Men's Soccer Begins Regular Season Tonight at Army West Point

Aug. 23, 2017

SDSU Men's Soccer Weekly Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Game Week Preview
San Diego State (0-0, 0-0 Pac-12) vs. Army West Point (0-0, 0-0 Patriot League)
Friday, Aug. 25 | 7:30 p.m. ET | Clinton Field | West Point, N.Y.
San Diego State (0-0, 0-0 Pac-12) vs. Vermont (0-0, 0-0 America East)
Sunday, Aug. 27 | 12:00 p.m. ET | Clinton Field | West Point, N.Y.
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- The San Diego State men's soccer team opens 2017 and the program's 50th anniversary season against Army West Point on Friday, Aug. 25, at 7:30 p.m. ET and against Vermont on Sunday, Aug. 27 at noon ET. It is the first-ever meeting for the Aztecs against both clubs.

- 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. (3,005 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.

- Over the past three seasons, SDSU owns a 6-1 record against teams based in the Eastern Time Zone, including a home win last year over Ohio's nationally top-ranked Akron. Over that seven game span, SDSU has outscored its east coast counterparts 15-4. The recent success includes a three-match win streak where SDSU has outscored its opponents 7-0.

- SDSU won its preseason exhibition against Cal Poly Pomona last Friday, topping the Broncos 1-0. Winston Sorhaitz scored the lone goal of the match off a feed from Jeroen Meefout in the 11th minute, while goalkeepers Cameron Hogg and Max Watkin each posted a scoreless half in net. SDSU is now 5-4-4 in preseason exhibitions since the start of the 2008 season.

- The Aztecs reached the NCAA Tournament for the ninth 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, known as the most prestigious individual award in college soccer. On Monday, Pelaez added another preseason honor to his already lengthy collection, with Top Drawer Soccer naming the San Diego native to the 2017 Preseason Best XI Second Team.

- 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.

- 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 went 2-2-2 against those teams in 2016, including the program's first-ever season sweep of Washington.

- 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. The Aztecs kickoff home action on Monday, September 4 against west coast foe UC Santa Barbara at 7:00 p.m.

- 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).

Opponent Notebook
- Army West Point is coming off a 9-8-2 season in 2016, including a 4-4-1 record in the Patriot League. Army West Point returns 2016 leading scorer in sophomore forward Rex Epps, who tallied 11 goals as freshman to earn College Soccer News All-Freshman third team honors. Epps' classmate, Christian Nolasco, saw the majority of time in net for Army West Point in 2016, and posted a 1.08 goals against average with a .783 save percentage in 15 games played.

- SDSU is 9-6 all-time against military academies, split between a 7-6 showing against Air Force and a 2-0 record against Navy. The Aztecs topped Air Force in a double-overtime, 1-0 victory in 2013, while SDSU last played Navy in 1993 and defeated the Midshipmen 2-0.

- Vermont posted a 14-7-1 record in 2016 and saw its season come to a close after a 2-1 double-overtime setback against Virginia in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Jon arnar Barodal leads Catamount returners with three goals and seven assists a season ago. UVM posted a 4-3 record in the America East in 2016 and will take on Hartwick in Oneonta, N.Y. on Friday, Aug. 25 to begin the 2017 campaign. UVM is the first America East opponent for the Aztecs since defeating Albany 6-0 on Sept. 7, 2008.

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