TURLOCK, Calif. - The No. 7 UC San Diego women's soccer team was eliminated in the CCAA Touranment semifinals for the third consecutive season after UCSD fell 2-1 to Cal State Stanislaus on Friday afternoon at Warrior Stadium.
The Tritons, the No. 1 overall seed for the tournament, surrendered two first half goals and could not climb back against the fourth-seeded Warriors. UCSD drops to 13-2-4 overall on the year.
CSUS improves to 10-4-5 overall and will face No. 3 Chico State at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday for the conference championship. The Wildcats topped No. 2 Cal State L.A. 1-0 on Friday morning in the first semifinal.
Liz Scherrer made it 1-0 CSUS 18 minutes into the match by floating a long cross into the box that snuck-in past UCSD goalkeeper Kristin Armstrong. The goal marked the first time the Tritons have trailed since falling 1-0 on October 14 to Cal State L.A.
"(Stanislaus') first goal changed the course of things. They weren't really threatening but put that big high ball in the box. It got hung up in the wind, Kristin mis-timed her jump and it ended up in the goal," said UCSD head coach Brian McManus. "It picked them up and maybe caused a little doubt on our part which is natural."
CSUS made it 2-0 a handful of minutes before halftime. The Warriors built from midfield as Alexia Poon played Karenee Demery into the right side of the box behind the Triton back line. Running to her right outside of the post, Demery caught up to the ball, beating Armstrong to the spot before chipping it over the goalkeeper into an open net.
"The first half was the worst 45 minutes of soccer we've played all season," said McManus. "(Stanislaus) came out giving everything and we just weren't ready."
UCSD got one back to give the Tritons a chance to pull even with 5:30 to play. After UCSD switched the ball crisply from the right to the left side, Hayley Johnson crossed a ball to the back post intended for Cassie Callahan. CSUS goalkeeper Millie Brown came out to challenge Callahan on the 50-50 ball, but it bounced to Jessica Wi. Wi headed it back toward the top of the six, where Callahan flicked it to the back post. McTigue ran onto the end of it and headed it into the corner of the net from a couple yards out to make it 2-1.
Two minutes later, McTigue played a dangerous cross with her left foot into the box, but it was just out of reach of Shelby Wong. The Tritons earned a corner with moments to spare, but Brown punched the ball out of danger and away from pressure.
"I'm not really worried going forward beacuse of the way we came out and played in the second half," said McManus. "After halftime, a lot of players, like Rachel Leslie, stepped up and gave us a chance to get back in it at the end."
UCSD topped CSUS in shots, 13-9, and outnumbered the Warriors, 6-1, in corner kicks.
UCSD will wait to see where it falls in the seedings for the NCAA Division II Tournament. The Tritons have been the No. 1 team in the West Region for every week during the regular season and is a likely favorite to play host to the First and Second Rounds. The tournament draw takes place on Monday afternoon.
CCAA All-Tournament Team
Sarah McTigue (UC San Diego)
Carly Singer (Chico State)
Shelby Dunlap (Chico State)
Blake Lopes (Chico State)
Alisa Barlow (Cal State Stanislaus)
Alexia Poon (Cal State Stanislaus)
Vanessa Cervantes (Cal State Stanislaus)
Marissa Dunaway (Cal State Stanislaus)
Millie Brown (Cal State State Stanislaus)
Karenee Demery (Cal State Stanislaus)
Most Outstanding Offensive Player: Karenee Demery
Most Outstanding Defensive Player: Millie Brown