The UC San Diego Tritons have made the Southwestern Lacrosse Conference Division II tournament five years in a row, and they have won their first-round matchup three years in a row. But they haven’t been able to get over the hump and beat teams like Concordia and Fullerton and play for a conference championship.
That, says head coach Albert Man, is the team’s challenge heading into 2016. Coach Man took time out to tell us about his team:
“We finished third in the South Division and defeated Occidental to advance to the SLC Final Four but lost to Concordia in the semifinals to end the season. This year, the SLC Division II South added USD and have a much-improved UC Irvine and Long Beach State. We lost many key players from last year’s team, but we have a large and enthusiastic first-year class with an experienced core looking to improve on last year’s result. This year’s squad has already shown a higher level of dedication to start the season. Can we reinvent ourselves and catch up to the conference’s elite teams?”
Players to Watch
- Ryan De Leon, senior, defender (Otay Ranch HS): Named first-team ALL-SLC as a sophomore and a junior, as well as honorable mention All-America last year. Ryan begins his fourth year as a starter and looks to quarterback the UCSD defense while facing the conference’s top attackmen. Did a little bit of everything for UCSD last year including EMO. Captain.
- David Mastro, junior, middie (Huntington Beach HS): Second-team All-SLC midfielder the past two seasons. David is a high-energy player and two-way midfielder. Offensive talent (2015: 23 goals, 17 assists) who loves to play defense, as well. Captain.
- Tyler Lestak, sophomore, goalie (Thousand Oaks HS): Takes over for four-year starter Andy Simon. Showed a lot of promise in his freshman year and began splitting time with Simon in the latter part of the season. Already has the poise of an upperclassman.
2016 will be a successful season if …
… we commit to practicing to our potential every day.
— Albert Man, UC San Diego head coach
More than two-thirds of the 31 players listed on the UC San Diego roster hail from Southern California high schools.