UCSD LOOKS TO CONTINUE SECOND-HALF SURGE AT HOME FRIDAY
UCSD resumes a lengthy home stretch this week, heading into two more California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) South Division match-ups on the strength of critical back-to-back wins last weekend. The Tritons are in sole possession of second place in the South, just five points behind No. 25 Cal State San Bernardino, at 5-4-3 overall and 4-3-3 in league play. They host fifth-place Cal State Dominguez Hills on Friday night, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m., and third-place Cal Poly Pomona on Sunday, Oct. 20, at 2 p.m. Both games will serve to cap doubleheaders with the 17th-ranked UCSD men, and have live stats. All regular-season matches at Triton Soccer Stadium are free to attend.
FREE PIZZA FRIDAY
UCSD students attending the doubleheader this Friday, Oct. 18, at Triton Soccer Stadium, will get free pizza in between matches, courtesy of Papa John's Pizza. The 17th-ranked men face off with Cal State Dominguez Hills at 4:30 p.m. The women follow against the Toros at 7 p.m.
BOCCHINO EARNS FIRST CAREER WEEKLY HONOR
Kiera Bocchino was named on Tuesday 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 last weekend, striking volleys in the 63rd minute against 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.
In addition to having a road-heavy schedule to begin the 2013 campaign, UCSD has faced a number of the top teams in the country. Last Friday's 2-1 victory over No. 25 Cal State San Bernardino marked the Tritons' fifth game against a nationally-ranked opponent, with four at home. UCSD is 2-3 in such contests, 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.
YOUTH IS 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 12 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 most recent goal to cap Sunday's 2-0 triumph over Chico State, as Jamie 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 colleigate score. Benedetto has started all 12 games at forward, as have rookie outside backs Kristen Sampietro and Kylee Southwell. Fourth-year midfielder Rachel Leslie (Santee/West Hills HS) is UCSD's only senior. She, All-American Cassie Callahan (Coronado/Coronado HS) and fellow junior Izzy Pozurama are Triton tri-captains.
AROUND THE CCAA
UCSD came up roses last weekend as the only team in the CCAA South Division to earn the full three points from a game, doing so twice. With the full six points, the Tritons cut their deficit against first-place Cal State San Bernardino in half, and are now just five points back of the Coyotes, alone in second. UCSD is two points ahead of Cal Poly Pomona, three ahead of Cal State L.A. and four up on Cal State Dominguez Hills, with home dates remaining against all three. No. 10 Cal State Stanislaus is now eight points clear of No. 22 Sonoma State atop the North. Statistically speaking, Callahan is tied with five others for sixth with five goals scored, and tied for seventh with 13 points. Benedetto and Bocchino are tied for 14th with three goals each. Sophomore goalkeeper Kelcie Brodsky is fourth with 62 saves, sixth in shutouts (three) and tied for seventh in save percentage (.795).
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 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 13 points from team bests of five goals and three assists this season. She also topped the UCSD charts in points (28), goals (10) and assists (eight) in 2012. Of her 18 career goals, no fewer than eight have come via header.
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.
UCSD is back in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) West Region poll this week after a one-week hiatus, now tied for eighth with Seattle Pacific ... The Tritons' highest NSCAA national ranking this season 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 439-71-45, he has achieved the most wins (tied with Gabe Mejail of Merrimack College) in NCAA Division II women's soccer history. McManus' career winning percentage of .832 ranks among the top 10 in college women's soccer annals, both overall and Division II only. He is tied for fourth 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 TOROS
Cal State Dominguez Hills is 4-6-2 overall and 3-5-2 in the CCAA. The Toros are currently in fifth in the South standings, four points behind UCSD. They have won just one out of their last seven contests (1-4-2). Last weekend at home, CSUDH was blanked 4-0 by then-seventh-ranked Cal State Stanislaus, before tying Cal State East Bay, 1-1. Junior forward Janelle McGee leads the team with seven points from three goals and an assist. Four teammates have two goals apiece. Sophomore Jennifer Ackerly (1.35 GAA, 44 saves, two shutouts) has played every minute in the CSUDH goal. Joe Flanagan is in his 12th season at the helm of the women's program at his alma mater. The Toros are 2-2-1 outside of Carson in 2013.
UCSD leads the all-time series, 22-16-5, having posted a 1-0 shutout victory in the earlier meeting this season in Carson on Sept. 13. The lone goal in that one came from a 61st-minute Callahan penalty kick. The teams played to a 1-1 draw in La Jolla last season prior to a 3-1 Triton victory in Carson in mid-October with goals coming from Pozurama (two) and Callahan. UCSD is unbeaten over its last nine (6-0-3) against the Toros since a 2-1 overtime loss in La Jolla in the 2009 regular-season finale. That run includes a pair of matches during the 2009 postseason in which the results went down as ties, though the Toros advanced via penalty-kick shootouts, eliminating the Tritons from both the CCAA Championship and NCAA Championship.
ABOUT THE BRONCOS
Cal Poly Pomona is 5-3-4 overall and 3-3-4 in CCAA play. The Broncos are third in the South, a mere two points back of the Tritons. They are just 1-1-4 over there last six, however, including a pair of home draws this past weekend against Chico State (1-1) and No. 25 Cal State San Bernardino (0-0). The Broncos have managed just 10 goals over their 12 contests, with Alison Sauve and Melissa Garcia accounting for two each. Sophomore Alex Abbott (0.87 GAA, 25 saves, three shutouts) and senior Sarah Rohman (0.80 GAA, 12 saves, three shutouts) have each seen significant time in net. Mike Dibbini is in his first season in charge of the Broncos. Cal Poly Pomona, 4-3 away from home in 2013, hosts Cal State L.A. on Friday prior to heading south to La Jolla on Sunday.
UCSD leads the all-time series, 32-10-3. The Tritons swept the season series in each of the past four years. Last September, they won 1-0 in La Jolla and then 5-1 in Pomona. Casey Parisi's first goal in a UCSD uniform at the 70:41 mark was the decider in the first meeting. UCSD has won seven straight at Triton Soccer Stadium since a 4-3 loss in 2004, keeping the Broncos scoreless over the last 205:06. UCSD still has to go to Pomona on Friday, Nov. 1 (7 p.m.).
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 concludes this season-long six-match homestand next weekend against San Francisco State (Oct. 25, 4:30 p.m.) and Cal State Monterey Bay (Oct. 27, 11:30 a.m.).