Aztecs Cruise Past UNLV 5-0
SAN DIEGO – The Aztec men's soccer team (1-3-1) cruised to a 5-0 win over UNLV (0-2-2) Friday night on the SDSU Sports Deck. The five goals, which came from five different players, are the most by SDSU since Aug. 30, 2013 (5-0 vs. No. 16 San Diego).
"A phenomenal performance by the guys," Head coach Ryan Hopkins said after the game. "We've been going through the ups and downs as a young team, but we've always known we are talented and that this type of performance was right around the corner. Now, how do we continue to find this level? We always tell the guys, 'It's you vs. you and how good do you want to be tonight?"
The Aztecs' five goals came from five different players: CJ Fodrey, Elias Katsaros, Austin Brummett, Donovan Roux and So Nishikawa. It was the first career goal for Katsaros, Brummett and Nishikawa.
"We can score in a multitude of ways," Hopkins explained. "We've got some dangerous attacking players. We played 20 guys tonight and there wasn't a drop off from man one to 20. That's the type of team we've been trying to build."
SDSU's controlled the tempo and pace from the opening kickoff and netted their first goal in the seventh minute. CJ Fodrey, who scored both goals in SDSU's 2-2 draw at No. 7 Creighton, received a pass from Brummett inside the box and tried to sneak the ball inside the near post. The keeper was able to block it, but the ball deflected right back to Fodrey who then put it away for his third goal in a 56 minute span.
In the 30th minute, Beto Apolinar made a sliding tackle in the corner to steal the ball away from a Rebel and then sent a cross into the box that Elias Katsaros headed in beautifully. A defender, it was Katsaros' first goal in his 28th career game.
Five minutes into the second half, freshman Tristan Viviani sent a beautiful ball into his first-year counterpart Austin Brummett, who found the back of the net.
SDSU's next goal came five minutes later when Donovan Roux converted a penalty kick.
The Aztecs added one more in the 81st minute with some nice passing from Blake Bowen to Isaie Louis to set up So Nishikawa.
SDSU outshot UNLV 19-7 and allowed just one shot on goal while recording their first shutout on the 2022 season. They also outcornered the Rebels 12-4.
During halftime, SDSU celebrated the 35th anniversary of the 1987 team that was national runner-ups.
"It was great to do this in front of the 1987 finalist team," Hopkins explained. "That's where we are trying to go and to put on that performance in front of them was a special moment."
STAT OF THE GAME
The Rebels one and only shot on goal came in the 85th minute.
This was the first time SDSU has scored five goals in a game since the season opener of the 2013 season (5-0 vs. No. 16 San Diego).
The Aztecs will have their second match against a top ten team in six days when they host No. 6 Denver (4-0-1) Sunday at 7 p.m.