Men’s soccer drops first two of four-game road trip before Pac-12 home opener

Then-junior+midfielder+Pablo+Pelaez+lines+up+for+a+kick+during+the+Aztecs+2-1+victory+over+UNLV+on+Sept.+24%2C+2018+at+the+SDSU+Sports+Deck.

File photo

Then-junior midfielder Pablo Pelaez lines up for a kick during the Aztecs 2-1 victory over UNLV on Sept. 24, 2018 at the SDSU Sports Deck.

by Daniel Guerrero, Staff Writer

San Diego State men’s soccer began its four-game road trip and the opening of its Pac-12 schedule with loses against then-No. 12 Washington and Oregon State. 

But before the Aztecs return home for their conference home opener, they will stay on the road for two more games with matches scheduled against Brown on Sept. 29 and UCLA on Oct. 6.

The Aztecs (2-4-1, 0-2 Pac-12) found themselves down early versus Washington on Sept.19. The Huskies found the back of the net in the sixth minute after sophomore midfielder Lucas Meek scored his third goal of the season. 

Huskies junior midfielder Blake Bodily put Washington up 2-0 in the 49th minute after he capitalized on a penalty kick. 

The Aztecs finished the match with 10 total shots (four on goal), which included a shot from senior midfielder Emil Kjellker that was saved by Huskies’ goalkeeper Sam Fowler in the third minute. 

Senior midfielder Pablo Pelaez said the result of the game versus Washington wasn’t what they had hoped for.

“The game started kind of back and forth,” Pelaez said. “We had a chance early on that was very game changing that we did not finish. I was really disappointed with the results.’’

Two days later against Oregon State, SDSU held its first lead in a conference game this season after freshman forward Hunter George scored in the 44th minute off an assist from sophomore midfielder Laukoa Santos. 

The lead wouldn’t last long for the Aztecs.

Beavers sophomore midfielder Sofiane Djeffal tied up the contest in the 47th minute with a penalty kick. Then two minutes later, sophomore forward Steffen Yeates gave the Beavers the lead.

Santos said the loss in the matchup against Oregon State was emotionally deflating, as the Aztecs felt like they controlled most of the matchup.

“It was just really unfortunate because the effort was there. The boys were all fired up after we scored that goal right before the half ended, “ he said. “It was very disappointing to lose because it was a match that we felt like we dominated and didn’t get the result that we deserved.”

After starting off the road trip 0-2, the Aztecs will still play matches against Brown – which is a non-conference opponent – and UCLA before returning home. 

Santos said the Aztecs’ mindset is to put the past behind them after the back-to-back losses.

“We’re all very motivated. We know we deserve better,” Santos said. “Obviously, we’re not happy about it, but we must move on.” 

Santos said a win against Brown – who SDSU defeated 2-0 in 2018 at home – can benefit the Aztecs before hosting conference opponents California and Stanford.

“We need to for sure get a win at Brown and get the moment flowing back when we come back and play Stanford and (Berkeley).” 

SDSU will host its first conference home game of the season Oct. 10 against California and then will host Stanford on Oct. 13. 

Cristian Alvarez contributed to the reporting of this article.

Daniel Guerrero is a senior studying journalism. Follow him on Twitter @TheDanGuerrero.

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