The Daily Aztec

Amber Salas

Amber Salas, Senior Staff Writer

Amber is a fourth-year journalism student from San Clemente, California. This is her second year writing and reporting for The Daily Aztec. She hopes to one day share the stories of athletes as a sideline reporter covering the NHL or NFL. Amber is a big fan of the Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Angels. She loves following all of college football as well. Amber is also a member of the SDSU Cheer team where she has competed three times at the UCA College Nationals in Orlando, Florida. Follow her on Twitter @ambersalass.

All content by Amber Salas
San Diego State men's basketball head coach Brian Dutcher gives instructions to a player during the Aztecs' 69-67 win over Nevada on Jan. 9, 2021 at Viejas Arena.

An offseason day in the life of Brian Dutcher

April 16, 2021

San Diego State men’s basketball headed to the Indianapolis International Airport Saturday morning following its 78-62 loss to Syracuse in the First...

Continue Reading
Bryce Cregan was an assistant coach on the University of Pittsburgh staff since 2018.

Men’s soccer adds Bryce Cregan as new assistant coach

April 13, 2021

San Diego State men’s soccer announced the hiring of Bryce Cregan as the Aztecs’ new assistant coach Monday afternoon.  Cregan joins the Aztecs...

Continue Reading
San Diego State men's soccer head coach Ryan Hopkins runs down the touchline shouting instructions at his players during the Aztecs' 2-0 upset over No. 4 Washington on March 28, 2021 at the SDSU Sports Deck.

Seeking inclusivity, Hopkins joins Clive Charles Diversity Hiring Initiative

April 10, 2021

San Diego State men’s soccer announced Wednesday that head coach Ryan Hopkins has joined other college coaches across the nation in the Clive Charles...

Continue Reading

[Video] Houston and Tezino return to the Mesa with hopes of second chance in NFL

April 1, 2021

San Diego State football returned two former players to the practice field on Thursday with hopes of getting a second chance to pursue the opportunity...

Continue Reading
San Diego State men's basketball senior forward Matt Mitchell guards Syracuse sophomore forward Quincy Guerrier during the Aztecs' 78-62 loss to the Orange during the first round of the NCAA Tournament on March 19, 2021 at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Syracuse upsets Aztecs in first round of NCAA Tournament

March 20, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS— No. 6 seed San Diego State men’s basketball came into Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis knowing it had a tough test ahead of it with...

Continue Reading
Then-junior forward Matt Mitchell pulls up for a mid-range shot during the Aztecs' 73-60 win over Air Force in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West tournament on March 5, 2020 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

Column: One year later, it’s special for the Aztecs to be back

March 8, 2021

San Diego State men’s basketball is gearing up for the most pivotal moments of the season as it heads into the Mountain West Conference tournament in...

Continue Reading
San Diego State men's soccer freshman defender Bryson Hankins faces a Stanford defender during the Aztecs' 1-0 loss to the Cardinal on Feb. 27 at the SDSU Sports Deck.

Aztecs drop home opener to No. 4 Stanford in extra time

March 1, 2021

San Diego State men’s soccer gave No. 4 Stanford a run for its money during SDSU’s home opener Saturday night at the SDSU Sports Deck. The Aztecs (0-1-1...

Continue Reading
San Diego State men's basketball senior forward Joshua Tomaić passes the ball after getting double-teamed by two Brigham Young defenders during the Aztecs' 72-62 loss to the Cougars on Dec. 18, 2020 at Viejas Arena.

Men’s basketball preparing for conference showdown against Boise State

February 24, 2021

No. 22/25 San Diego State men’s basketball is getting ready to play in what most would consider its biggest game of the year Thursday against Boise State.  The...

Continue Reading
San Diego State softball then-junior pitcher Marissa Moreno fires a pitch during the Aztecs' 4-3 over New Mexico on March 17, 2019 at the SDSU Softball Stadium.

Softball eager to be back in action for 2021 season

February 18, 2021

San Diego State softball is making its way back to the field for the first time in 11 months with its first home series of the season set for this weekend...

Continue Reading
Sophomore forward Keshad Johnson finishes a one-handed slam during the Aztecs' 77-55 win over San José State on Feb. 10, 2021 at Viejas Arena.

Column: Are offensive struggles a concern headed into tournament season?

February 13, 2021

Aztec fans held their breath on Wednesday night when the San José State Spartans were within one possession of tying the game at the start of the second...

Continue Reading
Former Virginia assistant coach Ryan Hopkins (left) instructs a player along the sideline during Hopkins' tenure as the Cavaliers head coach. Hopkins was hired as the new head coach of San Diego State men's soccer in January 2020.

Men’s soccer to return in 2021 with new mindset

February 3, 2021

On a typical fall Friday night, the sun sets over Montezuma Road as the bright stadium lights turn on. Fans trickle into the bleachers at the SDSU Sports...

Continue Reading
Senior forward Matt Mitchell attempts a dunk during the Aztecs' 98-71 win over Wyoming on Jan. 31 at Viejas Arena.

Three observations: Men’s basketball routs Wyoming, takes series with 98-71 win

January 31, 2021

San Diego State men’s basketball closed out its home series against the Wyoming Cowboys with a sweep after a 98-71 win on Saturday night at Viejas Arena.  It...

Continue Reading
Then-freshman forward Hunter George dribbles down the wing during the Aztecs' 4-0 loss to California on Oct. 10, 2019 at the SDSU Sports Deck.

Men’s soccer 2020-21 season schedule unveiled

January 26, 2021

San Diego State men’s soccer announced its 2021 schedule and is set to take the field for its first match in just 16 days. The Aztecs are ready to...

Continue Reading
The San Diego State men's basketball team celebrates after a play during the Aztecs' 69-67 win over Nevada on Jan. 9 at Viejas Arena. Senior forward Joshua Tomaić (left) looks on with freshman guard Lamont Butler, while he celebrates with his arms around sophomore forward Keshad Johnson.

Aztecs rout Air Force on road in team’s fourth conference win of season

January 23, 2021

A dominating first half performance by San Diego State men’s basketball helped the Aztecs notch a 98-61 win over the Air Force Falcons on Friday, Jan....

Continue Reading
Junior cornerback Darren Hall intercepts a pass during the Aztecs’ 29-17 win against Colorado State on Dec. 5 at Dignity Health Sports Park.

Football update: Aztecs withdraw from bowl consideration, conference honors and more

December 16, 2020

San Diego State football ended the unprecedented 2020 football regular season last week with a 28-14 loss to nationally-ranked No. 18 BYU.  The Aztecs...

Continue Reading
Then-sophomore forward  Nathan Mensah goes up to the basket during the Aztecs' 59-57 victory over San José State on Dec. 8, 2019 at Viejas Arena.

Column: Welcome back, Nathan Mensah

December 11, 2020

17 points. 15 rebounds.  Basketball fans, let’s give a warm welcome back to Nathan Mensah.  The 6-foot-10 San Diego State junior forward recorded...

Continue Reading
Sophomore quarterback Carson Baker drops back and prepares to throw a pass during the Aztecs' 28-17 loss to San José State on Nov. 6 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif.

Column: Aztecs need to find consistency at quarterback position

November 27, 2020

San Diego State football fans thought they finally found what they’ve been looking for when transfer Lucas Johnson took the field as the Aztecs starting...

Continue Reading
Then-sophomore forward Nathan Mensah attempts a shot over a Texas Southern defender during the Aztecs' 2019 season opener against the Tigers on Nov. 5 at Viejas Arena. The game resulted in a 77-42 SDSU victory.

Nathan Mensah returns to action following health issue

November 25, 2020

San Diego State men’s basketball is set to take the court Wednesday night against UCLA to open the 2020-2021 season with a defensive presence they deeply...

Continue Reading
Junior running back Jordan Byrd celebrates after scoring a rushing touchdown during the Aztecs’ 34-10 win over the Rainbow Warriors at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Nov. 14.

Column: Aztecs in need of improvement on special teams

November 17, 2020

As San Diego State football made preparations to begin the 2020 season back in October, Head Coach Brady Hoke said special teams would be one of the Aztecs'...

Continue Reading
Then-junior safety Dwayne Johnson Jr., then-junior linebacker Andrew Aleki and then-senior linebacker Kyahva Tezino combine for a tackle against a Central Michigan ballcarrier during the Aztecs' 48-11 win over the Chippewas in the New Mexico Bowl at Dreamstyle Stadium in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Column: SDSU defense remains among best in nation in 2020

November 5, 2020

San Diego State’s defense could best be described as remarkable since 2019. Last season, the Aztecs produced a defense that ranked top four in the nation,...

Continue Reading
Sophomore forward Mallory Adams (left) and then-junior guard Téa Adams (right) each dribble the ball up the court during the Aztecs' 55-45 win over Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 17, 2019 at Viejas Arena.

Mallory Adams and Téa Adams send open letter to student-athletes regarding 2020 Election

November 3, 2020

San Diego State student-athletes are exercising their right to let their voice be heard during this year’s election. 463 student-athletes are registered...

Continue Reading
Senior running back Greg Bell points his finger to the sky after scoring a touchdown during the Aztecs' 34-6 win over UNLV on Oct. 24 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. Bell finished the game with 111 rushing yards and a touchdown.

Column: Greg Bell helps the Aztecs’ ground game emerge

October 30, 2020

In San Diego State’s 34-6 victory against UNLV on Saturday night, one thing was made very clear: the offense is not messing around.  The team’s...

Continue Reading
Members of the 2019 SDSU football team pose in celebration with the Old Oil Can trophy after the Aztecs’ 17-7 victory over Fresno State on Nov. 15, 2019 at SDCCU Stadium. The win over the Bulldogs marked the first time the Old Oil Can was in SDSU's possession since 2016.

How SDSU football made it to an October 24 season opener

October 22, 2020

On Oct. 24, San Diego State football will kick off for their first football game of the season against UNLV at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif....

Continue Reading
Then-junior safety Dwayne Johnson Jr. lays a hit on a BYU receiver during the Aztecs’ 13-3 victory on Nov. 30, 2019 at SDCCU Stadium. With the help of former SDSU cornerback Ron Smith and his sister, Johnson Jr. started a GoFundMe page called the Building Connections Project Fund, assisting low-income families with online learning resources.

Dwayne Johnson Jr. assists families in need of resources for virtual learning

October 19, 2020

San Diego State football fans know senior safety Dwayne Johnson Jr. as a force on the football field. This past season, Johnson Jr. was named a Pro Football...

Continue Reading
Then-sophomore midfielder Arturo Chavez looks to cross the ball into the penalty area during the Aztecs' 1-0 overtime loss to Oregon State on Oct. 24, 2019 at the SDSU Sports Deck.

Pac-12 Conference postpones fall sports through end of year, affecting SDSU men’s soccer

August 12, 2020

The Pac-12 Conference announced its decision to postpone all fall sports through the end of 2020 on Aug. 11. San Diego State men’s soccer is the only...

Continue Reading

Quarantine Preplay episode 3: Casey Schmitt drafted 49th overall by San Francisco Giants

June 22, 2020

 Sports reporters Amber Salas and Reese Savoie talked to SDSU’s own Casey Schmitt who was drafted in the second round of the 2020 MLB Draft.

Continue Reading
SDSU alumni Rachel Hanson (second to left) and Tory Brown (second to right) pose with their fellow dance instructors during the Black Lives Matter Master Class fundraiser on June 13.

Former SDSU dancer hosts virtual dance fundraiser to support Black Lives Matter

June 21, 2020

In moments of hardship and despair, people tend to turn to things they are most passionate about. For dancers, being able to dance is a way to escape reality...

Continue Reading
Softball head coach in waiting Stacey Nuveman Deniz adjusts her visor during the Aztecs' 3-0 win over Brigham Young on Feb. 15 at SDSU Softball Stadium.

Stacey Nuveman Deniz named softball head coach in waiting

June 3, 2020

San Diego State Athletics announced current softball associate head coach Stacey Nuveman Deniz as the head coach in waiting in a press release on May 28.  With...

Continue Reading
SDSU women's soccer senior forward Veronica Avalos (left) and redshirt sophomore midfielder Abbie Rieder (right) are on their way to deliver groceries for the nonprofit Leave It To Us whose San Diego chapter was started by Rieder.

Unable to make assists on the field, Aztecs’ Rieder starts nonprofit assisting seniors

May 7, 2020

April is usually a time when San Diego State women’s soccer would begin its spring practice schedule to prepare for the upcoming fall season. A typical...

Continue Reading

[Video] Five Aztec football stars head to the NFL: Quarantine Preplay episode one

May 2, 2020

Sports reporters Amber Salas and Kyle Betz dive into all NFL draft news as five Aztecs head to the big leagues. Find out where they landed, and what skills...

Continue Reading

[Video] Matt Mitchell to test NBA draft process

April 26, 2020

San Diego State men’s basketball forward Matt Mitchell decided he will test the waters of the NBA by entering his name for the upcoming draft without...

Continue Reading

[Video] Four Aztecs signed as undrafted free agents to NFL rosters

April 25, 2020

Following the conclusion of the 2020 NFL Draft, undrafted San Diego State football athletes got the chance to sign as free agents to NFL rosters. Among...

Continue Reading

[Video] Aztecs’ Malachi Flynn forgoes senior season, enters NBA Draft

April 17, 2020

San Diego State men’s basketball junior guard Malachi Flynn was on edge with one of the biggest decisions he has ever made. Does he go to the NBA...

Continue Reading
Aztecs head coach Brian Dutcher picks up commitment from another grad transfer guard for the second year in a row. Last year, it was KJ Feagin.

Grad transfer guard from CSUN commits to San Diego State

April 7, 2020

Former Cal State Northridge guard Terrell Gomez will be the newest member of the San Diego State men’s basketball team. Gomez announced the news via...

Continue Reading
Junior guard Malachi Flynn drives left during the Aztecs' 81-68 victory over Boise State in the Mountain West tournament semifinal on March 6 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.

Flynn becomes first Aztec to be named John R. Wooden All-American since 1984

April 2, 2020

San Diego State men’s basketball junior guard Malachi Flynn was announced as a member of the John R. Wooden All-American Team on Wednesday afternoon. The...

Continue Reading
The Aztec bench celebrates during its 73-60 win over Air Force in the Mountain West tournament quartfinal at the Thomas and Mack Center on March 5.

The time ESPN was supposed to visit SDSU’s campus following Selection Sunday

April 1, 2020

The coronavirus has caused cancellations that San Diego State men’s basketball could have never imagined. Its magical season of going 30-2, with a chance...

Continue Reading
Junior pitcher Maggie Balint gets ready to throw her next pitcher during the Aztecs' 3-0 loss to BYU on Feb. 13 at SDSU Softball Stadium.

Aztec softball ‘heartbroken’ after NCAA cancels season

March 24, 2020

It’s been almost two weeks since the Mountain West Board of Directors made the decision to cancel all remaining spring sports competitions due to concerns...

Continue Reading
Then-junior forward Matt Mitchell holds up a piece of the net after the Aztecs defeated New Mexico 82-59 on Feb. 11, claiming the Mountain West regular-season title at Viejas Arena.

[Video] NCAA cancels tournament, school suspends spring sports

March 12, 2020

All Mountain West Conference spring sports have been suspended in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference announced in a statement Thursday morning. "The...

Continue Reading
Aztecs assistant coach David Velasquez (middle) puts his head down in disappointment during the Aztecs' 59-56 loss to Utah State on March 11 at the Thomas and Mack Center.

[Video] Aztecs will play first NCAA tournament game without fans due to coronavirus

March 11, 2020

The NCAA has announced it will limit future attendance of sporting events in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. NCAA President Mark Emmert released a statement...

Continue Reading
Junior outfielder Alexa Schultz celebrates as she scored the walk-off run to give SDSU the 3-2 victory in the eighth inning against Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 14 at SDSU Softball Stadium.

Softball walks off to complete two-game sweep in doubleheader, Balint notches save and win

February 15, 2020

San Diego State softball played a doubleheader on Friday, Feb. 14 at SDSU Softball Stadium. The Aztecs won their first game 5-4 over Southern Utah and...

Continue Reading

[Video] The Daily Aztec Live — Feb. 7, 2020

February 8, 2020

Journalists are backed into a corner. Having found ourselves as creators and truth seekers, we are in competition with an ever-growing online presence...

Continue Reading
In two seasons at Oregon, Maggie Balint went 28-4 with a 1.51 ERA and 214 strikeouts against 53 walks in 185 innings.

Oregon transfer set to star in Aztecs’ pitching staff

February 6, 2020

Former Oregon standout pitcher Maggie Balint is ready to step on the circle with San Diego State softball for the 2020 season. Balint put her name in...

Continue Reading
Sophomore forward Michael Pellegrino against Washington on Nov. 2 at the Joan Kroc Center.

Hockey reaches 20 wins for first time in program history

February 4, 2020

San Diego State men’s ice hockey made program history on Saturday, Jan. 25 in its 5-4 shootout victory over Arizona State at Oceanside Ice Arena in Tempe,...

Continue Reading
Sophomore goalie Nick Ilvento looks to protect his net against Long Beach State on Dec. 6 at Lakewood Ice in Long Beach, California.

Nick Ilvento stepping up as lone goalkeeper for Aztecs

December 13, 2019

Most college hockey teams keep three goalies on their roster. For San Diego State, this isn’t the case. Sophomore goalie Nick Ilvento has started...

Continue Reading
Senior defender Devyn Taras leads the pack of players looking to gain possession of the puck during SDSU's 4-2 win on Dec. 6 at Lakewood Ice in Long Beach, CA.

Hockey continues dominance against Long Beach State, improves to 19-3-1

December 9, 2019

San Diego State hockey defeated Long Beach State for the third time this season by a final score of 4-2 on the road at Lakewood Ice on Dec. 6.  In...

Continue Reading
Senior forward Aaron Mayer controls the puck during the Aztecs' 8-1 win over Long Beach State on Nov. 23 at the Joan Kroc Center.

Hockey routs Long Beach State 8-1

November 27, 2019

San Diego State hockey had their second win of the weekend with a 8-1 victory over Long Beach State on Nov. 23 at the Joan Kroc Center.  The Aztecs...

Continue Reading
Junior Reece Breuckman (left) skates next to senior Adrien Wisch (right) during a stoppage of play in the Aztecs’ 6-1 win over Washington on Nov. 1 at Joan Kroc Center.

SDSU’s comeback falls short in loss to Arizona State

November 13, 2019

San Diego State hockey was looking to secure a clean sweep over the weekend against PAC-8 teams but was unsuccessful due to a 4-3 loss to Arizona State...

Continue Reading
Load More Stories