Jessica Wi and the Tritons will head to Turlock for next week's CCAA Tournament at the top overal seed. Photo/Jimmy Gekas/Sideline Studios
Junior midfielder Jessica Wi scored in the 70th minute to lift the seventh-ranked UC San Diego women's soccer team to a 1-0 victory over San Francisco State in a California Collegiate Athletic Association matchup on Friday evening at Triton Soccer Field.
Wi, who registered just two of the Tritons' 22 shots on the night, made one of them count, scoring the decisive goal in the second half to send UCSD to its fourth consecutive victory. Needing just a single point in either of their final two games this weekend, the first place Tritons clinched the top seed in next week's CCAA Championship Tournament in Turlock with the win.
UCSD's record now stands at 12-1-4 overall and 11-1-3 in conference play heading into Sunday's regular season finale against Cal Poly Pomona. San Francisco State drops to 8-8-1 overall and 6-8-1 in the CCAA with the loss.
"We stressed all week that we couldn't look past these last two games," head coach Brian McManus said. "In the first half (the Gators) came here to spoil and just enjoy the game and that's what they did for much of the game. In the second half, we settled in, got the ball where we wanted it, did what we wanted to do and got the result."
UCSD was the better side for most of the match, but a savvy and determined SFSU squad was able to keep the Tritons off the scoreboard for much of the evening. Hayley Johnson and Alexa Enlow had decent opportunities in the first half of play, but Gator keeper Annicia Jones made nice saves on both attempts.
The Tritons were aggressive early on in the second half and looked poised to take the lead in the 68th minute when Wi was pulled down in the box, earning a penalty kick. Junior defender Ellen Wilson stepped in to take the shot, but Jones came up big once again, diving to her right to deny it and keep the match even.
Undeterred by the missed opportunity, the Tritons came right back with another chance less than two minutes later and Wi was able to come through.
After a shot from Johnson hit the crossbar and bounced back into play, Wi ran down the loose ball just inside the far right side of the box. The Oakland native took two dribbles towards the end line and then somehow slipped a low, rolling shot inside the far post for what proved to be the decisive score with just over 20 minutes remaining.
It was her second goal of the season.
UCSD's defense took over from there, holding SFSU to just a single shot the rest of the way. Senior goalkeeper Kristin Armstrong needed to make just two saves to record her 10th shutout of the season.
The Tritons outshot the Gators 22-6 in the match and held a 9-2 advantage on corner kicks. Freshman midfielder Cassie Callahan had a game-high five shots to lead UCSD, while Johnson finished with four and Courtney Capobianco had three.
Kickoff for UCSD's clash with Cal Poly Pomona is slated for 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. The Tritons' nine seniors will be honored with a special ceremony prior to the match.
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