Women’s Soccer to Face UCLA at NCAA Championship
Nov. 6, 2017
SAN DIEGO -
San Diego State will face UCLA in the first round of the NCAA Championship on Friday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. PT, the NCAA announced during its Selection Show on Monday. The seventh NCAA appearance in school history for the Aztecs will stream live on Pac-12.com.
“We’re really excited to be in the tournament and to go somewhere where we are familiar and feel like we can get a result at UCLA,” head coach Mike Friesen said. “I’m excited to see what the team does this week and we want to build on what we have been doing the last two or three weeks of playing really well in the back, creating a lot of chances and scoring some goals. I’m excited to see what happens.”
SDSU draws a UCLA team it last saw in the season opener at Drake Stadium. San Diego State was on the wrong side of the score that evening and will face a program it has seen in three of its last four NCAA Championship appearances (2009, 2012, 2013).
The Aztecs earned the Mountain West’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament on Saturday after winning their fifth MW Championship crown. SDSU received a hat trick from Aliyah Utush to propel the second-seeded Aztecs to a 3-0 victory over fourth-seeded New Mexico in Las Vegas.
The Mountain West title was the program’s 10th in school history (regular season and tournament) and the ninth under Friesen’s watch. As for their upcoming NCAA appearance, the Aztecs will be making their fifth with Friesen at the helm and the first since 2014.
San Diego State started the season slow, winning just one of its first four games and was 3-5 entering conference action. The Aztecs, however, rebounded to go 7-2-2 against Mountain West foes, allowing a conference-low nine goals and earning the league’s 2-seed at the MW Championship. SDSU, which won four straight games to end the season, carried that momentum into the league tourney and shutout Boise State (1-0) and New Mexico (3-0) to win its fourth title in the last six seasons.
Utush scored all four goals for SDSU at the Mountain West tournament and was named MVP. Along the way, she tied Mia Root for the team lead in goals (9) and became the Aztecs’ top point-getter for the year (25). The senior was joined on the MW all-tournament team by senior defenders Dani DeRosa and Stacie Moran, and sophomore goalkeeper Gabby English.