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Entering 2012 season
Matt Hall enters his 13th season as an assistant with the San Diego State men's soccer program. His primary duties are working with the goalkeepers. In addition to his goalkeeping duties, Hall coordinates the team's recruiting, and organizes and runs practice sessions.
Known as one of the top assistant coaches in the nation, Hall has coached a goalkeeper to a postseason honor in five of his last seven seasons on The Mesa.
"I am so fortunate that Matt has become such a significant part of my personal and professional life," head coach Lev Kirshner said. "Since 1997, when Matt first played for me, I have enjoyed watching him mature as an adult and professional. Matt has become one of my closest friends and I am so blessed to have him as my assistant. This program would not be the same without him and neither would my life."
A season ago, the Aztecs shut out five opponents, with their second of the season coming in a 2-0 victory over No. 21 Penn. As a group, SDSU's goalkeepers combined to post a goals against average of 1.27 and a .747 save percentage.
Starter Blake Hylen started 17 of his 18 games played and posted a record of 9-6-3, while finishing with a GAA of 1.31, a save percentage of .747, four shutouts and 71 saves, which led to him earning honorable mention all-Pac-12 accolades.
In 2010, SDSU posted six shutouts, including back-to-back ones against Houston Baptist and Albany on Sept. 24 and Sept. 26, respectively.
Brad Byrns went 10-7-2 with a 1.18 goals against average over 1751:16. He had 63 saves for a .733 save percentage and had all six shutouts. For his efforts, he was named to the all-Pac-10 team as an honorable-mention selection.
In 2009, SDSU posted three shutouts, including back-to-back clean sheets against NCAA tournament foe Princeton (W, 1-0) and Washington (T, 0-0) on Sept. 27 and Oct. 2, respectively. The team's other shutout came in a 2-0 win over No. 11 California Oct. 25 in Berkeley.
Byrns (6-6-4) started 16 of the team's 18 games, registering a team-high 71 saves and 76.3 save percentage, while recording all three of San Diego State's shutouts. R.J. Smith (0-0-2) played brilliantly in his two starts, posting a team-low 1.23 goals against average over 220 minutes.
In 2008, Hall and the Aztecs dealt with a plethora of injuries at the goalkeeper position, but was still able to post five shutouts. Morgan Maestas (1.16 GAA, 388:36), Byrns (1.47 GAA, 244:12), orge Rosales (1.52 GAA, 831:06) and Smith (1.97 GAA, 228:46) all appeared in at least three games and started at least twice.
On Nov. 4, Rosales earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors after SDSU beat No. 7 California when he faced 20 shots and eight corner kicks, all while playing a man down the final 49:52. He made five saves to preserve the shutout.
In 2007, Byrns posted a 6-1-2 record with a 0.73 goals against average and amassed five shutouts before an injury sidelined him for the rest of the season. Despite missing 10 games, Byrns was still named to the Pac-10 all-conference team as an honorable mention selection. The feat was even more amazing as Byrns had the daunting task of having to replace two-time All-American Tally Hall.
Under Hall's guidance in 2006, Tally Hall (no relation) became the first Aztec to earn All-America honors in consecutive years since National Soccer Hall of Famer member Marcelo Balboa accomplished the feat in 1988 and again in 1989.
Tally Hall also was a M.A.C. Hermann Award semifinalist, a Scholar All-American and a first-team all-West Region and all-Pac-10 performer.
In the 2006 campaign, Matt Hall helped the SDSU goalkeepers limit the opposition to just nine goals in Pac-10 play, tied with Stanford for the fewest in the conference.
A year before (2005), Tally Hall and the Aztecs led the nation with a 88.9 shots-on-goal save percentage and was second in the country with a 0.49 goals against average, both school records. For his efforts, he was named a first-team all-Far West selection and first-team all-Pac-10 pick.
In 2004, Hall earned all-academic honors by the MPSF, the same honor Colin Hanke won in 2003.
Brian Barnes broke his own single-season saves record in 2002 en route to being named a second-team all-MPSF selection and all-academic pick.
In 2001, Tim Edwards earned first-team all-MPSF honors after going 4-5-4 with a 1.56 goals against average and two shutouts. Edwards was even better in conference play, posting a 1.07 GAA in seven appearances.
Barnes, who would go onto become the school's all-time leader with 282 saves, was named to the MPSF Pacific Division first team in 2000 and was selected to the all-academic team after recording 90 saves.
Actively involved as the team's recruiting coordinator, Matt Hall helped San Diego State produce three top-40 recruiting classes from 2005-07, and three more the past three seasons. The Aztecs were ranked No. 39 by College Soccer News in 2005, No. 19 in 2006, No. 17 in 2007, No. 22 in 2009, and No. 29 in 2010 and No. 35 in 2011.
The accolades are not surprising since Hall helped Kirshner build the program back up to a national force. Hall helped SDSU earn a full allotment of scholarships for the first time in school history. In the process, the Aztecs joined the Pac-10 (now Pac-12), arguably one of the top soccer conferences in the nation.
Hall's efforts were recognized by College Soccer News in 2007, when he was named on of the top 12 assistant coaches in the nation. In the article, the website wrote that, "Some might overlook the contribution that Hall has made to the rise in prominence of the program at San Diego State over the past few years but that would be a mistake. The statistics regarding the effectiveness of the Aztec netminders over the past few years and the quality of the recruiting classes which San Diego State has attracted are proof positive of the contribution that Hall is making."
Hall is a familiar face to San Diego State soccer fans, having spent three years (1996-98) defending the Aztecs' net and beginning SDSU's recent tradition of nationally-renowned goalkeepers.
Hall is listed third on the school's season saves list, recording 89 during the 1998 campaign. He is ranked third on SDSU's career saves list with 213. Only Hall pupils Barnes (1999-2002) and Tally Hall (2003-06) are above Hall on the lists.
In June 1998, Hall represented SDSU at the adidas Summer League, a prestigious camp designed for the nation's top collegiate players. He was one of 15 goalkeepers from across the country invited to participate in the clinic.
He also had a solid professional career, starting for the San Diego Flash, which reached the quarterfinals of the A-League championships in 2001.
Hall completed his undergraduate degree at the University of San Diego in 2001, and holds a U.S.S.F. National "A" license.
He resides in San Diego with his wife Kelli, and their daughter, Madden Michele, who was welcomed into the Aztec family on Aug. 25, 2008.
"Although being a part of Matt and Kelli's wedding party was poignant," Kirshner said. "I have to say, being there for the birth of their first child, Madden Michele, is one of the greatest moments I have experienced as an Aztec soccer coach. The ability to see Matt's happy, beaming face, while holding Madden for the first time was...well, let's just say, I was a proud mentor, but really I am just a proud friend."