San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Late mistakes prove costly in back to back home games for men’s soccer

Aztecs lose in 3-2 89th minute to No.5 Stanford, draw 2-2 with Cal Berkeley
Sophia O’Dell
SDSU freshman CJ Fodrey taking on a defender in front of California’s goal during a match that ended in a draw against UC Berkley, at the SDSU Sports Deck on Oct. 23, 2022.

Versus No. 5 Stanford Oct. 20

After coming back twice in their previous outing, SDSU men’s soccer returned to Pac-12 play and faced similar adversity at home against the No. 5 ranked Stanford Cardinal (8-1-4, 3-1-3). The Aztecs (5-7-3, 1-4-2) lost to their Pac-12 rival 3-2 on Thursday night to an 89th minute winner, breaking SDSU hearts.

The energy coming into the match was very high as SDSU’s bench was louder than ever in support of their team. This moral, however, would fall victim to an unfortunate loss in the dying moments of the match.

Head coach Ryan Hopkins was frustrated about the loss as he felt his squad had the opportunities to walk away with a victory but fell short due to their own mistakes.

“The guys battled but made some mental errors at the end,” Hopkins said. “A team like Stanford is gonna play for 90 minutes and force you into mistakes.”

Stanford struck first in the 6th minute as freshman midfielder Shane De Flores finished a header off a cross for a 1-0 advantage. 

The Aztecs responded well with an incredible goal from senior midfielder Blake Bowen. Bowen dribbled through the Cardinal defenders and finished a strike from outside the box into the upper left corner of the net to equalize.

Both teams traded chances the rest of the first half but each defended well, going into the break tied at one. 

The second half was filled with much drama and chaos for SDSU. The Aztecs would not have their first shot until the 75th minute which was then disallowed despite ending up in the goal. Just two minutes later, SDSU came back on the attack and was awarded a penalty kick.

Junior midfielder Iñigo Villaldea was the one to step up to take the kick and finished it powerfully in the upper left corner. The goal was Villaldea’s second in as many games and gave the Aztecs their first lead of the match, 2-1.

“I try to get some practice with set pieces and PK’s in training,” Villaldea said. “I was happy to score and help the team but we lost.” 

The Aztecs looked like they were on the brink of a win, but Stanford took advantage of a set piece outside the SDSU penalty box, crossing a dangerous ball into freshman forward Jackson Kiil who equalized for the Cardinal. 

The match was heading for a draw however Stanford yet again stunned the Aztecs as they tapped in an 89th minute winner off a corner.

“They made more plays than we did at the end of the day and I feel like Stanford deserved to win the game,” Hopkins said .

This sealed the 3-2 defeat for SDSU and was one of the most frustrating results for the Aztecs all season. 

“You just gotta put all that emotion, all that frustration away and get ready for Sunday,” Hopkins said. “The game’s over, we lost the game.” 


Versus Cal Berkeley Oct. 23

Following the heartbreaking loss to Stanford, the Aztec men’s soccer team had only two days to recover and prepare for another tough conference opponent, the California Golden Bears (3-6-5, 1-4-2). After four total goals, five yellow cards and 90 minutes of action, the game ended in a 2-2 tie. 

The Aztecs had a 2-1 lead with less than four minutes remaining in the game. After a Cal corner kick, the Golden Bears were awarded a penalty after an Aztec handball in the box, and senior forward Fahmi Ibrahim placed his shot perfectly in the bottom right corner of the goal to tie the game. 

Following yet another goal surrendered in the final minutes of a game, head coach Ryan Hopkins explained his young team will have to continue to improve their execution in high leverage moments like they had in both games over the weekend. 

“These are big moments in big games,” Hopkins said. “Especially in those critical moments we just have to be better and our mentality has to be better.” 

To begin the game, it looked as if the Aztecs might lose— let alone a draw— as it was Cal who struck first in the 33rd minute. 

After a slide tackle by Aztec senior midfielder Blake Bown drew a yellow card, a Cal free kick was blocked and then put in by sophomore defender Kevin Carmicheal to give the Golden Bears a 1-0 lead. 

The Aztecs largely controlled the first half, out shooting the Golden Bears 10 to 6, and carried the energy over into the second half behind star freshman forward CJ Fodrey. 

“Down 1-0 at the half, we’re at a point in the season where we have to win or tie to keep our season alive,” Fodrey said. “Out of halftime, we came with some fire.” 

Fodrey was involved with both Aztec goals as in the 70th minute his corner kick was headed in by senior defender Kyle Colonna to tie the game. Just four minutes later, while sprinting down the left side of the field, Fodrey received a pass and sent a strike into the top corner of the net to put the Aztecs in the lead 2-1. 

After the score Fodrey leapt over the short fence behind the goal and celebrated with the Aztec cheerleaders by grabbing pom-poms and holding them in the air. 

“Rare when you see the cheerleaders at the soccer game,” Fodrey said. “I just took the most of the moment and it was good to see them.” 

Following the 0-1-1 weekend, the Aztecs will travel to Oregon State on Thursday Nov. 3 before playing No. 1 Washington in Seattle on Nov. 6.  The Aztecs will need some big results if they hope to remain alive in the playoff chase.

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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
Late mistakes prove costly in back to back home games for men’s soccer