The opening game of the UC Santa Barbara Invitational began Friday evening, after a seven-hour drive through wildfire evacuation traffic in LA. A car of eager players made it to Santa Barbara just in time to warm up, check in, and take the field. This initial rushed entry led to a slow start for the Tritons, but they gained composure and dominated possession throughout the majority of the game. Center midfielder Elayna Osterman and center defender Katie Wilkes were standouts in maintaining intensity on and off the field, as well as in distributing the ball out from the back. Despite this skillful possession of the ball, Arizona managed to score a toe-poke goal at the end of the first half, giving them a 1-0 lead which they held for the remainder of the game.
On sunny Saturday afternoon we were on our second game of the weekend against University of California Berkeley. The weather was hot in Santa Barbara, especially with the turf field, but we were ready to play. Overall, we dominated most of the game, despite the score being 0-1 with Cal up. UC Berkeley scored on us during the first half, despite Allison’s long reach to try to stop the ball. It was the only shot on target that UC Berkeley had had against us.
Katie Wilkes stepped up as a center back and she continued throughout the weekend to be an impactful defensive player while also facilitating the ball on offense. Offensively, Elayna was a stand out in the midfield and distributed the ball to the forwards, giving the forwards opportunities that narrowly missed the goal. Another standout was Morgan who did a great job at connecting the ball between the defense and offense and moving the ball up the field. Our team captains Jill and Shannon ended up changing the team formation from a 4-4-2 to a 4-3-3 during the second half in order to get more numbers in the offensive third of the field. Although we did not make our shots this strategic move helped us keep the ball in the offensive third of the field more and get more shots off.
Overall, everyone maintained a positive attitude and pushed themselves, not just in this game, but the whole weekend. Even though we did not get the outcome that we wanted against UC Berkeley, everyone put out their best effort and worked hard.
In the early hours of Sunday October 13 th , UC San Diego played against Cal State Long Beach as part of a series of games at the Santa Barbara Invitational Tournament. Although neither UC San Diego nor Cal State Long Beach had advanced through the tournament, the match up was intense, as both teams anticipated fierce competition. As the game kicked off at 8 AM, both teams attempted to come out ahead. UCSD in specific maintained possession of the ball, dominating the first half but unable to score. As half rolled around, though, the game was still tied at 0-0. However, after an inspiring pep talk from captains/coaches Jill Giannini and Shannon Early, UC San Diego went out into the second half ready to win. Towards the end of the game, just as both teams were starting expect that the game would end in a tie, sophomore Nadia Haghani was able to put the ball into the back of the net off a beautiful corner from sophomore Marissa Lynch which ended the game in a 1-0 win for UC San Diego.