Tritons slay women’s soccer in final home game

Marissa Marshall,
Staff Writer

The Cal State East Bay women’s soccer team had mixed emotions on Sunday.

Their game against top-ranked UC San Diego was the women’s final home game and the final game for seven seniors: Jasmine Corbett, Sialei Manuleleua, Megan Ravenscroft, Tia Sidtikun, Rachel Robbert, Andrea Hernandez and Savannah George.

UC San Diego is the top-ranked team in the California Collegiate Athletic Association and 9th ranked team in the nation, 10-0 in conference and 14-2 overall. Unfortunately the top-ranked team lived up to their record and handed East Bay a tough loss.

“They were really just the better team,” said senior midfielder Sialei Manuleleua. “They broke us down completely and the score showed that. Their movement off the ball was amazing and we should have anticipated that more.”

San Diego controlled the tempo from the start of the game. They outshot the Pioneers 11-1 in the first half, and by the end of the game had outshot East Bay 20-4, with 11 of those shots on goal in comparison to East Bay’s one shot on goal.

The first goal was scored in the 19th minute when the Tritons sophomore forward Mary Reilly received a pass in front of the Pioneer’s goal from junior forward Katie O’Laughlin and scored in the top right corner of the goal.

From that point on, San Diego retained full control of the game. Junior midfielder Elisa Martinez and O’Laughlin each put in goals in the span of seven minutes. Twenty minutes later, the Tritons added another goal just before the half was over. Senior right midfielder Kristen Sampietro received a pass from the left side of the field, dribbled towards the goal and shot the ball past Pioneer goalkeeper Corbett, putting San Diego up 4-0.

“Today’s emotions were high,” said Corbett. “I know I was really nervous and anxious because of how good San Diego is, so I felt the pressure early.”

The Pioneers were much more solid on defense in the second half, but could not contain San Diego completely. UC San Diego added two more goals in the half as junior midfielder Jordyn McNutt put a shot in 53rd minute and freshman forward Roni Merrill scored another in the 84th minute of play. This gave the Tritons the 6-0 win.

Despite the loss, the Pioneer seniors still celebrated their senior game with their teammates and family who came to support. “I can’t even put into words what today felt like,” said senior midfielder Hernandez. “Even in times where we lose like today, this team is the one to always uplift me when I can not do it for myself and I will miss that so much. They made today great, even if we fell to San Diego.”

The Pioneers are now 2-8 in conference and 3-10-3 overall and look ahead to win their two final away games vs. San Francisco State (4-4-2 conference, 7-5-3 overall) on Thursday and California State Monterey Bay (1-9 conference, 4-10 overall) on Saturday.

“I just want to finish this season strong and actually put some wins on the board before the season is over,” said Hernandez. “None of us like the feeling of losing and this is opportunity to end on a good note. If we end this season strong, the team will only start strong for the following season.”