Men's Soccer Opens 2015 at Home vs. Grand Canyon
Aug. 27, 2015
SAN DIEGO -
Game Week Preview
- The Aztecs are 2-1-1 all-time against Grand Canyon. During the teams’ last meeting in 2013, San Diego State shut out the Lopes by a 4-0 score, thanks to three second-half tallies and a staunch defensive effort that limited Grand Canyon to just two shots on frame.
- On Aug. 20, the Aztecs were in action for the first time in 2015 when USD visited Montezuma Mesa. The Aztecs allowed a goal in the 61st minute, which proved to be the deciding goal. In the scoring sequence, the Toreros banked a shot off the crossbar, gathered the rebound and ultimately found the back of the net on their very next attempt.
- San Diego State’s 2015 slate will be a tough test for the program’s 47th incarnation. It features 14 matches against teams that appeared in the 2014 NCAA Tournament, including six clubs that received votes in the NSCAA Preseason Coaches’ Poll. Additionally, five of the six Pac-12 squads that advanced to the postseason, all of which the Aztecs face twice, moved on to NCAA Tournament’s second round, highlighted by preseason No. 1 UCLA.
- 2014 Pac-12 All-Academic Team honorees Adam Allmaras and Casey Macias are two-of-six starters returning to San Diego State’s lineup from a year prior. The 2014 team’s starting keeper, Allmaras joins the Scarlet and Black for a third season after posting four clean sheets and a 1.46 goals against average last year. Macias, a midfielder, started all 17 matches in which he played, notching a goal at No. 22 California and registering 10 shots over the year.
- In 2015, the Aztecs will be captained by a trio of experienced players in Casey Macias, Casey Phillips and Matt Callahan. In addition to Macias’ 17 starts in San Diego State’s midfield, defenders Phillips and Callahan each began over 50 percent of the Aztecs’ 2014 contests on the pitch. Callahan brings five years in the Scarlet and Black to the group, while Macias and Phillips are both juniors.
- San Diego State welcomes 10 new players to Montezuma Road for the program’s 42nd campaign in 2015. Transfers Simon Said (Rider), Jeroen Meefout (Maryland), Dallin Cutler (BYU), Winston Sorhaitz (BYU) and Luke Ackerman (Azusa Pacific) bring collegiate experience to the team, while Kyle Adams, Edin Sinanovic, Angelo Basso, Mac Clarke and Max Watkin enter the season as true freshmen. Redshirt freshmen Anthony Macias, Nedin Tucakovic, Aleks Berkolds and Greg Norris round out San Diego State’s crop of young guns. SDSU’s recruiting class was ranked 49th nationally by College Soccer News.
- Two Aztecs represented on the international stage during the offseason. Junior Travis Nicklaw donned Guam’s uniform in 2018 World Cup Qualifying action, scoring the match-winner in a 2-1 victory over India. Redshirt freshman Nedin Tucakovic participated in a U-20 camp for Bosnia-Herzegovina U-21 Men’s National Team, preparing for the 2017 UEFA Under-21 Championship.
- San Diego State has been very tough to beat at home during the non-conference season under head coach Lev Kirshner, who has been at the helm of the program since the 2000 campaign. The Aztecs have posted a 48-26-7 (.636) record at home vs. non-league foes, including last year’s 6-1 effort, and will take a five-game winning streak vs. such opponents into Saturday’s game. Since 2010, SDSU has gone 17-5-2 (.750) in the non-conference at home.
- San Diego State is looking to continue a trend that was briefly derailed last year. The Aztecs have won four of their last five home openers and outscored their opponents by a combined score of 11-4. A season ago, SDSU was blanked 1-0 by Bakersfield in its first home contest of the campaign.
- Looking ahead, the Aztecs will play their annual alumni game on Sunday, before prepping for another homestand, which begins next Friday. San Diego State will play host to San Diego Christian on Friday night at Montezuma Road (7 p.m. PT), before welcoming George Washington on Sunday at 4 p.m. PT.