Men’s soccer’s defense holds strong in 1-0 win over CSU Bakersfield

Kyle+Colonna+celebrates+with+his+teammates+after+scoring+a+goal+against+CSU+Bakersfield.+%28Courtesy+of+SDSU+Athletics%29

Kyle Colonna celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal against CSU Bakersfield. (Courtesy of SDSU Athletics)

by Justin Cox, Contributor

San Diego State men’s soccer continued their winning ways, as they defeated CSU Bakersfield 1-0 on the SDSU Sports Deck Sunday, Sept. 12, in a game that marked the Aztecs’ 4th shutout in five games this season. 

The win moves the Aztecs to 3-0-2 this season, a dramatic improvement over last season’s one-win team. The Roadrunner’s outshot the Aztecs 11-7, however only one of those 11 shots was on goal, while another glanced off the right post. 

The lone goal came on a diving header from junior center back Kyle Colonna on a free kick assisted by redshirt freshman midfielder Donovan Roux in the 35th minute.

Roux’s cross soared from the left side of the field to the right, as Colonna was able to break to the net and finish the goal. Colonna recalled his first goal of the season and the difference in that match. 

“We knew that set pieces were going to be a big thing for us to be able to capitalize on,” Colonna said. “Donovan put in a quality cross, and I was able to get on the end of it.” 

The Aztecs had another great chance just two minutes later, as Laukoa Santos crossed it to Tevenn Roux, however, Roux’s shot was high. Those were the Aztecs only shots of the first half. 

Having just played a game less than 48 hours ago, the Aztecs started slow, and the Roadrunners’ physical nature of play didn’t help.

Head coach Ryan Hopkins addressed the slow and chippy play throughout the match. 

“Playing a game less than 48 hours after another one is not great,” Hopkins said. “It’s never a good game on a Sunday but we did just enough to figure out the game and keep our composure.” 

The Aztecs’ composure was tested as both teams combined for 32 fouls, 18 of those against SDSU. Additionally, there were eight yellow cards given, however only of those came against the Aztecs. Former Aztec and freshman defender Bryson Hawkins received his second yellow of the match at the 64th minute, causing the Roadrunners to play the final stretch of the game down a man.

Colonna described the difficulties the team faced playing on short rest. 

“After the Davis game, legs we’re going to be tired, guys were going to be tired, so it was difficult, but we were able to rise above and grind away at the result,” Colonna said. 

The Aztecs will begin conference play Thursday against UC Berkeley as they will host the Golden Bears at the SDSU Sports Deck. It will be the first time since 2005 they enter Pac-12 play undefeated. 

“We’re happy with the win but we’re not satisfied with the performance,” Hopkins said. “We know there’s more we have to get better at with Cal coming in here Thursday night, a really good team to kick off Pac-12 play.”  

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