Aztec Men’s Soccer loses 2-0 to Washington and wins 3-0 against Oregon State

After a 2-0 loss to No. 2 Washington at Snapdragon Stadium on Thursday, the Aztecs bounce back to defeat the Oregon State Beavers 3-0 on Sunday at the Sports Deck

San+Diego+State+Universitys+CJ+Fodrey+loses+the+ball+just+feet+away+from+getting+a+shot+at+the+Huskies+goal+in+the+match+against+Washington.

Jessica Parga

San Diego State University’s CJ Fodrey loses the ball just feet away from getting a shot at the Huskies’ goal in the match against Washington.

by Adam Correa, Senior Staff Writer

The Aztec men’s soccer team (4-5-2, 1-2-1 Pac-12) lost to the No. 2 Washington Huskies (9-0-1, 2-0-0 Pac-12) 2-0 and defeated the Oregon State Beavers (4-3-2, 1-1-0 Pac-12) 3-0.

 

SDSU vs. No.2 Washington 9/29:

 

The Aztecs came into the game 7-24-8 against the Huskies and the offensive firepower Washington brought to Snapdragon Stadium showed.

In the 19th minute Washington sophomore forward Ilijah Paul, the Pac-12 leader in goals (eight), got his first goal scoring opportunity. From the left side of the box, he dribbled around Aztec freshman defender Noah Crétier and put a left-footed shot on net, but it was stopped by an Aztec defender. 

The Scarlet and Black defended several Huskie scoring chances after Paul’s shot on goal, but Washington kept pressuring.

The Huskies had another goal-scoring opportunity 15 minutes later. After a corner kick was sent into the box, the ball was headed on goal by a Huskie player and stopped by a diving junior goalkeeper Jacob Castro. However, the ball found the foot of redshirt freshman defender Omar Grey, who buried it into the back of the net to make it 1-0.

Washington redshirt senior midfielder Lucas Meek, the Pac-12 leader in points (19), buried a penalty kick goal seven minutes later to make it 2-0. 

When the Aztecs went into the locker room at halftime, head coach Ryan Hopkins didn’t want the team to change too much but stay composed.

“Honestly we didn’t change a ton,” Hopkins said. “We felt we could be a little more composed on the ball.”

At the start of the second half, the Aztecs created multiple chances on offense, but couldn’t get past Washington junior goalkeeper Sam Fowler.

In the 73rd minute the ball was sent to the left side of the box and senior midfielder Joe Daluz had a prime scoring opportunity for the Aztecs. Daluz had a clear shot on Fowler but put a left-footed shot wide of the goal.

Six minutes later, senior midfielder Blake Bowen got an opportunity for the Scarlet and Black. Freshman forward CJ Fodrey sent the ball in the box and it found the foot of Bowen, who settled the ball and put a left-footed shot through a crowd of defenders but into the hands of Fowler.

San Diego State and Washington teams look on as a corner kick descends towards the Huskies’ box. (Jessica Parga)

Bowen thought he got good contact on the ball and was a little disappointed it didn’t go in.

“I got some good contact on it, felt good, but towards the keeper (goalie),” Bowen said. “Tough not to go in but it happens.”

Bowen got another chance with three minutes remaining in the game, when he put a shot off the post from the right side of the box for the Aztecs’ last scoring chance of the match.

The Huskies spoiled the Aztecs’ first home game at Snapdragon Stadium with a 2-0 victory and a clean sheet.

Hopkins said the lack of execution on scoring opportunities cost them numbers on the board but was proud of the team’s effort.

“I thought our guys put on a really good show,” Hopkins said. “We were all over them in the second half but couldn’t quite get that breakaway or last touch.”

The Aztecs committed 11 fouls and were given three yellow cards, something Hopkins said the team needs to work on against ranked opponents.

“We have to be a little bit smarter about where we lose the ball,” Hopkins said. “As well as being good defenders, moving our feet, getting our body in the way, not diving in and making sure we have cover as well. They were tricky players.” 

With three days to prepare, senior defender Kyle Colonna said the key to prepare for the Beavers is to knock down their ground play, which he said is where they’re the most threatening.

“Oregon is going to be a team that is a little more threatening on the ground,” Colonna said. “We really need to evaluate the scout and their movements for us to be able to lock them down.”

 

SDSU vs Oregon State on Oct. 2:

 

The Aztecs came into the game 11-23-3 against the Beavers, but played this game like they had the 23 wins.

After the 2-0 loss to No. 2 Washington, Hopkins said that they would play a similar playstyle and bounce back.

“We will press similarly as Washington did to us,” Hopkins said. “Our guys are good at bouncing back from setbacks.” 

Fodrey got the bounce back mentality started, scoring early. Junior midfielder Iñigo Villaldea sent a ball from midfield to a rushing Fodrey on a breakaway, and he buried his fourth goal of the season in the third minute to make it 1-0.

“First Pac-12 goal, I’m happy,” Fodrey said in his reaction to the goal. “Definitely was on a little bit of a three to four game drought.” 

The Beavers brought the offensive pressure after the Aztec goal. Oregon State had five shots with two on goal in the first half, but the Aztec defense cut off most of their breakaway chances that could have led to more opportunities. .

Oregon State — who had eight fouls and two yellow cards in the first half — were rattled by the Aztecs’ quick passing and ability to get around defenders on attack.

Senior midfielder Blake Bowen attempts to keep the ball away from the Oregon Beavers on Sunday, October 2, 2022. (Isabella Biunno)

In the 56th minute, after a pass up in attack from sophomore midfielder Donovan Roux, Bowen took the ball and put a right-footed strike into the goal to make it 2-0. The score was Bowen’s first goal of the season.

After a handball in the box by a Beaver defender in the 85th minute, Villaldea executed a penalty kick goal to make it 3-0.

The Beavers had scoring opportunities with eight corner kicks in the second half but couldn’t capitalize as the Scarlet and Black held onto the 3-0 clean sheet win partially thanks to Castro’s four saves on 14 shots.

It was Hopkins first win against Oregon State as the head coach of the men’s soccer team, and he was impressed with the team’s performance.

“Credit to the guys, they executed the game plan flawlessly,” Hopkins said. “We had a tough result on Thursday when we thought we played well and these moments of adversity keep hitting us in the face and we keep answering the bell.”

Villaldea said he had a tough time with the Beavers in the past and was excited that the hard work by the team paid off.

“I played against them four times, it was so hard. We could never beat them,” Villaldea said. “So it feels really good to win.”

The Aztecs next match-up is against the UCLA Bruins (5-4-1, 1-2-1 Pac-12) on Friday, Oct. 7, at Wallis Annenberg Stadium in Los Angeles.