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Aztecs Host UNLV Friday Evening

Sep 8, 2022

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San Diego State (0-3-1) vs. UNLV (0-1-2)
Friday, September 9 | 7 p.m. PT | SDSU Sports Deck | San Diego, Calif.

San Diego State (0-3-1) vs. No. 6 Denver (3-0-1)
Sunday, September 11 | 7 p.m. PT | SDSU Sports Deck | San Diego, Calif.
Live Stream: Aztec Digital Network
 
Aztec Storylines
- The Aztecs return to the Sports Deck to host UNLV Friday evening (7 p.m.) and Denver Sunday night (7 p.m.)
- SDSU went 0-1-1 in Omaha last weekend, falling to Omaha 1-0 and then playing No. 7 Creighton to a 2-2 draw.
- The 2-2 draw at No. 7 Creighton was their first road result vs. a top ten team since the 2016 season (1-0 vs. No. 10 Washington).
- Monday's draw was Head coach Ryan Hopkins' second result against a top ten team (2-0 vs. No. 4 Washington, March 28, 2021).
- This was their first win or draw when trailing in a game since Feb. 20, 2021 (1-1 draw at UCLA).
- Creighton entered the game tied for the nation's lead with 4.67 goals per game.
- Three of SDSU's four opponents are ranked or receiving votes in the latest United Soccer Coaches poll: CSUN, LMU and Creighton.
- This will be the Aztecs' second straight weekend with a match against a top ten team (No. 6 Denver) and they are set to play No. 2 Stanford Sept. 18 and No. 3 Washington (Sept. 29).
- Head coach Ryan Hopkins was an assistant coach at Denver for five seasons (2013-17) and helped the Pioneers reach the postseason four times, including the final four in 2016 when they entered the tournament with an undefeated record. Overall while at Denver, they went 70-19-13 overall, 24-2-3 in conference and were the regular season champions all five years and conference tournament champions four times.
- 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.
- SDSU has had seven different freshmen start this year with CJ Fodrey and Tristan Vivani starting all four.
- 17 different Aztecs have made starts this year while 21 Aztecs have made an appearance. The Aztecs have had a different starting lineup in all four of their matches.
- The Aztecs are undefeated 6-3-3 in their last 12 non-conference matches.
- SDSU returns seven starters from last year's team that was ranked as high as No. 13 in the nation and posted their best record since the 2016 season.
- 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, currently No. 3 in the nation, in the brand-new Snapdragon Stadium Sept. 29.
 
Player Notes
- Freshman forward CJ Fodrey (San Diego, Calif.) scored two goals in Monday's 2-2 draw at No. 7 Creighton, his first two collegiate goals. Fodrey was named to Top Drawer Soccer's Preseason Freshman Best XI, one of three forwards in the nation selected.
- Fodrey became the first Aztec freshman to score two goals in a game since Hunter George had a brace against UNLV on Sept. 2, 2019.
- Fodrey has the second most shots in the Pac-12 and is tied for fifth in points (5).
- Goalkeeper Jacob Castro (Spanaway, Wash.), an All-Pac-12 First Team selection last season, had a Pac-12 single-game high six saves at No. 7 Creighton, including four in the second half to preserve the tie.
- Freshman Javi Camargo (Oceanside, Calif.) and Georgetown transfer Joe Daluz, a San Diego native, each have a team-high two assists.
- Iñigo Villaldea (Gijón, Spain) has been limited to just one match but will be available this weekend. He was an All-Pac-12 First Team pick last year and was named a "Midfielder to Watch" in the preseason by the United Soccer Coaches, one of just three Pac-12 players to be recognized.
- 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.
- Seven Aztecs have started all four matches: Blake Bowen, Jacob Castro, Kyle Colonna, CJ Fodrey, Donovan Roux, Henry Smith-Hastie and Tristan Viviani.
 
Honoring the Past
- On Friday, SDSU will celebrate the 35th anniversary of the 1987 team that was the national runner-up.
- That Aztec squad advanced the furthest of any current Aztec program.
- Their run to the title game included four come from behind road wins and they twice won on penalty kicks.
- They were the last seed (No. 24 seed) to get into the tournament.
- Their improbable run began with a 2-1 win at 10-time national champion St. Louis, a last-minute game-winning goal to force PKs at No. 5 SMU, a 2-1 win at UCLA and then a win at undefeated Harvard.
- SDSU lost to Clemson, the No. 23 seed, on their home field 2-0.
- The team featured Aztec hall of famers Kyle Whittemore (17 goals) and Eric Wynalda (11 goals and 11 assists) as well as two key transfers in Chris Keenan (12 assists) and Gerardo Jimenez. Eric Drabb also had 10 assists.
- Goalkeepers Bryan Finnerty (7 shutouts) and Felipe Hernandez (0.71 GAA) combined for a school-record 13 shutouts
- They finished the year 20-6-0.
 

Coach Hopkins' Take on UNLV
"UNLV is a super disciplined and hard-working group. They are organized and are difficult to break down. It's a bit of a rivalry match as well so I fully expect a feisty affair."
 
Opponent Notebook (UNLV)
The Rebels are 0-1-2 on the year and have two common opponents with SDSU (CSUN and LMU)… They fell to CSUN 2-1 in their home opener and tied No. 24 LMU on the road 0-0… They held both No. 22 Santa Clara and No. 24 LMU scoreless… They went 7-11-0 last year and 3-8-0 in the WAC… Their top three finishers in points are no longer on the team… Goalkeeper Andrew Sway had a goals allowed average of 0.67 and a save percentage of 0.67 and his two shutouts are tied for ninth in the nation… BJ Craig is in his first year as head coach for UNLV. He was Oregon State's associate head coach the past four seasons… The Aztecs are 21-11-6 all-time against UNLV. They last met Sept. 2, 2019, in San Diego where the Aztecs won 3-2 in extra time… They played in the first round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament, tying 1-1 before UNLV won on penalty kicks
 
Coach Hopkins' Take on No. 6 Denver
"Denver has been one of the most consistent teams in college soccer for the better part of the last decade and nothing is different this year. They are well worthy of their No. 6 national ranking and have the makings of a final four team. As a program, we love these games as measuring sticks and I'm looking forward to our team competing against a top 10 team for the second time in a week."
 
Opponent Notebook (Denver)
The Pioneers are 3-0-1 and ranked No. 6 in the country… Last weekend they won at Maryland 2-0 and tied Georgetown 1-1… They went 10-4-5 last year and 4-1-1 in the Summit League and made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament… They return 10 starters from last year, including three All-West Region honorees… Their goals allowed average of 0.736 this year is ninth in the nation… Sam Bassett and Ian Smith lead the team in points with seven and six respectively… Goalkeeper Isaac Nehme has allowed just three goals, but only faced nine shots on goal through four matches… Head Coach Jamie Franks (8th season) is 86-30-19 at Denver… The Aztecs are 3-5-1 all-time against Denver… They last met in 2014 when the Aztecs beat the Pioneers, then ranked No. 19 in the country, 4-3.