Aztec women’s soccer surges past Nevada 4-0

Meghan McCarron

by Brandon Truffa, Staff Writer

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A gloomy Sunday afternoon couldn’t stop the San Diego State women’s soccer team from bringing energy in an important Mountain West matchup.

The Aztecs (7-4, 3-1 MW) picked up their third consecutive win and shutout Sunday in a matinee matchup with University of Nevada (3-7-2, 3-1).

Although the field atop the Sports Deck endured some unusual Southern California weather early in the morning, SDSU head coach Mike Friesen said the playing field actually helped his team.

“I think the field conditions were unbelievably great,” Friesen said. “I thought it was a non-factor, other than it helped us keep the ball.”

The game got off to an unfortunate start for Nevada.

In the first seven minutes of the game, the Wolfpack had to make two early substitutions to replace redshit-freshman midfielder Nikki Mitsuyasu and sophomore defender Mei-Li Madamba, who were forced to come off with injuries.

Mitsuyasu was unable to return. Madamba later returned to the match in the second half.

The Aztecs took advantage of the early Nevada lineup shuffling and began attacking Nevada with their speed.

In the eighth minute, sophomore forward Angela Mitchell rang a tough-angle shot off the crossbar.

Six minutes later, Mitchell created another chance, but this time she wouldn’t be denied.

Mitchell outran a Wolfpack defender to a loose ball, which she collected, quickly cut across the box and fired one through the hands of Nevada junior goalkeeper Kelsey Quintos. Originally, it looked as if Quintos had made the save, but the ball inched across goal line and it was 1-0 Aztecs.

SDSU had a few more close opportunities in the first half, but was unable to capitalize. In total, the Aztecs tallied nine shots in the half.

The Wolfpack had six shots in the first half, four of which were saved by SDSU senior goalkeeper Melanie Vaughn.

In the second half, the Aztecs turned their energy up another notch and saw great results.

Junior forward Hedda Regefalk had a golden opportunity in the 47th minute to increase the Aztec lead, but her shot was was stopped by Quintos on the goal line.

Following another Nevada injury, this time to junior midfielder Alyissa deRonde, the Aztecs once again looked to take advantage.

After junior defender Jen Rupey hit the post on a shot well outside of the box in the 58th minute, the Aztecs finally found their insurance a minute later when freshman forward Leah Pruitt sprung ahead on a breakaway and was able to beat Quintos to make it 2-0 SDSU.

The goal was Pruitt’s fourth on the year, and she wasn’t finished yet. Pruitt added another goal to her stat-line in the 73rd minute, finishing a perfect pass set up by sophomore forward Dani DeRosa, who entered the game as a substitute.

DeRosa would later add a goal of her own in the 90th minute, striking in senior defender Ashley Hauke’s rebound which had bounced off the crossbar.

Following the game, DeRosa was relieved, picking up her first goal and assist of the season.

“It felt really good. It’s nice to get the first one off my chest and everything,” DeRosa said. “It was good to get my first goal and first assist over with in one game.”

SDSU drained the final 10 seconds of the match, capping off a 4-0 shutout.

“Probably our most consistent performance we’ve had so far in terms of moving the ball, creating chances, and being dangerous. Defensively I thought we did a good job, as well,” Friesen said.

Energy was a major factor in the win Sunday afternoon. DeRosa said the team wanted to remain on a roll coming off of two big MW victories.

“This was a good game to pick up, and keep going,” she said.

Friesen added to the theme of keeping energy throughout the match.

“We’ve traveled so much this year, it’s been hard to create any energy or momentum outside of just us,” Friesen said. “I think that was a big emphasis for us. More communication, more energy, and I think that showed on the field.”

The Aztecs will look to keep the energy and momentum heading into next week’s home game against Colorado State.

“We want to keep going with this momentum that we have right now,” Friesen said. “We’re really difficult to deal with when we play like (today).”

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