Men’s soccer defeats Cal Berkley 2-0 to begin conference play

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Mariadelcarmen Zuniga

The Aztecs celebrate after scoring a goal against Cal.

by Juan Daniel Avila, Senior Staff Writer

The Aztec men’s soccer team (5-0-2) commenced their Pac-12 conference play with a 2-0 win over Cal (2-4-1) with the two goals coming from sophomore captain Andre Ochoa at the SDSU Sports Deck on Sept. 16.

This result keeps SDSU as the No. 21 rank in the country while recording their fifth shoutout of the year. The last time the Aztecs came into Pac-12 play undefeated was in 2005.

Head coach Ryan Hopkins elaborated on the squads’ performance and the way the team approached this match.

“I’m proud of our guys, we executed a game plan pretty flawlessly,” Hopkins said. “We only gave up one good chance because the backline was so good and then we got two great goals from Andre.”

The Aztecs’ first goal came early in the fourth minute from a cross from senior defender Laukoa Santo which found the fast feet of Ochoa, who beat a Cal defender and struck the ball to the near post to make it 1-0 for the Scarlet and Black. The score marked Ochoa’s first goal of the season.

SDSU would boost their lead in the 66th minute after an individual play by Ochoa, who juked a Cal defender and shot the ball with his left foot into the far post from 15 yards out to make it 2-0.

The Golden Bears’ only clear chance would come in the 78th minute. After a sneaky ball crept into the backline of the Aztecs and into a Golden Bears boot, Cal fired a shot towards goal but freshman goalkeeper Jacob Castro was quick to knock the ball away from danger.

Castro has now earned five shutouts in his six starts as an Aztec, only allowing one goal this season. The Aztecs, meanwhile, dominated the Golden Bears in possession and in shots 11-8.

”The past few games I have been struggling with my attacking — I haven’t really felt in rhythm but that first goal really gave me confidence and it just made me want to go even harder and get that second one for our team,” captain Ochoa said. “The team brought so much fight and it was a great team performance all the way from the first minute to the 90th.”

The Scarlet and Black return to the SDSU Sports Deck to host No. 23 Stanford on Sunday, Sept. 19 at 3 p.m.

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