Women’s soccer escapes with 1-0 win on late goal

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Women’s soccer escapes with 1-0 win on late goal

SDSU freshman midfielder Kiera Utush pushes the ball past the LIU defender on Aug. 25 at the SDSU Sports Deck.

SDSU freshman midfielder Kiera Utush pushes the ball past the LIU defender on Aug. 25 at the SDSU Sports Deck.

Luis Lopez

SDSU freshman midfielder Kiera Utush pushes the ball past the LIU defender on Aug. 25 at the SDSU Sports Deck.

Luis Lopez

Luis Lopez

SDSU freshman midfielder Kiera Utush pushes the ball past the LIU defender on Aug. 25 at the SDSU Sports Deck.

by Luis Lopez, Staff Writer

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San Diego State women’s soccer was victorious for the first time this season, defeating Long Island University 1-0 on Sunday afternoon at the SDSU Sports Deck.

The first half was a scoreless effort for both sides. The Aztecs managed to outshoot the Sharks by 7-0, including two shots on goal from senior defender Ariana Robles and junior midfielder Malia Kaleihoi, but couldn’t find the back of the net.

SDSU’s offensive efforts also resulted in four offsides calls in the first half.

Defensively, SDSU was a stalwart in the first half, not allowing LIU to get a single shot off. The Aztecs only allowed a total of two shots on the day.

Head coach Mike Friesen said he believes his team’s defensive effort was good overall, but that he noticed some mistakes.

“I think the one thing that’s tricky about a game like that – where you have so much of the ball – is that you switch off,” Friesen said. “I thought that, in the later part of the first half, we had too many moments where we switched off, got a little chaotic and then we kind of settled back in.”

For Robles, SDSU’s gameplay was simple yet effective.

“I feel like we all just got connected and kept the ball in their half most of the time, so we didn’t have to do that much work defensively,” Robles said.

The Sharks were finally able to get a shot off in the 52nd minute, which would have converted if not for a diving save from senior goalkeeper Brooke Lisowski. 

The Aztecs maintained a slight advantage on both sides of the field in the second half, as SDSU tallied seven shots while holding LIU to just two shots.

The game seemed as if it were headed to overtime, but the Aztecs found their saving grace in the 88th minute.

Freshman midfielder Kiera Utush sent a pass to junior midfielder Chloe Frisch, whose shot drilled the upper right corner of the net to give the Aztecs the lead and their first win of the 2019 season.

Frisch said he felt SDSU’s effort throughout the game was worthy of a victory.

“I knew that we only had about two minutes left in the game and I did not want it to go into overtime,” Frisch said. “We worked really hard all game and I wanted our team to get that victory when we deserved it.”

Friesen said the goal was huge but jokingly wished the shot came earlier in the match.

“Just a high-quality finish to the game and important for our team, but it was a little late for my liking,” said Friesen, with a smile on his face.

Friesen said he would have liked to see more quality shots over a large quantity of them.

“We did create chances,” Friesen said. “I would like us to have better quality chances, so I felt like we kind of bailed ourselves out.”

The Aztecs’ next home game comes against San Francisco on Aug. 29 at the SDSU Sports Deck.

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