Aztecs Play Cal Poly to 1-1 Draw
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – The Aztec men's soccer team (1-0-2) tied Cal Poly (1-1-1) on the road 1-1 Friday evening. The Aztecs scored in the opening minute of the second half and then saw the Mustangs score the equalizer in the 55th minute.
This is the first time the Aztecs are undefeated through their first three matches of the season since 2016.
"Hats off to Cal Poly for a well-played game," head coach Ryan Hopkins said after the match. "They made it extremely difficult on us to set up our offensive organization and we definitely weren't at our sharpest either. The positive side is that we did secure a point on the road, which is still an important takeaway for a growing team."
Freshman defender Tadej Pirtovšek (Maribor, Slovenia) netted the Aztecs' lone goal, finishing a header flick from Kyle Colonna off a corner kick from Iñigo Villaldea.
This was the first collegiate shot attempt for Pirtovšek and SDSU's first goal off a corner in 2021.
10 minutes later, the Mustangs responded on a goal following a long throw-in into the box that went through multiple players before falling at the feet of Max
Kleinhammes. This was the first goal the Aztecs had allowed all year, a span of 255 minutes.
The Mustangs had a handful of opportunities in the second half and extra time but couldn't find the back of the net. In the 63rd minute, they found the head of an unmarked player in the box following a corner, but his shot went just over the cross bar.
In the 102nd minute, an Aztec defender went down with an injury which led to an open header in the box, but it went straight to SDSU goalkeeper Jacob Castro.
In the 106th minute, Cal Poly had a strike with velocity from 25 yards out that went straight into the hands of Castro.
Castro (1-0-2) collected five saves and allowed his first goal of the year.
The Aztecs had just three shots on goal and seven overall. Cal Poly finished with 12 shots with six coming on frame.
STAT OF THE MATCH
The Aztecs have only trailed at halftime three times in the 13 matches they've played under head coach Ryan Hopkins.
This is the first time the Aztecs are undefeated through the first three matches of the season since 2016.
QUOTE OF THE MATCH
"We have an extremely young team that will grow and learn together about the resiliency and mentality it takes to grind out wins in college soccer especially on the road." Coach Hopkins
The Aztecs return home to host UC Davis Friday evening at 7 p.m. SDSU will be at home for their next seven matches.