Tritons Fall to UNR in First Game of UC San Diego Tournament
At the 9th Annual UC San Diego Women’s Club Soccer Invitational on April 8th, UC San Diego lost 0-1 to the University of Nevada (UNR) in its first group stage game of the tournament. In the first half, the Tritons struggled to create chances against a quick and aggressive Nevada side. Early in the half, one of San Diego’s defenders arguably pushed a Nevada player to contest a header in the box. A soft call, but regardless the referee pointed to the spot. In the ensuing penalty kick, senior goalkeeper Amy Schwartz came up big to deny Nevada an almost certain goal, diving to the left to parry away the shot. The game remained tied, with little to show from a listless and uncoordinated San Diego offense while Nevada continued to dominate the game. Minutes before the end of the first half, a Nevada forward crossed a high ball from the left flank which landed at her teammate’s feet inside the box. San Diego was slow to react and didn’t pressure the player immediately, giving her enough space to shoot the ball toward the top left corner just past the goalkeeper’s hands. The Tritons would have to erase a one goal deficit coming into the second half. After a riveting pep talk from their captains, UC San Diego started to play their game in the second half. Wing backs and forwards made runs down the lines as the Tritons pushed forward, applying high pressure and trying to thread the needle through Nevada’s defense. San Diego generated some good chances off through balls and corners, but none of them found the back of the net. Frustrations mounted as freshman Kristen Wong picked up a yellow card for a dangerous slide tackle from behind. Another freshman, Sam Clardy, made her debut for UC San Diego when she was subbed on as a center back in the last minutes of the game. The clock was ticking and San Diego, changing to a 4-3-3 formation, was desperate for the equalizing goal. It never came, and the game ended 0-1 to UNR, marking the home team’s first loss since fall quarter. The Tritons will play the University of Utah (UU) next in a must-win game in order to advance out of the group bracket.
Tritons Get Their First Win
The UC San Diego Women played Utah in the second game of their home tournament. It was a must win game if UC San Diego wanted to advance to the semifinals the next day. The first half saw San Diego mostly controlling the play. About halfway into the half, Emma Schoenthal put away a penalty kick after Cynthia Ruiz was taken down in the box. The teams went into halftime with the Tritons up 1-0. Part way through the second half, a cross snuck across the Utah goal and after multiple attempts to finish it, Shannon McAndrews finally slotted it into the bottom right corner. With about 15 minutes left in the game, Anais Ortiz had a long throw in that rolled across the 18-yard box, and Alex Diaz shot the ball just past the hands of the Utah keeper. The final score was 3-0 Tritons. This score line sealed the fate of the Tritons as they advanced to the semifinals against Sacramento State University.
Tritons Pull Through
In the semi-final match of the tournament, UC San Diego faced Sacramento State at 8 am in Sunday morning. Both teams seemed sluggish during warmups, but that soon turned to high energy as the whistle blew to start the first half. Sac State came out strong and high pressed the Tritons. The San Diego defensive line found their groove as they were not intimidated by the rushing forwards and soon found the feet of midfielder, Emma Schoenthal who passed the ball out wide to defender Audrey Mays and as she juked the defender in front of her the ball went out but was a throw in for San Diego. Midfielder Anais Ortiz stepped up to the plate and threw an arching ball right to the feet of McKenzie Kirn who made perfect contact with the dipping ball and volleyed it right into the corner of the net to put the Tritons up 1-0. Soon after Sac State got a free kick and bulleted the ball right past the hands of keeper Amy Schwartz and this tied the game up to end the first half. The girls on both teams looked fired up as the second half started and the ball skipped across the wet grass. Both teams had a fire under their belts as both wanted to move on to the finals and be named number one. This hope was soon crushed for Sac State as San Diego put away two more goals to move onto the finals. The tritons played the best soccer yet this tournament with long flank runs, short passes through the midfield, and long balls over the top to running forwards, Miriam Bell and Cynthia Ruiz. The game ended with a score of 3-1 and the Tritons take on San Marcos in the finals.
UC San Diego vs. CSU San Marcos
On April 9th, the UC San Diego Women’s Club Soccer team took to the field for their fourth and final game of the weekend – the championship match. CSU San Marcos had triumphed over Cal Poly in the semi-finals for the chance to face-off against the renowned Tritons. As the whistle blew, players leapt into action as both teams made fervent attempts to take an early lead. This back and forth continued until San Marcos was called for a foul just outside their 18-yard box. Junior (the one and only) Emma Schoenthal stepped up to take the direct kick. With a well-placed bullet the Tritons were now up 1-0. However, within 10 minutes, amidst confusion and frenzy in the Triton defending third, San Marcos had taken a goal of their own. The half time whistle was blown and the score stood at 1-1. Both teams came back out to the second half intent on winning the title of Champion, but as the clock ran out the score remained unchanged. Last minute substitutions were made, the whistle was blown, and penalty kicks were now in order. Graduate student and goalkeeper Amy Schwartz was first in goal and started out strong with an impressive, diving save to stop the first penalty kick from CSU San Marcos. Shannon McAndrews followed suite with a solid shot to the back of the net putting the Tritons up 1-0. San Marcos managed to make their second shot. Unfazed, Emma Schoenthal kept the Triton lead intact. San Marcos, holding steady, successfully made their third kick. Next, Anais Ortiz made a well-placed shot, but San Marcos keeper came up big to make her first save, now the score was tied. San Marcos made a costly mistake and sent their fourth kick veering to the right of the goal – no save necessary. Senior Monica Cuevas, with her usual flare, brought the score to 3-2. The last San Marcos kicker gave her team a small recovery, but would it be enough? With Freshman Maanasa Kandarpa at the penalty spot – unlikely. Maintaining her calm and composure, Maanasa sent the ball straight to the back of the net. UC San Diego had won the championship and redeemed themselves after last year’s fall to Cal Poly in the championship match and were now the proud owners of some good looking and well-earned t-shirts.