UCSD takes on Regionals in SLO
Tritons vs. Bears
The San Diego Tritons faced off against the Cal Bears for their first game of Regionals at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Just as the sun was peaking over the mountains to illuminate the field, the game was underway. The wind relentlessly blew the ball down field, keeping the ball in San Diego’s defensive side of the field for the majority of the first half. They battled off the Bears and had a few counterattacks of their own until Cal was able to score right before the whistle signaled the end of the half. With the wind now in their favor, San Diego was determined to score both an equalizing goal as well as a goal to overtake the Bears as they took the field for the second half. After working the ball around the field to break down the Bear’s defense, San Diego’s Molly Serna scored the first Triton goal of the tournament by slotting it between the goal post and the keeper while there was a scramble in front of the goal. With the score now tied, the Tritons kept attacking until a foul was drawn right outside the Bear’s 18-yard box. With great skill and accuracy, Rachel Ng took the free kick that sailed through the keeper’s hands and in to the back of the net. With the final goal scored, and the final whistle blowing a few minutes later, the San Diego tritons earned their first win of the tournament, setting the pace for how they would play the rest of the weekend.
Tritons Tie the Trojans
On a sunny Saturday afternoon in San Luis Obispo, the UC San Diego Tritons got ready to take on the USC Trojans in the second game of the Regionals tournament. Coming off a win in the previous game of the tournament that morning, the Tritons looked to take home another win. The game started off rough for UCSD, as they tried to connect the ball while going uphill in the thick grass and against the wind. It was hard to work the ball up the field in these conditions, but the Tritons defense held strong. However, the USC offense connected a few passes through the middle of the field and scored a goal before the end of the half.
At halftime, the Tritons regrouped and strategized for the change of conditions going into the second half. Now they were going downhill and with the wind, so it became easier to keep the ball and work it up the field. When the second half started, UCSD came out with high press and an intense desire to even the score. The Tritons were able to generate a few good chances in front of the net, but to no avail. With a few minutes left in the game, a UCSD corner kick tied it up. Junior captain Mckenzie Kirn played the ball short to fellow junior co-captain Rachel Ng, who returned the ball to Kirn, who took a shot that curved into the net. The game ended shortly after, with a 1-1 draw. The Tritons got some rest and prepared for the final game of group play the next morning against University of Arizona.
An Exciting Sunday Morning
Early Sunday morning, the UCSD Women’s Club Soccer team prepared for their final bracket game against University of Arizona. Having already played two great games the previous day, the Tritons felt ready to keep improving their play and win. At the start of the game, both teams came out hard to fight for the semifinal spot. Arizona possessed the ball well and managed to get past a strong Triton defense but fired a shot way wide of goal. Quickly, the Tritons realized that the Arizona team who had lost their two previous games were not to be underestimated. The Tritons began to work harder to show that they had what it takes to make it to nationals -- their communication, passing accuracy, and speed of play continued to get better as the game progressed. As junior forward Cynthia Ruiz, was handling the ball, she and an Arizona player came into contact causing the Arizona player to receive a yellow and Cynthia to get a red card. The Tritons would have to play with just ten players for the rest of the game. Down one player, the Tritons had to step up their game to beat a solid Arizona team. Midfielder, Nadia Haghani, had great control over the center, allowing for great passes to the forwards and switches across the field. The Tritons’ quick midfield passing led to numerous shots on the goal. Forward Allison Long along with McKenzie Kirn, had close opportunities but were unable to get the ball to the back of the net. During the later part of the half, Arizona was able to get a close shot off of goal, but keeper, Amy Schwartz, made a great save from letting it in in the lower corner of the goal.
The second half was dominated by the Tritons. Outside defenders, Lisa Howard and Megan DiDomizio, kept Arizona from running down the sidelines and prevented opportunities for crosses. Centers, Rachel Ng and Shannon Earley, completely shut down the Arizona front line from attacks. The second half was nothing compared to the first. Tritons had numerous passing sequences that broke down the Arizona defense. Maanasa Kandarpa made a clean through pass to McKenzie, who turned gracefully towards the goal to pass out wide to Natalie Maloney. Nat took a powerful shot just missing the goal by inches. Tritons continued to work hard against Arizona. As Arizona gets a corner kick, the Tritons prepare to do everything they can to get the ball out. The ball is kicked and the Tritons are able to get a head on it, then it’s kicked to the forwards for a scoring opportunity. Tritons had control over the game, no question. The end score played out to be 0-0, with both teams fighting hard until the end.
San Diego Heads Home
In the final game of the tournament the UCSD tritons came out with fire against us Davis in the semi-finals of the NIRSA regional tournament at Cal Poly SLO. As the heat was blazing and the wind was blowing your UC San DiegoTritons momentarily struggled to adjust to the additions but quickly adapted and were able to connect some beautiful passes throughout the field and into the attacking third. UC Davis kept coming strong but communication and organization helped the San Diego defense hold their own. Sophomore Shannon Earley and Junior Rachael Ng were an unstoppable pair as center defenders and worked hard to keep the field organized. With help from the breezy conditions Davis took a cross that was carried in towards the net. Even though keeper Amy Schwartz got an amazing tip on it the power of the wind carried it to the back of the net to finish the half. With the help of the wind San Diego was hopeful to get a couple goals in. The Tritons fought hard and played strong offensively getting some great opportunities but wasn’t able to capitalize on them. As the game was coming to an end the Tritons gave it all the got but couldn’t put one in the net. The tritons closed out the tournament with 0-1 loss to UC Davis and is hopeful for a bid to Nationals.