Aztec M. Soccer Comes Close, Falls to Cal
SAN DIEGO – Junior Rene Reyes gave the San Diego State Aztec men’s soccer team and its crowd a jolt of enthusiasm with his game-tying goal in the 70th minute, but it wasn’t enough to hold off No. 17 California in the Golden Bears’ 2-1 victory at SDSU Sports Deck Thursday evening.
Reyes’ goal off an assist from freshman Sergio Enriquez completed SDSU’s comeback, as the Aztecs faced an uphill battle once California’s Christian Thierjung put the Golden Bears ahead, 1-0, in the 24th minute off crisp passes from Omid Jalali and Jose Carrera-Garcia. It became a brand-new match when Enriquez sent a cross to Reyes for a goal from straight on and 10-yards out, but the jubilation was short lived.
Cal’s Paul Salcedo found space streaking through the Aztecs’ defense, and got off an initial shot that was saved by SDSU redshirt freshman goalkeeper Adam Allmaras. However, the ball bounced right back to Salcedo, who put it away to send San Diego State to only its fourth home loss this season.
SDSU (7-10, 1-7 Pac-12) is now 3-3 against ranked opponents at the Sports Deck this season, as five of its defeats to ranked teams overall, including all three at home, have come by just one goal. The Aztecs have played a team ranked in the NSCAA Coaches Poll in seven of its last eight matches.
Allmaras recorded four saves on Thursday, as he entered the week leading the Pac-12 in the category. Reyes’ goal was his second score in an Aztecs’ uniform, while Enriquez tallied his first-career assist. In addition, freshman Jeff Rhodes had a team-high four shots for SDSU, and senior defender and team captain Evyn Hewett continued his streaks of playing every minute of every match this season, as well as appearing in his 66th-consecutive match.
The Aztecs tied California with nine shots apiece in the second half, and finished even in corner kicks, 6-6. Meanwhile, California (9-3-1, 3-2-1) hasn’t suffered a loss in its last four matches, going 3-0-1 during that span.
San Diego State returns to the pitch on Sunday, Nov. 2, when the Aztecs play host to No. 8 Stanford on senior day, beginning at noon PT.
Man of the Match: Freshman David Olsen (Fircrest, Wash.) was named Man of the Match on Thursday night, even though his contribution and importance to the team didn’t show up in the final box score. Olsen led San Diego State’s counter-attacks and played a big role in the Aztecs maintaining possession throughout the night. The freshman forward leads SDSU with seven goals and 15 points, as he entered the week ranked tied for fifth in the Pac-12 in goals, tied for sixth in points, eighth in goals per match (0.44) and tied for 10th in points per match (0.94).
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