbeaten against SF State over their last seven (5-0-2), including a 1-1 draw in Turlock in the semifinals of the 2010 CCAA Championsip before the Gators advanced on penalty kicks, 4-3. UCSD has also taken two straight meetings in La Jolla since a 1-0 defeat on Sept. 11, 2009.
ABOUT THE OTTERS
Cal State Monterey Bay is 6-6-2 overall and 5-5-2 in CCAA play. Like SF State, CSUMB split a home pair last weekend, falling 2-0 to Stanislaus and blanking East Bay, 1-0. Sophomore forward Kristen Womack recorded the Otters' decider in the 59th minute. Junior midfielder Jami Murray leads the team with 15 points from seven goals and one assist. All three of Womack's goals have been game-winners. Junior Lily Garza (0.75 GAA, 35 saves, five shutouts) has seen a majority of the minutes in goal. Erin Reinke is in her third season at the helm. The Otters, 2-2-1 on the road this season, first play at Cal Poly Pomona on Friday afternoon prior to heading further south to La Jolla on Sunday.
UCSD is a perfect 9-0 in the all-time series, outscoring the Otters, 33-4. The Tritons are 4-0 against CSUMB at home, having not conceded a goal there over the 360 minutes, with 18 goals for. Most recently, they posted a 2-0 victory over CSUMB in Seaside a season ago, with goals coming in either half by Pozurama off the rebound of a Callahan shot, and current assistant coach Ellen Wilson from the penalty spot. The score of the previous meeting in La Jolla was 5-0 in 2011. The Otters have gone scoreless in their last 238:38 against UCSD.
UCSD Athletics has partnered with Advanced-Online to provide a web-based, on-demand option for UCSD apparel and merchandise. Fans have access to over 600 products that can be processed and shipped within 24 hours. Visit the site at UCSDTritonsGear.com.
THE BIG PICTURE
We want to reward you for posting your creative photos. Tweet and Instagram your pics from any UCSD Athletics event and include our #TritonsRising hashtag. At the end of every month, we'll pick our favorite photos and dole out some swag to the winners!
UCSD wraps up the regular season next weekend at Cal Poly Pomona (Nov. 1, 7 p.m.) and then at home against Cal State L.A. on Senior Day (Nov. 3, 2 p.m.).