Men's Soccer Welcomes Cal Poly Pomona on Friday
Aug. 16, 2017
SAN DIEGO -
Game Day Preview
- The Aztecs reached the NCAA Tournament for the eighth time in program history last season, ending a 10-year postseason drought for the Aztecs. SDSU returns six starters and 13 letterwinners from last year's squad.
- SDSU was voted fourth in the Pac-12 by league head coaches in the conference's annual preseason poll. The fourth-place standing is tied for the program's highest Pac-12 preseason ranking since the program joined the conference in 2005, having been ranked fourth in 2006, 2010 and 2011.
- The Aztecs had two players named to the 2017 Preseason All-Pac-12 team, including goalkeeper Adam Allmaras and midfielder Pablo Pelaez. SDSU's two honorees is tied for second most in the conference, trailing only Stanford's three.
- Allmaras led the Pac-12 and finished fourth in the country with a .875 save percentage. In addition, Allmaras ranked 12th nationally with a 0.63 goals against average and his 11 shutouts were the second most ever in a single season at SDSU. Allmaras capped his season earning NSCAA Division I All-Far West Region Third Team and All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention honors.
- In his debut season, Pelaez made quite the name for himself on the pitch, earning NSCAA Division I All-Far West Region First Team, All-Pac-12 Second Team, College Soccer News All-Freshman Second Team, and Top Drawer Soccer Freshman Best XI Second Team accolades. The Mt. Everest Academy product became the first Aztec since 2011 to receive NSCAA All-Far-West Region First Team honors after posting a two-goal, three-assist season for SDSU. To compliment his Preseason All-Pac-12 Team nod, Pelaez was one of just three Pac-12 student-athletes and one of just four rising sophomores in the nation to be named to the 2017 Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy Watch List. The honor is awarded to the top player in the nation on Jan. 5, 2018.
- In addition to Allmaras and Pelaez, the Aztecs return 42 percent of their goal scoring production, including leading returning scorer and All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention honoree Jeroen Meefout (four goals, one assist). The team brings back a wealth of experience, with 2017 returners combining for 58 percent of the team's available minutes in 2016.
- The Aztecs have faced Cal Poly Pomona five times since 1969, with SDSU owning a 4-1 record in those contests. The two teams have not squared off since 1996, and that is the only meeting between the two since 1970. SDSU has won each of the last four meetings and have outscored the Broncos by a combined score of 14-8.
- Although the Aztecs are not featured in the United Soccer Coaches preseason national rankings, with a good start, the Aztecs could see themselves in the rankings early in the season. All three teams above the Aztecs in the Pac-12 preseason coaches poll are featured, with No. 1 Stanford, No. 11 Washington and No. 21 UCLA. SDSU spent 11 of 12 regular-season weeks in the national top 25 and reached as high as No. 11.
- SDSU's 2017 schedule features 19 regular season contests, featuring 10 contests at the SDSU Sports Deck, seven road games and two neutral site matches. SDSU kicks off the regular season at Army West Point in West Point, N.Y. on Friday, August 25. The Aztecs kickoff home action on Monday, September 4 against west coast foe UC Santa Barbara at 7:00 p.m.
- SDSU's trip to West Point will be the longest road trip (2,842 miles) for the Aztecs since 2008 when the squad traveled to Hanover, N.H. (3005 miles), to face No. 17-ranked Dartmouth. After opening the 2017 regular season against Army West Point, SDSU will play a neutral site match against Vermont on Sunday, August 27 at Clinton Field on Army West Point's campus. The two contests will be SDSU's seventh and eighth contests in the Eastern Time Zone since 2003.
- The Aztecs were among the nation's top backlines in 2017, posting the 10th best goals against average in the country at 0.63. In addition to Allmaras in goal, the Aztecs return three defenders from last year's squad, including junior defender Kyle Adams. Adams finished second on the team with 1782 minutes played and was one of just two Aztecs to start all 19 games. The New Zealand national played all but 63 minutes of last year's action and earned NSCAA Division I All-Far West Region Second Team honors.
- The Aztecs have six scheduled contests against preseason top 25 opponents, all of which are featured in the rigorous Pac-12 Conference. SDSU went 3-2-1 against ranked opponents last season, including a victory over No. 1 Akron on Sept. 2, 2016.
- 2017 marks as the 50th season in SDSU men's soccer history and the team has accumulated a 467-326-110 record over the last half century. After starting the program in 1968, SDSU reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time just one year later in 1969. SDSU has also reached the postseason in 1969, 1981, 1982, 1987, 1988, 1989, 2005, 2006, and 2016.
- The 2017 roster features 10 newcomers, divided between six true freshmen and four transfers. Transfers include defender Ilai Shvika (Drexel), DJ Villegas (UCLA), Jamal Bernardez (City College of San Francisco) and Chris Scatterday (Northeastern).
- Cal Poly Pomona enters the friendly ranked No. 15 in NCAA Division II by United Soccer Coaches and had its 2016 campaign come to an end with a 1-0 overtime loss to UC San Diego in the NCAA DII Quarterfinal in La Jolla, Calif. to cap the season at 13-6-3. In 2015, Cal Poly Pomona reached the NCAA Division II National Championship match, but fell to No. 1-ranked Pfeiffer 4-0 in Pensacola, Fla.