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Aztecs Back in the Bay to Face Cal

Apr 9, 2021

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San Diego State (1-5-2, 1-5-2) at California (3-4-1, 3-4-1)
Saturday, April 10 | 7 p.m. PT | Witter Rugby Field | Berkeley Calif.
Media Coverage: California Live Stream | Live Stats

Aztec Storylines
• The Aztecs play at Cal Saturday at 7 p.m. This is the second straight Saturday where SDSU has played in the Bay Area.
• SDSU fell to No. 6 Stanford 3-1 last weekend, just their second time losing by more than one goal.
• The Aztecs fell to California 3-2 in their first meeting March 13 despite SDSU outshooting the Golden Bears 13-8. Cal's game-winning goal came in the 81st minute, nine minutes after SDSU was issued a red card forcing them to play a man down for the final 17 minutes.
• After going 0-4-1 in their first pass through the Pac-12, SDSU is 1-1-1 in their three rematches thus far.
• The Aztecs beat No. 4 Washington 2-0 win on March 28, their first win over a ranked opponent since 2016 and their first win over a top five team since 2006. Both came against UW.
• Goalkeeper Tetsuya Kadono is second in the Pac-12 with 3.4 saves per game.
• SDSU has trailed at halftime just twice this season.
• The Aztecs have scored first in four of their eight matches.
• SDSU's 10 goals have come from six different players. Blake Bowen leads the team with three goals and seven points. Freshman Iñigo Villaldea is second on the team with six points (2 goals & 2 assists). His two goals have come on free kicks from 20+ yards out.
• Outside of SDSU's 5-0 loss at No. 4 Oregon State, the Aztecs have only been outscored 13-10.
• Three freshmen lead the Aztecs in minutes (Katsaros, Kadono, and Ochoa).
• All five Aztecs that have started every match are underclassmen.
• Ryan Hopkins is in his first year as the Aztecs' head coach. He comes to SDSU from Virginia (2018-19) whereas an assistant he helped lead the Cavaliers to the 2019 NCAA Championship match. Hopkins has also made stops as an assistant at Denver (2013-17), Wisconsin (2012), Cal Poly (2009-11) and Concordia (2004-08), his alma mater. 
• Coach Hopkins recently joined other college coaches across the nation in the formation of the Clive Charles Diversity Hiring Initiative, which will create and increase pathways of entrance, advancement and representation for emerging and current Black and minority soccer coaches

Notes from the No. 6 Stanford Match (L, 3-1 April 3)
• It was just the second time SDSU has lost by more than one goal.
• Andre Ochoa scored SDSU's lone goal. He has now recorded a point in three straight games.
• All four goals came in the first half.
• The Aztecs used the same starting XI for the second straight game.

Coach Hopkins' Take on California
"Cal will present an interesting challenge because they are so comfortable on the ball and really pride themselves with their ability to retain possession and break you down methodically. The first match was full of drama and I expect our players won't forget how that match played out and the lessons we learned from it."

Opponent Notebook (California)
California is 3-4-1, good for fourth in conference… Since they faced SDSU, they have gone 2-1-1, earning a draw against Stanford and beating Oregon State… They have scored just eight goals in their eight matches but only allowed 13… They lead the conference in shot accuracy (.492)... Cal commits 11.4 fouls per game, the second most in the Pac-12... Goalkeeper Colin Travasos leads the conference in saves per match (4.1)… Cal's eight goals have come from seven different players.…Head coach Kevin Grimes (21st season) is the program's all-time winningest coach and has been named the Pac-12 Coach of the Year five times… He has a career record of 207-142-46… The Aztecs are 23-25-4 all-time against Cal and lost 3-2 earlier in the year.