Aztec Men’s Soccer Falls Short Against No. 2
SAN DIEGO – Despite playing even with one of the top teams in the nation for most of the night on Saturday, the San Diego State men’s soccer team was unable to find the net in a narrow loss to No. 2 UCLA, 1-0, in its Pac-12 opener in front of a large crowd at SDSU Sports Deck.
The Aztecs (6-4, 0-1 Pac-12) played the Bruins to a stalemate for nearly the entire first half, until UCLA (6-2-2, 1-0) found the net just minutes before intermission. Sophomore Felix Vobejda sent a cross from the right side into the middle of the box, where junior Larry Ndjock was able to get off a shot from close range to put UCLA on top for good in the 44th minute.
It was the lone blemish of the night for SDSU redshirt freshman goalkeeper Adam Allmaras, who made several fantastic saves, and finished the night with a game-high four stops. Freshman Ozzie Ramos recorded a team-high two shots, one of which came right after halftime in the 46th minute, but sailed wide. The Aztecs continued their offensive flurry in the following minutes, but a shot by freshman David Olsen also went wide of the net, and sophomore Forrayah Bass had a good shot attempt blocked by a UCLA defender.
Since entering the Pac-12 in 2005, Saturday night was the eighth match between San Diego State and UCLA that was decided by one goal, as the Bruins have been ranked in 15 of those 17 contests. The loss snapped the Aztecs’ six-match winning streak at the Sports Deck, as SDSU fell to 2-5-3 all-time in Pac-12 openers. It’s also only San Diego State’s second defeat this season following a victory.
Allmaras, Olsen, senior captain Evyn Hewett, redshirt senior Pablo Vasquez and redshirt sophomore Travis Nicklaw each played all 90 minutes on Saturday, as Hewett has still played every minute for the Aztecs this season (908).
San Diego State continues Pac-12 play this week with two matches in Northern California, as the Aztecs take on No. 18 Stanford on Thursday, Oct. 9, before a matchup with No. 13 California on Sunday, Oct. 12. The Pac-12 is currently the No. 1-ranked RPI conference in the nation, as it concluded non-conference play with the highest winning percentage in the country and the No. 2 strength of schedule. Four Pac-12 teams are currently in the top-26 in RPI, which is the second-most in the nation.
Man of the Match: Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Adam Allmaras (Carlsbad, Calif.) was named Man of the Match on Saturday night, as he kept the Aztecs close against No. 2 UCLA by making several fantastic saves in the narrow 1-0 loss. In two matches this week, Allmaras has allowed just one goal, while recording six saves.
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