Late goal gives Aztecs 1-0 victory in season opener against New Mexico State


Photo by Aaron Tolentino

Freshman forward Taylor Moorehead (left) celebrates with sophomore midfielder Daniela Filipovic (middle) as senior midfielder Nikolina Musto (right) looks on after Moorehead scored the game winning goal during the Aztecs 1-0 victory over New Mexico State on Aug. 17 at the SDSU Sports Deck.

by Aaron Tolentino, Assistant Sports Editor

San Diego State women’s soccer freshman forward Taylor Moorehead scored the Aztecs lone goal in the 84th minute to defeat New Mexico State 1-0 Friday night at the SDSU Sports Deck.

SDSU faced adversity early, after sophomore midfielder Chloe Frisch was given a red card 22 minutes into the first half, which forced SDSU head coach Mike Friesen to adjust his game plan.

“It’s my 20th season and I’ve never seen a red card in the first 15 minutes of a game, ever,” Friesen said. “Obviously, it completely changed. Everything we had planned went out the window at that point.”

Moorehead, a reserve, was not expected to play in the season opener, but said as soon as she saw Frisch come out, she was ready to go.

“As soon as (Frisch) came out I’m like ‘oh that’s it,” Moorehead said. “I always want to come in with a big heart and change the momentum, like coach always says, calm things down a little bit and just have grit.”

Friesen said Moorehead was brought in with 14 minutes left to do one thing: score the ball.

“We recruited (Moorehead) for a reason,” Friesen said. “She’s a finisher, that’s why we brought her here. We knew she could do that and that’s why we put her in and for her to come up and do that in game one is amazing.”

The situation forced the rest of the Aztecs to step up, and gave young, unproven players an opportunity.

“That was probably the best thing that could ever happen to a team, that we had to have this unwavering resilience throughout the whole game,” Friesen said. “We grew an immense amount in one game. I wouldn’t have chosen this, but I’m glad it happened.”

A number of other SDSU freshmen made an impact against the Aggies: midfielder Laura Fuentes contributed 80 minutes, defender Lauren Dicus played all 90 minutes and forward freshman Florence Laroche played 59 minutes and had one shot on goal.

“We’re excited about all of them, and there’s some that didn’t even get a chance to play because of the situation we’re in, being a man down,” Friesen said. “We’re trying to figure out where we’re going to have a missing piece so we even have more than we had tonight. (It’s) so exciting that we have all those freshmen out. Obviously, bodes well for the future.”

With nine freshmen on the roster this year, Moorehead said it’s good to have a bunch of them come in and contribute immediately.

“We are a big group, and there’s so many of us that we’re all so close to each other and we’ve gone to know each other,” Moorehead said. “So us coming in (the game) is a big thing for us and we’re just getting to learn to play with each other, so it’s real good.”

Laroche echoed Moorehead’s sentiments on SDSU’s freshmen class.

“We’re a pretty strong class and we can make the difference like (Moorehead) did,” Laroche said. “I think we can bring a lot of good things on the field and make us win games.”

The Aztecs will continue their season on Aug. 24 when they take on Texas Tech University at the SDSU Sports Deck.