Thursday morning’s 9 a.m. game vs Miami, Ohio kicked off the national showcase weekend for UC San Diego’s Women’s’ Club Soccer team. After many hours of traveling from the previous day the team took the field anxious to begin a weekend full of soccer. The game began at a slow pace as girls from both teams adjusted to Foley, Alabama’s humidity and the weight of the new tournament given soccer balls. The half ended at 1-0 after Miami, Ohio’s shot in the last 10 minutes of the first half. After a second goal to Miami off of a corner kick in the second half, UC San Diego’s Cynthia Ruiz (freshman) received a through ball from center midfielder Monica Cuevas (senior), sending her through the defense and giving her a successful shot on goal. The final score of the match was 3-1 to Miami, Ohio, giving UC San Diego its first loss of the weekend.
For the second game of the tournament, the Lady Tritons faced off against the University of Connecticut. Though slightly bruised and battered, they came out with a thirst to win, knowing full well that this was their last chance to make it into the championship bracket. Despite being plagued by the absence of starting center back Alex Diaz, the Triton defense came out strong with Tori Woo in her place. Throughout the first half, UConn had no promising chances on goal, with all opportunities being shut down by center backs Tori and Hannah Hurd, and wing backs Anais Ortiz and Kristen Wong. Towards the end of the first half, UC San Diego had a few promising chances; notably, Kristen dribbled through UConn’s defense and just barely missed a shot over the cross bar. During the majority of the second half, UC San Diego kept UConn at bay, probing UConn’s goal often. However, in a turn of events UConn counter-attacked and were able to place a goal, leaving the game at a final score of 0-1. After this loss, UC San Diego went on to play in the consolation bracket.
In the third game of the tournament, very close games in pool play left the Tritons playing in the consolation bracket for their third game. UC San Diego faced Delaware at 4pm on 11/18. This was a must win game in order for the Tritons to advance. Taking the field in all white, UC San Diego dominated possession from the start. The first half ended still tied 0-0. Near the end of the second half, Delaware managed to break through the Triton defense and score, leaving the Tritons down 0-1. With the little time left, UC San Diego gave all they had in attempt to get a goal. However, the time ran out and the final score remained 0-1, in favor of Delaware. Regardless of the score, the Tritons still had a blast competing in the NIRSA Club Soccer Nationals Championship Tournament.