Men’s soccer edged by No. 7 Stanford 1-0 in defensive battle


Luis Lopez

Freshman midfielder Blake Bowen attempts to get past two Stanford defenders during the Aztecs’ 1-0 loss to the Cardinal on Oct. 13 at the SDSU Sports Deck.

by Cristian Alvarez, Staff Writer

San Diego State men’s soccer lost 1-0 to No. 7 Stanford on Oct. 13 at the SDSU Sports Deck.

The Aztecs (3-7-1, 0-5 Pac-12) found themselves in a defensive battle against a top-ranked opponent in the Cardinal (9-1-2, 3-1-1 Pac-12), with a breakaway goal in the 58th minute by Stanford freshman forward Ousseni Bouda being the difference.

“At the end of the day, it’s one moment and at this level, when you play top-10 teams, the game plan has to be nearly perfect,” head coach Lev Kirshner said. “And we were nearly perfect today.”

Kirshner added Stanford’s only score in the match came as a result of an unforced error from the Aztecs.

“We threw a long ball which isn’t something we normally do in games,” he said. “No one was fighting inside the box and we couldn’t get to the ball. Our lines were open, we didn’t foul and let (Bouda) make a run to score a ‘golazo’ on their side of the field.”

The Aztecs have lost three games in a row while conceding 10 goals over the span.

However, SDSU applied pressure and tightened up spaces, making things difficult for the Cardinal.

“We’ve been bleeding five goals, four goals here and there so things in the backline had to change,” Kirshner said. “Fortunately, my decisions showed to be pretty productive.”

In five games of Pac-12 play this season, the Aztecs have yet to come away with their first victory.

“It’s tough not getting any points, but we’ll just have to move forward and build from this game,” sophomore midfielder Arturo Chavez said.

The Cardinal limited the Aztecs in scoring opportunities throughout the match.

SDSU earned just seven shots and five corners compared to 13 shots and 16 corner-kicks in their previous match against the Golden Bears.

Despite their offensive efforts, the Aztecs have been unable to show any goals for it.

“I felt like we could’ve been a little sharper in those moments,” Chavez said. “It easily could have led to one or two goals with the kind of opportunities we had.”

SDSU has not recorded a goal since its 5-2 loss against UCLA on Oct. 6.

Chavez said the team focused on cleaning things up defensively in the past two games, but have to be solid on both sides of the ball moving forward.

“(In) this game our defense came out and performed,” he said. “We have to put our offense and defense together in order to get a result.”

Even with a loss against Stanford, senior midfielder Pablo Pelaez said this game helped boost the team’s confidence.

“It was a good stepping stone for the guys to bounce back after a couple of tough losses,” he said. “I liked the effort from the team, but at the same time, we are not happy with losing.”

Next, the Aztecs take a pause from conference play to face Marshall on Oct. 18 at the SDSU Sports Deck.

Cristian Alvarez is senior studying journalism. Follow him on Twitter @AlvarezTheViper.