Season In Review: 2012 SDSU Women's Soccer
Nov. 29, 2012
SAN DIEGO - The San Diego State women's soccer team had quite a magical run in 2012. SDSU advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for just the second time in program history and finished its season with a school-record 21 victories.
"The 2012 season will be one that we remember for a long time," head coach Mike Friesen said. "Not only did we set many program records, win a lot of games, host NCAA tournament games through the Sweet 16, but we did it all under our new lights. We had great support from our wonderful soccer community who believed in our team.
"The highlight for me will always be the people in our program. Our seniors are such a special group who will be missed greatly. They are true leaders and some of brightest young women that I have been around. They have left a legacy that will be long lasting and will carry this program to even more success in the near future.
"I have never been around a team that was as close as this team. They consistently demonstrated the power of team on and off the field. This team has inspired an entire community and left all of us wanting more."
The Aztecs started the year by playing nearly 598 minutes of shutout soccer en route to tallying six consecutive shutouts over a number of talented teams including No. 5 Pepperdine. SDSU, which allowed its first goal of the year at the 42:21 mark in a 2-1 victory vs. Iowa State on Sept. 9, accomplished the feat of being the last Division I team to allow a goal in 2012.
After dropping a close 1-0 setback to No. 3 Stanford and tying nationally ranked Santa Clara, San Diego State went back to work. The Aztecs put together a 10-game winning streak on their way to winning the Mountain West regular-season championship with a perfect 7-0 MW record.
SDSU continued its dominance of league opponents in the Mountain West Tournament as it cruised to consecutive shutout victories over UNLV (3-0) and New Mexico (2-0) to win its second MW Tournament title. The championship was also the second under Friesen who led the Aztecs to a tournament crown in 2009.
With a postseason berth already clinched, San Diego State was awarded a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament on Selection Monday. It marked the highest seed an Aztec women's soccer team had earned in program history.
In its opening round game of the NCAA Tournament, SDSU cruised to a 3-0 shutout of Cal Sate Northridge. With the decision, the Aztecs broke the single-season school record for wins in a season, eclipsing the 1998 team's 19-win performance. SDSU's attendance of 1,624 in the first round ranked fourth for all NCAA Tournament contests.
The Aztecs entered their second round contest with California riding a season-long 14-game unbeaten streak. Despite falling behind early, San Diego State battled back with two goals in the second half to come out on top. Tiffany Hurst, an all-MW first-team selection, was the hero against the Golden Bears as the redshirt senior scored the game-winner at the 82:53 mark for a 2-1 victory.
The win, which was the 14th straight for the Aztecs, brought the team's all-time Tournament record to 4-3 and put SDSU into the Sweet 16 for just the second time in school history. The victory also gave the Aztecs their most victories in a NCAA Tournament (two). After ranking fourth in attendance for the first round, SDSU's combined attendance of 2,573 for the second and third rounds was the third highest in the NCAA Tournament.
In what surely was going to be a tough battle against No. 6 UCLA on just one day of rest, SDSU battled down the stretch with the Bruins. The Aztecs were unable to come out on top though as UCLA picked up the victory and advanced to the Elite Eight.
The 2012 season was still one for the ages. In addition to the aforementioned records, San Diego State set a few more. The 2012 Aztec squad had the fewest losses (two), the highest winning-percentage (89.6) and also tied the school record with 13 shutouts, equaling the 1998 team's performance.
On an individual level, Megan Jurado finished her final season on Montezuma Mesa on a high note. The Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year tallied 15 goals and nine assists for a team-high 39 points en route to being named a 2012 NSCAA second-team All-American. Jurado is just the fourth Aztec women's soccer player to garner All-America honors and the first since Catherine McGuire earned similar accolades during the 1998 season. The senior's 15 goals and 39 points each rank second most in school history for a single season, while her nine assists are tied for eighth.
Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Rachel Boaz also put up some gaudy numbers as she finished her 2012 campaign with a school-record goals-against average of 0.60. The MW all-tournament team selection also had 11 shutouts in 2012, which tied for the most in Aztec single-season history.
Boaz, however, is just a small glimmer of San Diego State's potential in years to come. While the Aztecs won't have seven seniors in 2013, SDSU brings back reigning Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year Haley Palmer along with MW Tournament Most Valuable Player and all-MW first-team selection Carli Johnson, all-MW first-team honoree Hannah Keane and MW all-tournament team honoree Kelsey Booth. These players along with the 14 other returners are a great indication that this year's successful season won't be the last.