Aztecs defeat Fresno State in overtime thriller

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Aztecs defeat Fresno State in overtime thriller

SDSU freshman midfielder Kiera Utush fights for possession against a Texas Tech defender on Aug. 22 at the SDSU Sports Deck.

SDSU freshman midfielder Kiera Utush fights for possession against a Texas Tech defender on Aug. 22 at the SDSU Sports Deck.

Aaron Tolentino

SDSU freshman midfielder Kiera Utush fights for possession against a Texas Tech defender on Aug. 22 at the SDSU Sports Deck.

Aaron Tolentino

Aaron Tolentino

SDSU freshman midfielder Kiera Utush fights for possession against a Texas Tech defender on Aug. 22 at the SDSU Sports Deck.

by Devin Whatley, Staff Writer

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San Diego State women’s soccer extended its three-game winning streak to four, beating Fresno State in a 2-1 overtime victory on Oct. 25 at the SDSU Sports Deck. 

The win ties SDSU with Boise State for first place in the Mountain West Conference standings with a 7-2 record (8-7-1 overall).

Head coach Mike Friesen said he has been impressed with the turnaround of the team this season, winning 7 of their last 9 games after heading into conference play with a 1-5-1 record.

“Our young players have really come a long way, but also our mature players have stepped up into leadership roles for us,” Friesen said. 

Freisen said what is more impressive is that the Aztecs have scored 21 goals, including 18 in conference games.

“We knew once we started scoring goals we’d be fine,” Friesen said. “We were doing all the right things, we just weren’t finishing it off. I just kept telling them to put the money in the bank (take shots) and at some point we would make a withdrawal (score).”

The Aztecs opened the game attacking on offense early and often, finishing with 14 shots total, and six of eight first half shots coming within the first 30 minutes.

One of those eight first half shots resulted in a goal by sophomore forward Taylor Moorehead off an assist by freshman defender/forward Jessica Sanders in the 10th minute.

“I think it was good getting a goal early in the game because it gave us a little bit of energy and it made us want it more and it made it easier for the team,” Moorehead said.

The first half momentum stalled in the second half, as a Fresno State corner kick led to a Bulldogs goal to tie the game at 1-1 in the 50th minute. 

The Aztecs were able to create opportunities to score, but were unable to convert on five shots in the second half. The Aztecs entered the overtime period for the second time this season.

“We really struggled and labored the rest of the game,” Friesen said. “I’m really proud that we didn’t play our best and yet still got a good result. That’s the mark of a team that can win a championship.”

As the game went into overtime, true freshman and Oct. 21 MWC Offensive Player of the Week Rachelle Elve scored a goal in the 91st minute off a goal kick by Brooke Lisowski, sealing victory for the Aztecs.

“Our coaches were talking about staying wide, staying high, and using my speed to win those through balls, and I’ve just been running off of them in the corners and scoring goals,” Elve said.

Friesen said the Elve goal proves the Huntington Beach, Calif. native is growing as a player as the season moves along.

“It’s been fun to see in the last three, four weeks that all of a sudden she is getting those opportunities, she’s finishing them, she’s creating goals, creating service for players, and gelling with the team,” Friesen said.“It’s been a fun thing to see her start scoring a lot of goals.”

Looking ahead, the Aztecs face San José State during the team’s Senior Day on Oct. 27 at the SDSU Sports Deck.

Update: This article was updated at 9:15 p.m. on Oct. 26 to correct an error on the Aztecs’ overall record.

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