Aztec M. Soccer Suffers Loss to No. 1 UW
SAN DIEGO – The San Diego State Aztec men’s soccer team hung tough with the top-ranked team in the nation on Sunday afternoon, but couldn’t overcome a slow start in a loss to No. 1 Washington, 3-2, at SDSU Sports Deck.
SDSU (7-7, 1-4 Pac-12) found itself in an early hole after Washington jumped out to a lead on Ian Lange’s header in the 6th minute, followed by a goal from Justin Fiddes in the 10th minute to make it 2-0. However, The Aztecs outshot the Huskies the rest of the way, 10-6, and put themselves in position to complete the comeback.
Junior Rene Reyes got San Diego State on the scoreboard with his first goal in an Aztec uniform in the 23rd minute off an assist from freshman Ozzie Ramos, cutting the deficit to 2-1. With SDSU trailing 3-1 in the second half, redshirt sophomore Travis Nicklaw connected on a free kick in the 84th minute for his first-career goal, once again pulling the Aztecs within one.
San Diego State ran out of time though, and fell short of knocking off its second-straight ranked opponent this week at the Sports Deck. Still, the Aztecs are 3-2 in home matches against ranked foes this season, and are just one home victory away from matching a program-best eight home wins in 15 seasons under head coach Lev Kirshner.
In addition, six of SDSU’s losses this season have been decided by one goal, including three by ranked conference opponents. The Pac-12 began the week as the No. 1-ranked RPI conference in Division I, with the top winning percentage (.687) and the third-ranked strength of schedule based on opponents’ winning percentage (.530).
Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Adam Allmaras recorded four saves on Sunday, after entering the week ranked second in the Pac-12 in saves. Ramos tallied a team-high three shots, while senior defender and team captain Evyn Hewett continued his streak of playing every minute of every match this season for the Aztecs.
San Diego State resumes Pac-12 play on the road this week, as it travels to the Pacific Northwest for rematches against No. 17 Oregon State on Thursday, and No. 1 Washington on Sunday.
Man of the Match: Redshirt sophomore Travis Nicklaw (San Diego, Calif.) was named Man of the Match on Sunday, as he scored his first-career goal on a free kick in the 84th minute to pull the Aztecs within one. Nicklaw has played for the Guam national team on four separate occasions in his career, including competing in the East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) East Asian Cup this past July.
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