SDSU Men’s Soccer Routs PLNU, 4-0
SAN DIEGO – The San Diego State men’s soccer team cruised to a 4-0 victory over Point Loma Nazarene Monday night at SDSU Sports Deck. The win propels the Aztecs to 5-6-2 on the season and snaps a five-game winless streak.
SDSU, which outshot four of its first five opponents in Pac-12 Conference action, carried over its effort on this night as it owned a 14-3 advantage for the game. The Aztecs did not waste any time in creating their first dangerous opportunity as Jordan Ongaro hit the right post from the left side of the box just 30 seconds into the contest.
San Diego State rattled off four more shots in the ensuing 12 minutes and found the back of the net on its sixth attempt of the evening. In the 16th minute, John Pegg found Kody Duff from five yards out and the junior calmly tucked his shot past PLNU goalkeeper Carter Phillips. For Duff, the goal was his sixth of 2012, and for Pegg, the assist was his first.
The Aztecs continued to control the tempo, but gave up their first shot in the 32nd minute and it nearly cost them. The Sea Lions’ Dylan Wingrove got behind the defense, dribbled past SDSU goalkeeper Tim Peitsch and touched the ball toward the net. The shot, however, was stopped by the hustling Tyrone Martin and the shutout was still intact.
Later in the 40th minute, Travis Nicklaw was taken down in the box, which gave San Diego State a penalty kick. Ata Ozbay missed the attempt, but got the rebound and fired off another shot that went wide left. The referee whistled Point Loma Nazarene for an infraction and Casey Meuser cashed in on the second penalty kick attempt, which put SDSU ahead, 2-0. The goal was Meuser’s third of the season.
In the second half, San Diego State continued to dictate the pace and was rewarded in the 58th minute when Evyn Hewett connected with Tyler Smith to lift the Aztecs to a 3-0 lead. The sophomore from Huntington Beach, Calif., scored from seven yards to give him two on the year. The helper, meanwhile, was Hewett’s second of the season.
Following the goal, John Marcuzzo entered the game in the 58th minute, replacing Peitsch, and faced just two shots in the next five minutes and for the rest of the game. One PLNU attempt was blocked and the other was saved by the redshirt freshman from Oakland, Calif.
In the 68th minute, San Diego State received one last goal as Robbie Freise and Anthony Gooch completed a beautiful sequence that started with Freise sending in a cross from the right side of the pitch. The entry found its way to Gooch, who was five yards from the goal line. The sophomore then put his shot over the goalkeeper and recorded his first goal of his career, which provided the winning margin.
Of SDSU’s 14 shots, eight were on goal compared to the Sea Lions’ two. The Aztecs also had six corner kicks, while PLNU failed to earn one.
San Diego State returns to action on Friday when it plays at Clemson starting at 6 p.m. ET. The non-conference match-up is a rematch of the 1987 NCAA title game, one in which the Tigers won, 2-0, 25 years ago.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Anthony Gooch is the Man of the Match after logging his first career goal in the 68th minute, which gave San Diego State a 4-0 lead. The sophomore played 69 minutes off the bench and attempted two shots, with one finding the back of the net. The defender played a major role in keeping the Sea Lions off the scoreboard and limiting them to just three shots, while offensively, helping the Aztecs maintain the constant pressure on the PLNU defense.
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