For the first time in school history, the Sonoma State women’s soccer team defeated the UC San Diego Tritons by a score of 3-2, ending the winless streak that lasted for 18 games and included three ties.
“This is a big win in program history so it is definitely emotional and feels great,” said Margi Osmundson, who scored two of the team’s three goals on the day. “It is emotional not only for the players, but for the coaching staff as well since both coaches are alumni and haven’t had the chance as players to beat UCSD. For them to coach us and be a part of this win is big.”
After a hard-fought tie against Cal Poly Pomona on Friday, the Seawolves refused to come home winless on Sunday and unleashed three goals on UCSD before the 90 minutes expired.
“It went a lot deeper for us than a tough game on the road,” said head coach Emiria Salzmann-Dunn. “UCSD is probably the most celebrated Division II program in the country and they were sort of our nemesis. To get the victory, it meant so much for us.”
The outcome didn’t look so bright after the Tritons scored in the eleventh minute, but Osmundson quickly answered back with a goal of her own in the seventeenth minute to tie the game at 1-1. Assisted by Cara Curtin and Alicia Mertz, Osmundson received a cross and powered her second goal of the season into the lower left corner of the goal.
“I went through the whole range of emotions that a human can experience all at once in that game,” said Salzmann-Dunn “I’m just sort of at a loss for words that this group of players has been able to bounce back and rally. That this group would be the one, with so many young players—they gave us a gift today. ”
The ball saw plenty of time on both sides of the pitch throughout what would prove to be a physically-intense game.
With an opportunity to take their first lead and score her first goal of the season, Melissa Lafranchi wouldn’t take no for an answer. Even with the Triton goalie’s best efforts at blocking a barrage shots from Lafranchi and Curtin, nothing could stop Lafranchi from shooting a rocket passed the goal keeper into the net on a rebound.
“It was a wonderful feeling,” said Lafranchi. “Coming in such a big game made that goal so much sweeter.”
The half ended in the Seawolves favor with a score of 2-1, but the game was still far from over.
After 12 minutes of play in the second half, the UCSD tied the game at two apiece on a loose ball in the penalty box that just happened to end up in the goal.
Both teams tried to take advantage of several scoring opportunities, but it was Sonoma State that ultimately had the last laugh—rather, goal celebration.
With less than five minutes to go in the game, Osmundson powered her third goal of the season into the top left corner of the net to put the Seawolves on top 3-2.
The goal by Osmundson proved to be the final goal of the game and propelled Sonoma State to their first-ever victory over the San Diego Tritons.
“What made a lot of things work was how we were fueled by not having ever beaten UCSD so we were definitely amped for the game,” said Osmundson. “The final minutes came down to heart and who wanted the win more. Being able to help get the win is awesome but I couldn’t have done it without my teammates and coaching staff.”
The victory may not have completely redeemed the team’s loss to UCSD in the NCAA championship match last year, but the team could not be more thrilled about the victory.
“We found a way with some of our youth to win the game,” said Salzmann-Dunn. “It wasn’t a leading goal scorer that won the game, which speaks a lot to the depth of the team and the ability of players to handle responsibility under pressure. It’s not coming down to one or two people; it truly is a team effort.”
The Seawolves look forward to starting a four-game series at home over the next couple of weeks, starting with Cal State Los Angeles on Friday at 1:30 p.m.