DENVER, Colo. – Gabi Hernandez scored her fourth goal in as many games this postseason, lifting UC San Diego to a 2-1 overtime win against Western Washington in an NCAA Round 3 match at Metro State’s Auraria Field on Friday.
The Tritons improved to 16-2-3. The Vikings completed their season at 19-4. UCSD advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals against Colorado Mines on Sunday.
Just 51 seconds into the first of two possible 10-minute extra sessions, Izzy Pozurama played a ball through to Jessica Wi on the right wing. Wi dribbled to the end line and provided a low cross toward the penalty spot, where Hernandez smacked a right-footed shot into the left corner. It was her ninth of the season.
UCSD created a pair of early chances thanks to Hayley Johnson’s corner kicks. An Izzy Pozurama cross from the left found Jessica Wi at the back post after nine minutes, but her short cross attempt back into the middle of the six-yard box was parried away to a corner kick by the WWU center back. Off the ensuing Johnson corner, Wi crossed from the left, and senior Ellen Wilson put up a header that Viking goalkeeper Jamie Arthurs saved.
In the 12th minute, Western Washington earned a free kick looking at the goal straight on from 25 yards. Senior midfielder Joana Houplin’s right-footed shot toward the right side of the goal was saved by a diving Kelcie Brodsky for a corner kick.
The 19th minute saw Pozurama shoot high from close range. The Triton goal came exactly a minute and a half later.
Another Johnson corner kick floated to the back post, where fellow tri-captain and back-line mate Wilson was unmarked for a soft header into the empty net from inside six yards for a 1-0 UCSD lead at 19:48.
The Tritons almost made it a 2-0 advantage just seconds later as sophomore midfielder Cassie Callahan headed high. At 23:44, Johnson whipped an effort that challenged Arthurs, but ultimately didn’t beat the GNAC Player of the Year.