Column: Four yellow cards too many for Aztecs against UC Irvine


Abraham Jewett

The referee shows SDSU a yellow card during the Aztecs 2-1 victory over UC Irvine on Sept. 9 at the SDSU Sports Deck.

by Cristian Alvarez, Staff Writer

San Diego State men’s soccer secured a second win this season on Sunday evening against UC Irvine, defeating the Anteaters 2-1 in overtime at the SDSU Sports Deck.

The Aztecs also received their first piece of hardware this season, by winning the Courtyard Marriott San Diego Central Aztec Soccer Tournament for the fifth time in 11 years in school history.

Even though the team was victorious, many fouls were committed throughout the course of the match.

SDSU has made it clear that physicality is part of their DNA, but it also displayed how vulnerable their decisions on the field can lead to unnecessary calls.

Soccer is a physical game, but sometimes emotions run too deep, and the result is a tally of yellow cards and fouls.

“It just makes you more nervous on the bench,” head coach Lev Kirshner said. “You sit there and you’re trying to make decisions on whether or not you need to make a substitution for fear of a second yellow.”

Key players like sophomore midfielder Keegan Kelly and junior defender Miles Stray accounted for half of the four yellow cards awarded in the match.

“The worst part of those yellows (cards) is they came from the spine, and some very significant players for us,” Kirshner said. “You don’t really want to sub those types of guys.”

Losing crucial pieces in a match is a situation no team wants to be in, and the Aztecs have been pressing their luck, racking up a total of 13 yellow cards through six games played this season.

SDSU received 21 fouls against UC Irvine, part of a combined 42 foul calls between the two teams during the match.

Kirshner said it is unusual for both sides to end up on the tail end of foul play.

“There was just a lot of fouls,” he said. “When you have 42 fouls, there’s some interesting things to think about.”

If there is one area SDSU needs to improve, it is maintaining composure throughout their matches. Otherwise, more than likely, these unwanted situations will continue to persist.

The Aztecs’ next matchup will come against Brown University on Sept. 14 at the SDSU Sports Deck.