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No. 21 Aztecs Begin Pac-12 Play This Week

Sep 15, 2021

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California (2-2-1) at No. 21 San Diego State (3-0-2) 
Thursday, September 16 | 7 p.m. PT | SDSU Sports Deck | San Diego, Calif.
T-Shirt Giveaway (First 250 Fans) 
No. 23 Stanford (2-1-1) at No. 21 San Diego State (3-0-2) 
Sunday, September 19 | 3 p.m. PT | SDSU Sports Deck | San Diego, Calif.
Media Coverage: Aztec Digital Network | Live Stats
Sunglasses Giveaway (First 100 Fans) 

Aztec Storylines
- The Aztecs moved into the United Soccer Coaches Poll, earning a No. 21 ranking after winning a pair of home matches 1-0 last weekend. SDSU beat UC Davis Friday evening and Cal State Bakersfield Sunday afternoon.
- This is the first time the Aztecs have been nationally ranked since 2016. SDSU is also ranked No. 2 in the Far West Region, only trailing No. 3 Washington (5-0-0)
- SDSU beat UC Davis Friday after scoring a goal in the final second (literally). UC Davis was whistled for a foul and issued a yellow card with seven seconds to set up an Iñigo Villaldea free kick from 30 yards out. Villaldea's kick was knocked down by a UC Davis defender and then Tevenn Roux was able to get a foot on the ball to push it past the outstretched arms of the Aggie keeper. With time running out, Blake Bowen ran it down and kicked the slow rolling ball across the end line.
- The Aztecs' goal against Cal State Bakersfield Sunday came on a set piece where defender Kyle Colonna had a diving header on Donovan Roux's bending free kick.
- SDSU enters Pac-12 undefeated for the first time since 2005.
- This is the first time the Aztecs are undefeated through the first five matches of the season since 2016. It is also the first time they've had four shutouts in their first five matches since 2016.
- SDSU hasn't trailed once this season, a span of 490 minutes.
- The Aztecs have only allowed one goal in 490 minutes. They rank top five in the nation in shutout percentage (.800) and team goals against average (.184).
- Goalkeeper Jacob Castro is tied for the nation-lead with four shutouts and is sixth in goals against average (0.18).
- Defenders Kyle Colonna, Elias Katsaros and Tadej Pirtovšek have been stalwarts on the back line and have played a big role in the team's 0.184 goals allowed average.
- The Aztecs, who are 3-0-0 at home thus far, are in a stretch of five consecutive matches at home.
- SDSU (3-0-2) and No. 3 Washington (5-0-0) are the only undefeated Pac-12 programs remaining.
- The Aztecs have 31 corner kicks and allowed just 15.
- The Aztecs have only trailed at halftime in three of their 15 matches under second year head coach Ryan Hopkins.

Notes from the Last Two Matches
- The Aztecs improved to 3-0-0 at home.
- SDSU has only had more shots than their opponent in one match yet are undefeated and have four shutouts.
- SDSU outcornered UC Davis 12-4.
- The Aztecs allowed just one shot on goal and one corner vs. CSUB.
- The Aztecs started eight underclassmen in both matches over the weekend.
- The Aztecs used a season-high six substitutes against CSUB with Esteban Zepeda and Kevin Peraza making their season debuts.

Coach Hopkins' Take on California
"Cal is without a doubt one of the best teams in the country with the ball. They are very difficult to slow down due to their ability to play out of extremely difficult situations. It will take full effort and concentration to force them into mistakes with our pressing. It's also big opportunity to show people what SDSU is all about by getting Pac-12 play off on the right foot."

Opponent Notebook (California)
Cal is 2-2-1 and is coming off a 2-1 loss at home to Pacific… They were picked to finish fourth in the Pac-12… They are last in the Pac-12 in goal differential (+1) and team goals allowed average (1.34)… Jack Singer leads the team in goals (3) and is tied for the team lead in points (6) with Evan Davila (2 goals, 2 assists)… Goalkeeper Chris Gustini has a goals allowed average of 1.48… Head coach Kevin Grimes (21st season) is the program's winningest coach and is five-time Pac-12 Coach of the Year…
The Aztecs are 23-25-4 all-time against Cal.

Coach Hopkins' Take on No. 23 Stanford
"Stanford is one of the most consistent programs in the country and this year is no different. They are dynamic on both sides of the ball and have an elite mentality which allows them to control games. These types of games are always a massive measuring stick and I'm excited to watch our guys compete now that the national spotlight is on us." 

Opponent Notebook (No. 23 Stanford)
Stanford is 2-1-1 and ranked No. 23 in the country… They are coming off a 0-0 draw at home to San Jose State… The Cardinal play at UCLA Thursday night… They have outscored their opponents 7-4… Stanford is averaging 15.25 shots per game, second in the conference and 26th in the nation… Reigning Pac-12 Player of the Week Ousseni Bouda leads the team with eight points. His four assists are tops in the Pac-12… Goalkeeper Matt Frank has a goals allowed average of 0.32 in 280 minutes.

Season Preview Notes
- 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).