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Aztecs Host UC San Diego Saturday

Sep 22, 2022

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UC San Diego (4-2-2) at San Diego State (2-4-2, 0-1-1) 
Saturday, September 24 | 7 p.m. PT | SDSU Sports Deck | San Diego, Calif.

Aztec Storylines
- The Aztecs return to the Sports Deck for a non-conference tilt against UC San Diego (4-2-2) Saturday evening at 7 p.m. There will not be a stream for this match.
- SDSU opened up Pac-12 play in the Bay Area last week. They fell 2-0 at Cal before playing No. 2 Stanford to a 0-0 draw.
- The Cardinal outshot SDSU 23-2 and 8-1 in shots on goal, but goalkeeper Jacob Castro collected a career-high eight saves to help the Aztecs earn the clean sheet.
- The 0-0 draw at No. 2 Stanford was their third result against a top 10 team in a two-week span. SDSU also earned a 2-2 draw at No. 7 Creighton Sept. 5 and beat No. 6 Denver at home 2-1 on Sept. 11.
- This is the first time since SDSU's run to the national championship game in 1987 that the Aztecs recorded at least three results against top 10 teams in a two-week span.
- This is also the first season since 1987 that the Aztecs have had two road results at top ten teams in a season.
- This is the first time since the 2010 and 2011 seasons that SDSU has earned two results against Stanford in a three-match span. The Aztecs beat the Cardinal last year 1-0.
- SDSU's five goals against UNLV on Sept. 9 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 four career 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), a 2-1 win over No. 6 Denver (Sept. 11, 2022) and a 0-0 draw at No. 2 Stanford.
- The Aztecs have 16 newcomers (12 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 eight different freshmen start this year.
- 19 different Aztecs have made starts this year while 22 Aztecs have made an appearance. SDSU has used seven different lineup combinations in their eight matches.
- 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. 2 in the nation, in the brand-new Snapdragon Stadium Sept. 29. It will be the fourth time in a five-week span playing against a top 10 team.
 
Player Notes
- Goalkeeper Jacob Castro (Spanaway, Wash.) recorded a career-high eight saves Sunday at No. 2 Stanford while facing 23 shots. An All-Pac-12 First Team selection last season, Castro leads the conference in saves (27) and saves per game (3.38) and is second in save percentage (.730).
- Junior defender Elias Katsaros (Seattle, Wash.) scored three goals against UNLV and No. 6 Denver two weeks ago (all on headers) which earned him a bevy of awards. 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 became 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 that week, 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 third most in the Pac-12.
- Fodrey scored two goals in SDSU's 2-2 draw at No. 7 Creighton 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.
- Javi Camargo (Oceanside, Calif.), Beto Apolinar (San Diego), Blake Bown (San Clemente, Calif.), Joe Daluz (San Diego) and Fodrey are all tied for the team lead with two assists.
- Tristan Viviani (Redwood City, Calif.) will be playing for the Malta Under-20 Youth National Team in Terme Catez, Slovenia this week and will miss Saturday's contest. This is Viviani's second time playing with Malta (Spring of 2022) and he will be playing against the U.S., Croatia and Scotland in the Slovenia Nations Cup
- 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.
- Five Aztecs have started all eight matches: Blake Bowen, Jacob Castro, Kyle Colonna, CJ Fodrey and Henry Smith-Hastie. Bowen, Viviani and Colonna are the only field players to have more than 650 minutes (out of 720 possible).
- The captains for the 2022 season are senior defender Kyle Colonna, junior goalkeeper Jacob Castro and junior midfielder Iñigo Villaldea.
 
Coach Hopkins' Take on UC San Diego
"UCSD will present some difficult challenges for us as they are masters of defending for long stretches without the ball. That coupled with being a local derby will make this a very competitive match."

Opponent Notebook (UC San Diego)
The Tritons are 4-2-2 on the year... This is their third year in Division I… They have had three common opponents with the Aztecs: Cal, Denver and UNLV. SDSU went 2-1-0 vs that trip and UCSD went 1-1-1… They started off the year 3-0-0, which included a win at No. 22 Santa Clara… They are 1-2-2 over their last five games… They have outscored their opponents 8-6, but have been outshot 64-97… Goalkeeper Dominic Peters has a goals allowed average of 0.800 and a save percentage of 0.854… Alessandro Allen and Nick Cirrito lead the team with four points each… Head coach Jon Pascale (15th season) is a three-time CCAA Coach of the Year and has an all-time record of 93-55-31… The Aztecs are 18-1-0 all-time against the Tritons but haven't faced UCSD since the 1983 season.