By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
In a game decided by penalty kicks, UC San Diego’s women’s soccer team got the best of Sonoma State and captured the California Collegiate Athletic Association championship Sunday in Carson.
The teams were tied 1-1 after regulation and overtime meaning the conference title would be decided by penalty kicks. UCSD converted four while the Seawolves could make only two.
Sonoma State (16-2-2), which came into the tournament as the top-ranked team in the West Region, will now await word on its NCAA postseason plans. The field will be unveiled today.
Following a scoreless first half, San Diego (14-2-3) got on the scoreboard 24 seconds after intermission on a goal by Gabi Hernandez.
Margi Osmundson got the Seawolves even on a goal with 43 seconds remaining. She scored on a short right-side ball that went over the heads of three players including goalie Kelcie Brodsky.
After neither team scored in two 10-minute overtime periods, the championship had to be decided on penalty kicks.
UCSD’s Casey Parisi and SSU’s Gretel Amman were first up and each converted a PK to keep the game knotted. Alesha Laranio then missed while Hernandez scored.
In the third round, the Tritons’ Cassie Callahan and the Seawolves’ JJ McFarlin were both denied.
Next up were Osmundson and Ellen Taylor and both converted. That made it 3-2 and Hayley Johnson clinched the game with a kick into the lower left corner that got past SSU keeper Alexis Sciaqua.
The Seawolves outshot their opponents 27-11, including 11-5 in the second half and 6-1 in overtime.
Cara Curtin, the CCAA’s Newcomer of the Year, was kept out of the net despite attempting a match-high nine shots.
This was San Diego’s first conference championship since 2008.
If, as expected, Sonoma State gets an NCAA invite, it will be the school’s first appearance in the national tournament since 2000.