Aztecs to play 10 home games in program’s 50th anniversary season
July 31, 2017 (San Diego) - Celebrating the program’s 50th year of competition, San Diego State men’s soccer head coach Lev Kirshner unveiled the Aztecs’ highly anticipated 2017 schedule on Monday. The challenging slate features 10 matches at SDSU Sports Deck, along with seven dates against opponents that qualified for the NCAA Tournament last season.
Fans will be afforded their first look at the 2017 Aztecs when they welcome Division II power Cal Poly Pomona to The Mesa in preseason friendly on Friday, Aug. 18, starting at 7 p.m. PT. The Broncos were national runners-up in 2015 before falling in the finals of the D-II West Regionals last year.
The Aztecs will officially open the season the following weekend when they travel to the East Coast for a pair of matches against first-time opponents Army and Vermont in West Point, New York. SDSU will square off against the Black Knights on Friday, Aug. 25, beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET, followed by a neutral-site clash with the Catamounts on Sunday, Aug. 27, starting at noon ET.
Last season, Army posted a 9-8-2 overall record last year, before losing to Colgate in the first round of the Patriot League championships. Vermont, meanwhile, compiled a 14-7-1 record during the 2016 campaign, advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, where it dropped a 2-1 heartbreaker to Virginia in double overtime.
The Aztecs return to Montezuma Road to battle UC Santa Barbara in their home opener on Monday, Sept. 4, beginning at 7 p.m. PT. The two sides have not met since 2014, when the Gauchos came away with a 1-0 decision in Santa Barbara. UCSB, which has won at least 10 games in 16 consecutive seasons, captured the North Division title in the Big West last year, but came up short in the conference tournament against Cal State Fullerton.
The following weekend, the Scarlet and Black will serve as co-host for the annual Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Soccer Tournament at SDSU Sports Deck. The Aztecs will entertain San Francisco on Friday, Sept. 8, starting at 7 p.m. PT, before closing out the event against defending Western Athletic Conference regular-season champion Utah Valley on Sunday, Sept. 10, under the lights again at 7 p.m. PT.
Despite a fifth-place finish in the West Coast Conference last year, the Dons proved to be giant-killers, defeating eventual national champion Stanford in a 2-1 thriller at home last September. Meanwhile, the Wolverines were ranked as high as eighth last season by Top Drawer Soccer, but suffered a loss to UNLV in the WAC semifinals, costing them a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
SDSU closes out its three-match homestand on Saturday, Sept. 16, when it faces Cal Poly in another primetime 7 p.m. start. The two teams battled to a scoreless draw in San Luis Obispo last season, marking the Aztecs’ fifth consecutive shutout.
San Diego State embarks on the final road trip of its nonconference ledger when it ventures to the Lone Star State to face UT Rio Grande Valley and the University of Incarnate Word in Edinburg, Texas. The Aztecs will engage the host Vaqueros on Friday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. CT, before battling the Cardinals in another neutral-site contest on Sunday, Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. CT.
SDSU has won two straight against UTRGV, including a 3-0 triumph at home last season, while its showdown with UIW represents the first-ever encounter between the two programs.
Four days later, the Aztecs open their 13th season of competition at home in arguably one of the toughest leagues in America, the Pac-12 Conference, which finished a collective second nationally in RPI last year. First up for SDSU is a date with two-time defending national champion Stanford on Thursday, Sept. 28, starting at 7 p.m. PT, while California invades Montezuma Road for noon PT clash on Sunday, Oct. 1.
Last season, the Aztecs snapped the Cardinal’s five-match winning streak to open conference play with a 1-1 draw on the Sports Deck before sweeping the Golden Bears for the first time since 2009, following a 1-0 victory at home on Senior Day.
A trip to the Evergreen State awaits as SDSU squares off against Washington on Thursday, Oct. 5, to kick off a three-game road swing. The Aztecs will battle the Huskies in a 7 p.m. PT start, before facing Oregon State in a Sunday matinee on Oct. 8, beginning at 11 a.m. PT.
San Diego State defeated Washington, 1-0 in Seattle last season, scoring a goal with less than 10 seconds remaining in regulation to complete its first-ever sweep against the Huskies, who eventually lost to Denver in the third round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament. Meanwhile, the Aztecs will be looking to avenge a tough 3-2 overtime defeat to the Beavers in Corvallis after the two teams staged a 1-1 draw on Montezuma Road earlier in the year.
SDSU will face another stern test the following week when it travels up the coast to face UCLA on Sunday, Oct. 5, starting at 5 p.m. PT. In Los Angeles last season, the Aztecs forged a 0-0 tie against a Bruin squad that advanced to the NCAA Tournament before dropping a 2-1 decision to Louisville in the second round.
SDSU will step out of conference play for their next match when they lock horns with WCC-member Santa Clara at home on Saturday, Oct. 21, starting at 7 p.m. PT. Despite a 5-10-1 overall record, the Broncos played tough during the 2016 campaign, losing eight games by one goal.
The second half of Pac-12 competition gets underway with a pair of home matches the following week when the Aztecs engage Washington on Thursday, Oct. 26, beginning at 7 p.m. PT, before Oregon State pays a visit to “America’s Finest City” on Sunday, Oct. 29 for a noon PT clash.
SDSU will then head north to the Bay Area for a return engagement with California on Thursday, Nov. 2, beginning at 3:30 p.m. PT in Berkeley, before facing Stanford once again on Sunday, Nov. 5, at 5 p.m. PT.
For the third year in a row, the Aztecs close out their regular-season schedule against UCLA, when the Bruins venture to Montezuma Road on Saturday, Nov. 11. Opening tap for the Aztecs’ Senior Night is set for 7 p.m. PT.
Throughout the year, San Diego State will honor past players from each of the previous five decades. In addition, all five road games will be broadcast on Pac-12 Networks for the second straight season.
SDSU returns six starters from last year’s squad that finished with a 9-4-6 record and qualified for the NCAA Tournament, including three NSCAA all-Far West Region honorees in midfielder Pablo Pelaez (first team), defender Kyle Adams (second team) and goalkeeper Adam Allmaras (third team.)