Women's Soccer to Visit Penn State, Cornell This Week
Sept. 7, 2016
SAN DIEGO -
Game Week Preview
San Diego State (0-3; 0-0 MW) at Cornell (2-1; 0-0 Ivy)
- The Aztecs played their best game of the season despite dropping their third game in as many tries, this time at San Diego last Friday. Even in a 2-0 defeat, SDSU was nearly equal in shots, trailing the Toreros, 12-11, and owned a 6-4 advantage in shots on goal. Corner kicks, meanwhile, were even at five apiece.
- San Diego State was forced to play with 10 players for the final 50 minutes, 16 seconds in the game at USD. Angela Mitchell won a 50-50 ball at midfield with a tackle, but was given a red card. Even down a player, the Aztecs enjoyed a handful of quality chances in the second half, including a pair from Aliyah Utush late, and outshot the Toreros, 7-5.
- The short-handed Aztecs were stellar on defense in the second half, which has become commonplace in the early going. San Diego State has not allowed a second-half goal since the 76th minute against UCLA, which covers the last 104 minutes, 40 seconds. Specifically at USD, San Diego State did not allow a shot until the 63rd minute after the Toreros outshot the Aztecs, 7-4, in the first 45.
- On the flip side, SDSU has given up first-half goals in bunches. Against UCLA, it allowed three goals in less than eight minutes and then bled a pair of goals at Long Beach State that were six minutes apart. Last Friday, the Toreros scored their only two goals in nearly a six-minute span.
- The Aztecs get their first chance of the season to knock off a nationally ranked team in No. 16/12 Penn State. San Diego State has won its last two regular-season games vs. teams with a number in front of their name. Last season, SDSU traveled to No. 16/17 Kentucky and earned a 2-0 victory. In 2014, the Scarlet and Black defeated No. 10/24 Michigan, 3-0, at home.
- This week's games will feature a pair of firsts as San Diego State has never faced either Penn State or Cornell. Against Big Ten schools, however, the Aztecs are 6-4-2. In games vs. Ivy League schools, SDSU is 3-2-1.
- The Aztecs will look to add a tally to the win column where they have generally experienced success, which is in road games. True road outings have been fairly kind to the Scarlet and Black as it has posted a 12-7 record (63.2 percent) since the start of the 2014 campaign. Reach back to the beginning of 2011 and the Aztecs are 27-14-2 on the road (65.2 percent).
- San Diego State has dealt with injuries to key players that have played a significant role in its defense over the last two seasons. Senior Meggie Gulczynski, who suffered an ACL injury in the first game of the 2015 season, has yet to see the field after playing in all 22 games in 2014 and contributing 10 points (3 goals, 4 assists). Junior Hailey Balma, meanwhile, also has not made her 2016 debut following a sophomore campaign in which she started the final 13 games en route to the Mountain West regular-season title, SDSU's fourth straight. The injury bug also hit freshman defender Bailey Cook, who started the first two games of the year. The Colorado native suffered an injury in the first half at Long Beach State and did not see action at USD.
- Regardless of injuries, San Diego State has started three freshmen in each of the first three games. Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Gabby English and true freshman forward Meghan Scudero have been penned into the Starting XI every game. Cook, meanwhile, a true freshman defender, started the first two games with classmate Eden Kawabe replacing her in the lineup at USD. At one point in the game at San Diego, six of SDSU's 10 players on the field were freshmen.