Aztecs Head to the Bay Area for a Pair of Pac-12 Matches
San Diego State (2-3-1) at California (1-1-3)
Thursday, September 15 | 4 p.m. PT | Edwards Stadium | Berkeley, Calif.
Media: Pac-12 Networks (National & Bay Area)
San Diego State (2-3-1) at Stanford (4-0-1)
Sunday, September 19 | 2 p.m. PT | Laird Q. Cagan Stadium | Stanford, Calif.
Live Stream: Pac-12 Networks (Los Angeles)
- The Aztecs open Pac-12 play this week with matches at California (Thursday at 4 p.m.) and at No. 2 Stanford (Sunday at 2 p.m.). Both matches will be shown on the Pac-12 Network (subscription required).
- SDSU is coming off a huge week that included a 2-2 draw at No. 7 Creighton, a 5-0 win over UNLV and a 2-1 win over No. 6 Denver.
- This was the first time since the 2009 season that the Aztecs have had two results against top 10 teams in the same week.
- 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).
- SDSU's five goals against UNLV was their most in a game since the season opener of the 2013 season (5-0 vs. No. 16 San Diego)
- Head coach Ryan Hopkins (3rd season) now has three results against top ten teams: a 2-0 win vs. No. 4 Washington (March 28, 2021), a 2-2 draw at No. 7 Creighton (Sept. 3, 2022) and a 2-1 win over No. 6 Denver (Sept. 11, 2022).
- Creighton entered the game tied for the nation's lead with 4.67 goals per game.
- Denver had allowed just 11 shots on goals through their first five matches. The Aztecs had five on Sunday.
- This will be the Aztecs' third straight weekend with a match against a top ten team (No. 2 Stanford) and they are set to play No. 4 Washington on Sept. 29.
- SDSU beat No. 23 Stanford last year 1-0 last year, their first win against the Cardinal since 2011.
- 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. Five of those newcomers have started at least four matches for the Aztecs.
- SDSU has had seven different freshmen start this year with CJ Fodrey and Tristan Vivani starting all six.
- 17 different Aztecs have made starts this year while 21 Aztecs have made an appearance. Last weekend was the first time SDSU had used the same lineup combination.
- The Aztecs are 8-3-3 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 Aztecs will play Washington, currently No. 4 in the nation, in the brand-new Snapdragon Stadium Sept. 29.
- Junior defender Elias Katsaros (Seattle, Wash.) scored three goals last week (all on headers), including both of SDSU's goals against No. 6 Denver. He was named the United Soccer Coaches National Player of the Week and the Pac-12 Player of the Week. Additionally, he was named to both Top Drawer Soccer's and College Soccer News' National Team of the Week as well as being one of Soccer America's "Three Stars of the Week."
- Katsaros is the first Aztec to be named the United Soccer Coaches National Player of the Week since at least 2010 when the organization began tracking the award.
- Entering last weekend, Katsaros had made 27 career starts and attempted just one shot. He then scored three goals in three attempts.
- Freshman forward CJ Fodrey's (San Diego, Calif.) team-high eight points are tied for the second most in the Pac-12.
- Fodrey scored two goals in last Monday's 2-2 draw at No. 7 Creighton, his first two collegiate goals to become the first Aztec freshman to score two goals in a game since Hunter George had a brace against UNLV on Sept. 2, 2019.
- Fodrey was named to Top Drawer Soccer's Preseason Freshman Best XI, one of three forwards in the nation selected.
- Fodrey and Katsaros are tied for second in the Pac-12 with three goals.
- Goalkeeper Jacob Castro (Spanaway, Wash.), an All-Pac-12 First Team selection last season, leads the conference with 2.83 saves per game.
- Javi Camargo (Oceanside, Calif.), Beto Apolinar (San Diego), Joe Daluz (San Diego) and Fodrey are all tied for the team lead with two assists.
- Iñigo Villaldea (Gijón, Spain) has been limited to just one match. 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 six matches: Blake Bowen, Jacob Castro, Kyle Colonna, CJ Fodrey, Donovan Roux, Henry Smith-Hastie and Tristan Viviani. Bowen, Viviani and Colonna are the only field players to have played in 500 minutes or more.
- The captains for the 2022 season are senior defender Kyle Colonna, junior goalkeeper Jacob Castro and junior midfielder Iñigo Villaldea.
Coach Hopkins' Take on California
"Cal will present some challenges to us with their new head coach and unique formation. This our first cup final of the Pac-12 season and I know our boys will be ready to find the best versions of themselves Thursday afternoon."
Opponent Notebook (California)
The Golden Bears are 1-1-3 on the year… They went 3-9-3 last year including 1-6-1 in the Pac-12… They had three straight 1-1 draws (Villanova, UC Irvine, UC San Diego) earlier in the year and are coming off a 1-0 home win over California Baptist… They have attempted 51 shots and allowed 51 shots… Shoei Honda and Fahmi Ibrahim are tied for the team lead with two goals and four points… Goalkeeper Colin Travasos has a goals allowed average of 1.20 and a save percentage of .700… Head coach Leonard Griffin is in his first year as Cal's head coach. He was the Grand Canyon head coach last year, who went 15-4-1, and previously was San Francisco's head coach in 2019-20… The Aztecs are 24-26-4 all-time against California. SDSU beat Cal 2-0 last year in their only meeting. They had their game in Berkeley canceled due to unsafe playing conditions.
Coach Hopkins' Take on No. 2 Stanford
"Stanford is always a colossus game for us, and this year is no different. They are certainly well worthy of their No. 2 ranking, and I know our experience and success against ranked opponents this year will give us confidence in this massive match."
Opponent Notebook (No. 2 Stanford)
The Cardinal are 4-0-1 and ranked No. 2 in the United Soccer Coaches poll… Their lone draw was last week at Creighton (1-1), a squad the Aztecs also tied when the Blue Jays were ranked No. 7… The Cardinal's +10 goal differential (12-2) is the best in the Pac-12… They also lead the conference in shots on goal per game (8.6) and shots per game (17.4)… Stanford goalkeeper Matt Frank is 16th in the nation in goals allowed average (.407) and save percentage (.867)… Carlo Agostinelli leads the Pac-12 in shots per game and has a team-high three goals and seven points… Head coach Jeremy Gunn (11th season) at Stanford. They have finished first in the Pac-12 in seven of the last nine years and won the NCAA Championship in 2015, 2016 and 2017… The Aztecs are 13-22-8 all-time against the Cardinal but haven't won at Stanford since 2009.