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Aztecs Return Home to Host UC Davis and CSUB

Sep 8, 2021

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UC Davis (0-4-0) at (RV) San Diego State (1-0-2) 
Friday, September 10 | 7 p.m. PT | SDSU Sports Deck | San Diego, Calif.
Cal State Bakersfield (0-3-1) at (RV) San Diego State (1-0-2) 
Sunday, September 12 | 3 p.m. PT | SDSU Sports Deck | San Diego, Calif.
Media Coverage: Live Stats (No Stream)

Aztec Storylines
- The Aztecs tied Cal Poly on the road 1-1 last Friday evening.
- Freshman defender Tadej Pirtovšek (Maribor, Slovenia) netted the Aztecs' lone goal 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 the first three matches of the season since 2016.
- The Aztecs next five matches are at home.
- SDSU is receiving votes in the United Soccer Coaches poll and ranks No. 4 in the Far West Region.
- The Aztecs shutout their first two opponents (CSUN and LMU), the first time they posted clean sheets in their first two matches of a season since 2005.
- SDSU (1-0-2) and No. 3 Washington (3-0-0) are the only undefeated Pac-12 programs remaining
- Goalkeeper Jacob Castro, a transfer from Pac-12 foe Washington, leads the Pac-12 and is top 20 in the nation in save percentage (.923) and goals allowed average (.290).
- Through two matches, freshman Alex Hjælmof (Rungsted, Denmark) leads the team with three points after scoring the game-winning goal and dishing out an assist in SDSU's win vs. CSUN.
- The Aztecs have only trailed at halftime in three of their 13 matches under second year head coach Ryan Hopkins.
- The Aztecs return eight starters from a season ago, including all three of their all-Pac-12 honorees (Andre Ochoa, Blake Bowen and Iñigo Villaldea).
- SDSU brings back 82 percent of their scoring and 87 percent of their points from last year.
- SDSU has nine newcomers (seven freshmen and two transfers). The Aztecs added three defenders, three midfielders, two forwards and one goalkeeper. Four of the incoming Aztecs are international recruits, hailing from Australia, Denmark, Netherlands and Slovenia. Rik Regeling (Netherlands) was listed by Top Drawer Soccer as one of their ten "International Players to Watch."
- The Aztecs have 16 underclassmen and just four seniors.
- After playing a Pac-12 exclusive schedule last year, SDSU will play seven non-conference matches this season, all against schools from the Big West or WCC.
- SDSU only has two matches outside of California (at Washington and Oregon State).
Notes from the Cal Poly Match (T, 1-1, Sept. 3)
- Tadej Pirtovšek's goal was on his first collegiate shot attempt. The goal was SDSU's first off a corner in 2021.
- This was the second consecutive match the Aztecs have earned a draw when their opponent had more shots and more shots on goal.
- The Aztecs used five subs for the second straight match but saw 10 players play at least 90 minute. Four (Castro, Colonna, Pirtovšek and Bowen) played all 110 minutes and Henry Smith-Hastie played 109.
- The Aztecs limited Cal Poly to three corner kicks.
Coach Hopkins' Take on UC Davis
"UC Davis was the preseason favorite in the Big West and will present a very physical challenge to our guys. They took No. 3 Washington to double overtime on the road two weeks ago, so they have our attention. We will have to be sharp with the ball and our movements to create chances against a very solid defensive unit."
Opponent Notebook (UC Davis)
UC Davis is 0-4-0, but was the preseason favorite in the Big West… They won the 2019 Big West tournament and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament… Davis, like all Big West schools, didn't play in 2020… They have been outscored 11-4, but have outshot their opponents 60-54… Goalkeeper Derrek Chan has a goals allowed average of 2.53… The Aggies led the Big West with four selections to the preseason All-Big West Team: MF Maximilian Arfsten, D Max Glasser, D Jake Haupt (San Diego) and MF Andy Velasquez… Head coach Dwayne Shaffer (25th season) is a three-time Big West Coach of the Year… The Aztecs are 1-2-0 all-time against UC Davis and this will be their first meeting with the Aggies since 2008.

Coach Hopkins' Take on Cal State Bakersfield
"CSUB is a very technical team that likes to control the game with the ball much like we do. Our pressing to create scoring chances will have to be on point. Sunday soccer is all about mentality, focus and not taking shortcuts in order to secure a result. This will be a big test for a young team learning these important lessons in college soccer."
Opponent Notebook (Cal State Bakersfield)
Cal State Bakersfield enters the weekend with a 0-3-1 record… They play at San Diego on Friday… This is their first season in the Big West… They have been outscored 9-5 but have outshot their opponents 65-54… The Roadrunners have doubled their opponents corner kick attempts 24-11… Their five goals have come from two players: Aodan O'hara (3) and Carlos Armendariz (2)… Goalkeeper Scott Pengelly has a goals allowed average of 2.13… Head coach Richie Grant is in his seventh season as the 'Runners head coach…. SDSU is 6-1-0 all-time against CS Bakersfield. Their last meeting was in 2014, a 1-0 loss in the season opener.