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Aztecs Kick Off Season at CSUN Thursday Evening

Aug 24, 2022

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San Diego State at CSUN

Thursday, August 25 | 7 p.m. PT | Matador Soccer Field | Northridge, Calif.
Live Stream: ESPN+

Loyola Marymount at San Diego State 
Sunday, August 28 | 7 p.m. PT | SDSU Sports Deck | San Diego, Calif.
Live Stream: Aztec Digital Network 
Buff Giveaway

Aztec Storylines
- The Aztecs kick off their regular season Thursday when they play at CSUN at 7 p.m. SDSU opened their 2021 campaign with a 2-0 win against CSUN. The match will be streamed on ESPN+.
- SDSU hosts Loyola Marymount for their home opener Sunday evening at 7 p.m. The Aztecs played LMU, who was ranked No. 17 at the time, to a 0-0 draw.
- The Aztecs are undefeated in their last nine non-conference matches. Their last non-conference defeat was Oct. 18, 2019 to No. 21 Marshall.
- SDSU returns seven starters from last year's team that reached as high as No. 13 in the United Soccer Coaches poll.
- The Aztecs have 15 newcomers (11 freshmen and four transfers) and had their 2022 recruiting class tabbed No. 1 in the nation by Top Drawer Soccer.
- The captains for the 2022 season are senior defender Kyle Colonna, junior goalkeeper Jacob Castro and junior midfielder Iñigo Villaldea.
- The Aztecs will play Washington in the brand-new Snapdragon Stadium Sept. 29.
 
Player Notes
- Goalkeeper Jacob Castro (Spanaway, Wash.) was an All-Pac-12 First Team selection last season, the first Aztec goalkeeper to earn first team honors since 2006. He recorded seven shutouts last season, including five straight in non-conference play.
- Iñigo Villaldea (Gijón, Spain), who was also an All-Pac-12 First Team pick last year, was named a "Midfielder to Watch" by the United Soccer Coaches. He was one of just three Pac-12 players to be recognized.
- 2021 was the first season that the Aztecs had two players named to the All-Pac-12 First Team.
- Senior midfielder Blake Bowen (San Clemente, Calif.) has been an All-Pac-12 honorable mention selection in each of the past two seasons. He scored three game-winning goals last year, including two that occurred in the final seconds of regulation.
- Freshman forward CJ Fodrey (San Diego, Calif.) was named to Top Drawer Soccer's Preseason Freshman Best XI, one of three forwards in the nation selected.
- The Aztec back line is anchored by fifth year senior Kyle Colonna and junior Elias Katsaros. Colonna is one of SDSU's co-captains and a three year starter while Katsaros has started all 26 matches of his collegiate career.
 
 
2021 Season Highlights
- SDSU went undefeated in non-conference play (6-0-2) for the first time since 2005.
- The Aztecs started a perfect 7-0-0 at home, the first time they've won their first seven home contests in a season since 1991. They finished the year 7-3-0, their best home winning percentage since 2011.
- SDSU were undefeated through their first eight matches (6-0-2) and recorded a shutout in seven of those contests.
- The Aztecs didn't trail for the first 865 minutes of the year and only trailed in regulation in four of their 17 matches.
- SDSU improved their win total by seven from 2020 to 2021 and boosted their RPI by over 80 spots.
- The Aztecs held their opponent scoreless in the first half in 13 of their 17 matches last season.
- SDSU was ranked or receiving votes for nearly the entire season and rose to as high as No. 13 in the nation, their highest ranking in five years.
- The Aztecs went to extra time five times last year (1-2-2). Matches will end in a draw if tied after 90 minutes in 2022.
 
Coach Hopkins' Take on CSUN
"We are really excited to get our group out for our first match of the season. We know if our work rate, attitude, and positioning are on point, it will put us in a good place to get a result against a tough CSUN team."
 
Opponent Notebook (CSUN)
CSUN went 4-13-1 last year and 3-5-1 in the Big West…They were outscored 36-16 last season… They were picked to finish seventh (out of 10) in the Big West preseason Coaches' Poll…  They went 2-0-1 in their three preseason friendlies… Jamar Ricketts is their leading returning goal scorer (3 goals and 2 assists)… Cooper Wenzel is their only returning goalkeeper. He went 2-4-0 with a goals allowed average of 2.06… Head coach Terry Davila is in his 24th season as CSUN's head coach… He is a six-time Big West Coach of the Year and led CSUN to seven NCAA Tournament appearances… SDSU is 9-12-2 all-time against CSUN… The Aztecs beat the Matadors 2-0 in last year's season opener, scoring twice in the final nine minutes.
 
Coach Hopkins' Take on LMU
"LMU is a battle tested NCAA tournament type of time. They have a potential top 10 MLS draft pick in midfielder Noel Caliskan who really makes them go. It will take our full concentration and abilities to get a result."

Opponent Notebook (LMU)
The Lions went 12-4-2 last year and 4-2-1 in the WCC… They were picked to finish fourth in the preseason WCC Coaches' poll… Noel Caliskan and Dylan Shockey were named to the WCC Preseason Team. Caliskan is a two-time WCC Player of the Year and was also named a preseason first team All-American by Top Drawer Soccer… Head coach Kyle Schmid is in his first year as head coach at LMU. He has been on the LMU staff since 2018… The Aztecs are 12-7-2 against LMU all-time and played the Lions to a 0-0 draw on the road last year when LMU was ranked No. 17.