GOLDEN, Colo. - A stellar season came to an end Friday for the ninth-ranked University of California San Diego women's soccer team as No. 1 Western Washington scored early in overtime to earn a 2-1 victory in a NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 match at Stermole Stadium on the campus of Colorado School of Mines.
UC San Diego finishes its 2016 campaign at 19-3. Western Washington, which won its second-straight West Region title Friday, remains unbeaten at 21-0-1.
WWU's Gabriela Pelogi scored her second goal of the match just 2:03 into the overtime period to secure the victory for the Vikings. Taylor Hallquist lifted a ball from the defensive side of the field that was collected by Pelogi at the top of the box. With Triton keeper Itzel Gonzalez coming out to meet her, Pelogi got off a low shot from the penalty spot that went past Gonzalez and just inside the left post for her team-leading 10th tally of the season.
UCSD got on the board first in the 32nd minute when junior Jordyn McNutt (San Diego/University City HS) scored her sixth of the year. Streaking full speed down the right side, McNutt took a long cross from classmate Aimee Ellis. At almost the end line, McNutt lofted a tough-angle chip shot inside the far post to put the Tritons up 1-0. Sophomore Summer Bales picked up a secondary assist on the play.
Pelogi struck early in the second half, scoring her first goal of the match in the 53rd minute to even the game at 1-1. With a back heel pass near midfield, Caitlyn Jobanek got the ball to Erin Russell, who went down the left side and hit Pelogi with a perfect cross that she finished from the right.
Western Washington out-shot UC San Diego, 17-9.
Gonzalez made six saves for the Tritons, while Ashley Homer had four for the Vikings.
It was the second meeting between UCSD and WWU this season. The Vikings took a 3-2 win in Bellingham, Wash., back on Sept. 14. The Tritons had reeled off 16 consecutive victories since.
The contest marked the end of the great college careers of Triton seniors Gonzalez, Jamie Benedetto, Kristen Sampietro, and co-captains Meghan Berry and Kiera Bocchino. Bocchino did not participate after suffering an injury in the second half of last Saturday's 4-2 second-round triumph over Azusa Pacific. Bales drew a first start of the season on the left wing in her absence.
Western Washington now faces No. 6 Colorado School of Mines (20-2-1) in an NCAA quarterfinal Sunday in Golden. The Orediggers defeated Texas A&M Commerce, 2-1 in overtime, to take the South Central Region title in Friday's early match.