Aztec women’s soccer sits first in the conference with five games to go

A recent run of good results including a win at Snapdragon Stadium puts the Aztecs first in the Mountain West


Huy Huynh

The Aztecs celebrate scoring their first goal at Snapdragon Stadium during the match against San José State on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022.

by Morgan Prickett, Sports Editor

Following a 1-0 win on Sunday, Oct. 9 against Fresno State, the San Diego State women’s soccer team (6-3-5, 4-1-1 MW) currently sits first in the Mountain West conference with the end of the regular season nearing on Oct. 27.

In their last five matches the Aztecs have gone undefeated. Six games ago, the Aztecs fell 2-0 to Colorado State during their first conference game of the season, putting them at a meager 2-2-5 record. Since the loss the Aztecs have gone 4-1-0 defeating Wyoming 2-1, drawing Colorado College 3-3, and defeating Air Force 2-1, San José State 2-0 and Fresno State 1-0.

“This point of the season we’re taking that next step towards what we want to do towards the end of the year,” head coach Mike Friesen said. “I think in the middle of the season we played some extremely difficult teams and those are things that helped prepare us for the difficult challenges of the Mountain West.”

The most recent wins for the Aztecs came on Oct. 6 and 9. First, the Aztecs defeated San José State 2-0 on Thursday at Snapdragon Stadium in front of women’s soccer phenom Alex Morgan and an Aztec women’s soccer record crowd of 2,546. Then the Aztecs returned to the SDSU Sports Deck and defeated Fresno State 1-0 during a hot noon Sunday kickoff.

The Aztecs first-ever match at Snapdragon Stadium was one the players may never forget. 

“The noise levels and that atmosphere was unreal,” said Friesen. “It was so fun to play here.”

An own-goal in the 65th minute gave the Aztecs the lead before junior forward Emma Gaines-Ramos secured the victory with an 86th minute goal assisted by senior forward Rachelle Elve.

“The energy was amazing from the families, friends, and fans and it definitely fed into our game,” Gaines-Ramos said.

Gaines-Ramos has been terrific for the Aztecs during their undefeated stretch. She picked up Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week after she tallied a total of four assists against Colorado College and Air Force. Gaines-Ramos leads the Aztecs in assists with six as of Oct. 9. 

After the win, the team spent some time with the next generation of women’s soccer players, sticking around to sign autographs and take pictures with the local Albion youth soccer club.

“I felt so happy because these little girls look up to you and one time I was a little girl asking for an autograph too so it was truly gratifying,” Gaines-Ramos said.

The Aztecs kept the momentum going when they returned to the SDSU Sports Deck on Sunday and defeated Fresno State 1-0.

For much of the game, it looked as if last year’s double overtime thriller where the Aztecs lost 1-0 to Fresno was going to be recreated as neither team could break the deadlock. It was going to take something spectacular to separate these two teams.

In the 70th minute, the spectacular arrived. Junior midfielder Olivia Sekimoto was fouled about 25 feet from goal giving the Aztecs an opportunity with a freekick. Three Aztecs stood over the dead ball and for a second it looked as if sophomore midfielder Carlin Blake was going to take the shot but she faked her run-up and sophomore defender Trinity Coker stepped up to unleash a missile left-footed strike off the crossbar and into the left side of the goal.

“Usually Denise takes those but Denise and Carlin brought me over because they saw a gap on the left side and I can hit that lefty gap,” Coker said. “So I knew where I wanted to shoot and I knew where I wanted to put it and that’s where it went.”

From Oct. 13 to Oct. 27, the Aztecs will play their last five games of the regular season before potentially heading out to the Mountain West quarter finals at Boise, Idaho on Oct. 30.

“It’s one game at a time for us,” Friesen said. “We’ve done a good job to put ourselves in a position to have a little bit of a cushion in terms of points with the rest of the league but I think we have to focus just on one game at a time.”