Pablo Pelaez has played an important role for the San Diego State men’s soccer team.
Not only does the redshirt junior midfielder contribute goals and assists for the Aztecs, he also spiritually represents the heart and fight of SDSU soccer as its team captain.
Seven games into the 2018 season Pelaez has tallied up ten points, four goals and two assists while playing a total of 489 minutes.
Pelaez’s most recent goal was scored from the penalty spot in the first minute against UNLV on Sept. 24 at the SDSU Sports Deck.
Pelaez said it was great to score against the Rebels, who beat the Aztecs during their previous meeting in 2016.
“It was a tough pill to swallow when we played against them two years ago,” Pelaez said. “To come back and score this goal, and ultimately get the victory, was a really good feeling.”
Pelaez currently leads the Aztecs with four goals, and has been linked to many of the scoring chances this season.
Head coach Lev Kirshner said he enjoys having a player like Pelaez on his team.
“(Pelaez) is a wonderful player,” Kirshner said. “He is a better human being, and the team loves him.”
His fighting spirit and leadership is exactly why Pelaez wears the captain’s armband for SDSU. However, Pelaez believes his captain status does not separate him from his teammates.
“It’s nothing that separates me from the rest of the team,” Pelaez said.
Pelaez said he is happy with his performance thus far this season, but is not content, with a lot of soccer yet to be played.
“I try to take it game by game,” he said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to get some goals in the back of the net.”
Pelaez said he aims to finish this season with a consistent style of play while continuing to contribute to the team’s success.
“For me specifically, I want to keep on scoring goals, getting assists and making this team the best that I can,” he said.
Prior to joining the Aztecs, Pelaez played for Mt. Everest Academy in San Diego.
Since his debut in the 2016 season, the hometown hero has performed at a top level, starting off his collegiate career with seven points on two goals and three assists, while sharing a team lead of 40 shots.
By the end of the 2016 season, Pelaez was recognized as one of the best players in the Mountain West Conference.
He received multiple accolades, including Second-Team All-Pac-12, College Soccer News Second-Team All-Freshmen and First-Team All-Far West Region from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).
In the following year, Pelaez played 11 games and had five shots on goal. However, his season ended early when he suffered a devastating injury.
Now, after months of recovery, Pelaez has looked unstoppable for the Aztecs.
Pelaez will get his next chance to showcase his talents when SDSU travels to Stanford on Sept. 27, when the team begins its Pac-12 conference play.