Sept. 2, 2017
SAN DIEGO -
SDSU-UCSB Weekly Release
Game Day Preview
San Diego State (1-1-0, 0-0-0 Pac-12) vs. UC Santa Barbara (0-1-2, 0-0-0 Big West)
Monday, Sept. 4 | 7:00 p.m. PT | SDSU Sports Deck | San Diego, Calif.
Live Stats & Video on GoAztecs.com
- SDSU men’s soccer looks to continue its streak of seven consecutive home-opener victories on Monday night, as UC Santa Barbara visits the SDSU Sports Deck for a Labor Day affair slated to begin at 7:00 p.m.
- The Aztecs are coming off a trip to the east coast last weekend, as SDSU split a pair of overtime games against Army West Point and Vermont. After SDSU fell 1-0 to Army West Point on Friday, Aug. 25, the Aztecs rebounded nicely with a 2-1 win over Vermont on Sunday, Aug. 27. Jeroen Meefout scored the Aztecs first goal of the season on Sunday, and Dallin Cutler capitalized on an overtime tally to seal SDSU’s first win of the 2017 campaign.
- The Aztecs opening the season with back-to-back overtime contests is a rare occurrence in the programs history, being just the third time in the 50-year history of the program and the first time since 2001. Three consecutive overtime contests has only happened three times since SDSU’s national runner-up season in 1987.
- With SDSU’s win over Vermont, the Aztecs extended its winning streak when playing on Sundays to an astounding eight games. Last season, SDSU went a perfect 7-0-0 when playing on Sunday.
- In the early goings of the season, the Aztecs have already shown a degree of precision in their offensive attack, with 47.1 percent of shooting chances being on target. The backline has done their fair share, too, with only 18.5 percent of the opposition’s shots being on frame.
- The overtime win in Vermont gave SDSU its 13th overtime win since the start of the 2007 season. The Aztecs are 4-4-4 in the games following an overtime victory over that span.
- SDSU should be well rested for its match against UC Santa Barbara, with the Aztecs having the luxury of an eight-day break since its trip to Army West Point. The extra rest has proved to be helpful for the Aztecs in recent memory, as SDSU is unbeaten in its last four matches when having a week or more of rest.
- Against Vermont, SDSU posted an 11th minute goal by Jeroen Meefout to take an early 1-0. Although Vermont eventually tied the game at 1-1 in the second half, the Aztecs continued an unbeaten streak of 16 games (13-0-3) when scoring first. That streak dates back to the middle portion of the 2015 season.
- SDSU has won seven consecutive home openers heading into the 2017 opener against UCSB, however, no victory proved to be bigger than last years home opening win against No. 1 Akron. That win against Akron gave SDSU its first-ever win against the top-ranked team in the nation.
- The Aztecs hold the advantage in the all-time series against UC Santa Barbara with a 18-13-3 record against the Gauchos. It is the first meeting between the Aztecs and Gauchos since 2014.
- The Aztecs reached the NCAA Tournament for the ninth time in program history last season, giving the Aztecs its ninth appearance in program history. 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.
- 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 2016, 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 the 50th season in SDSU men’s soccer history and the team has accumulated a 468-327-110 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).
- UC Santa Barbara is off to a slow offensive start to the year, as the Gauchos have yet to score a goal over their first three games of the 2017 season. After battling in a pair of scoreless draws to start the season, UCSB is most recently coming off a 1-0 defeat against San Diego on Friday night.