W. Soccer Continues Homestand vs. Arizona State, Long Beach State
Aug. 23, 2017
SAN DIEGO -
Game Week Preview
Long Beach State (0-1-1; 0-0 Big West) at San Diego State (1-1; 0-0 MW)
- The Aztecs are 1-1 after one week of action, dropping a season-opening decision at ninth-ranked UCLA before shutting out UC Davis. On Friday, SDSU and UCLA were scoreless 36 minutes into the game and the Aztecs trailed, 1-0, after 50 minutes of action before ultimately succumbing, 5-1. On Sunday, San Diego State and UCD were deadlocked at 0-0 until Aliyah Utush found the back of the net in the 52nd minute to push the Aztecs past the Aggies, 1-0. Utush also provided SDSU with its lone goal vs. the Bruins.
- Utush, who entered the campaign as the Aztecs’ returning leading scorer, finished her opening weekend with two goals. Rachel Speros and Mia Root, meanwhile, assisted on Utush’s goal vs. UC Davis. It was Speros’ second career assist and Root’s first career point.
- The Utush-Speros-Root combination were a part of a starting rotation that featured six-first time starters for SDSU. Root, who is a true freshman, started alongside fellow classmates Esther Arnarsdottir, Sarah Broacha and Chloe Frisch, Nikolina Musto, who is a transfer, and Yasmin Ahooja, who did not receive a starting assignment as a true freshman last season.
- The win over UC Davis not only provided SDSU with its first win of the season, something it did not accomplish until Sept. 11 last year, but it gave head coach Mike Friesen his 123rd career victory. The significance of it is that it snapped a tie atop the women’s soccer career wins list, a perch Friesen shared with long-time coach Chuck Clegg.
- Friesen, who broke a tie for No. 1 on the school’s career wins list on Sunday, broke another tie in the process. The 11th-year head coach is now No. 2 all-time on the Mountain West career victories chart. He entered the UC Davis game in a second-place tie with former New Mexico head coach Kit Vela.
- With Utush’s performance over the weekend, the senior is knocking on the door of two top-10 lists. Utush has 17 goals and 49 assists in her career, which both rank 11th in school history. The forward is looking to track down former teammate Victoria Barba, who holds the No. 10 spot on both lists with 18 goals and 50 points in her career. Utush also ranks tied for ninth all-time with 15 career assists.
- Gabby English earned her first shutout of the season in the win vs. UC Davis. In just her second year, the sophomore has nine career shutouts to rank eighth in SDSU history. Her next one will put her in a seventh-place tie with Elizabeth Judkins, who lettered in 1994-95.
- San Diego State has been a good home team in recent memory and Sunday’s decision over UC Davis reinforced it. The Aztecs are 7-1-1 atop SDSU Sports Deck since Sept. 23, 2016, and are 46-8-5 (.822) since the start of the 2012 campaign. Against unranked non-conference opponents at home, San Diego State boasts a 7-1-1 record, dating back to an Aug. 24, 2014, win vs. UC Davis. The lone defeat came last season vs. UCLA.
- SDSU will look to continue its trend of playing well at home vs. teams it has winning records against. The Aztecs are 4-3-1 all-time vs. Arizona State and 5-2-1 vs. Long Beach State. San Diego State has won the last two home games vs. the Sun Devils (2008, 2012) and are 3-0-1 all-time vs. the Pac-12 school in games played in San Diego. As for the 49ers, San Diego State is also 3-0-1 vs. its neighbors to the north in games played in America’s Finest City.
- SDSU is meeting Arizona State for the first time since 2015, but that game was never entered into the record books because after 16 minutes of action in Tempe, lightning, heavy rain and high winds descended upon Sun Devil Soccer Stadium. After a 94-minute weather delay, the contest was called. The last official game between the teams happened in 2012, with the Aztecs picking up a 2-0 home win.
- San Diego State will face Long Beach State for the second straight season and will try to erase the memory of last year’s 3-0 road defeat. The teams last met in San Diego in 2011, which required 110 minutes and ended in a 1-1 double-overtime draw.
Long Beach State