SAN DIEGO -
SDSU enjoyed the first two dangerous chances in the game in the ninth minute on back-to-back possessions. Following an Ata Ozbay free kick, Evyn Hewett nearly missed putting the Aztecs ahead by one as his shot went just wide. Then 34 seconds later, Jose Altamirano came streaking down the left side and blasted a shot that went just over the left corner of the cage.
San Diego State controlled the tempo and continually put pressure on the Buckeyes' defense. The Aztecs finally broke through in the 41st minute when Tyler Smith crossed midfield, passed it to Morgan Sacco, who found Kody Duff. The junior from Roseville, Calif., took advantage of the situation and slotted his shot into the right side of the cage. The goal was the midfielder's second of the season and second in as many games.
The Aztecs' lead was short-lived as Ohio State answered less than two minutes later. Joshua Breto was the recipient of a Louie Berra pass and the forward found the back of the net with a shot that found the far left side from 10 yards out. The goal was Breto's first of the season.
The first half ended in a 1-1 tie and like the first half, SDSU put together the first dangerous sequences of the second period. Casey Meuser started the play and hooked up with Blake Wise, who found John Pegg in front of the net. The junior's attempt was blocked, but on the rebound, he took another shot and that, too, was blocked.
Ohio State found the go-ahead goal in the 64th minute when the Buckeyes threw the ball in and Adam Gorski spotting Berra, who went cross cage into the lower left corner from 12 yards out. The goal was Berra's first of the year and proved to the difference.
Trailing by a goal, San Diego State attacked at an even higher rate and nearly missed getting the equalizer on numerous occasions. After a pair of threatening chances by Ohio State, Ozbay found himself on a breakaway and his blast flew just over the right corner of the net. Two minutes later, Robbie Freise connected with Wise on a cross and Wise's shot into the lower corner was stopped after a lunging effort by OSU keeper Alex Wimmer.
Kevin Bick, 80 seconds later (76:32), who was on the receiving end of an Altamirano pass, missed with his shot that went just past the left post. Altamirano was at it again in the 80th minute when he used pair of moves to create space, but the senior's shot from 20 yards out went to the right of the post.
Less than three minutes later, Altamirano connected with Jordan Ongaro and his shot hit the crossbar. Then on the rebound, Ongaro took the loose ball and his header went wide left. Altamirano continued to find open teammates and this time found Meuser, but his low shot crossed the box and missed to the right.
Later in the 86th minute, Ongaro went to Bick and the captain's low liner almost snuck into the right corner, but like the previous attempts, missed right. SDSU's last good chance came with 34 seconds left on the clock when Travis Nicklaw attempted a header that ended up sailing high.
At the final horn, San Diego State outshot Ohio State, 26-11, and had a 7-5 advantage in shots on goal. The Aztecs also attempted four more corner kicks (8-4) than the visiting Buckeyes.
Individually for the Aztecs, Ongaro and Bick led the way with four shots, with Bick putting a game-high three on goal. Meuser and Pegg, meanwhile, each had three shots apiece. Defensively, Blake Hylen, who earned the starting nod in net, made three saves.
SDSU returns to action next Friday when it travels to Riverside, Calif., to face Nebraska-Omaha at 5 p.m. PT in the opening game of the Courtyard Marriott Highlander Soccer Tournament.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Kody Duff is the Man of the Match after scoring his second goal in as many games. Duff gave San Diego State the early lead with his goal in the 41st minute after Tyler Smith and Morgan Sacco combined to setup the scoring play. The Roseville, Calif., native played 67 minutes off the bench and attempted two goals, both of which came on goal. His two shots on goal were the second-most on the squad, bringing his season total to a team-high six. He is currently tied with Jordan Ongaro for the team lead in goals (2) and points (4).