Sept. 28, 2012
BERKELEY, Calif. -- After being in control for all 90 minutes of regulation, the San Diego State men's soccer team fell just 2:29 short in a 1-0 double-overtime heartbreaker to California on Friday night in Berkeley, Calif. With the loss, the Aztecs fall to 4-3-1 and 0-1 in Pac-12 play. The Golden Bears, meanwhile, improve to 6-2-1 and 1-0 in conference action.
Cal, who had been outshot in regulation by a 14-8 margin, managed to gain the upper hand in the second overtime as it tallied six shots to SDSU's two. The Golden Bears were then finally able to find the back of the net when senior Tony Salciccia found John Fitzpatrick in the Aztecs' box. Fitzpatrick played the ball across the six-yard box to a wide-open Bonomo, who fired the game-winning goal.
At the start of the game, it appeared to be SDSU's day as it kept up the offensive intensity. Junior Morgan Sacco notched the first attempt for the Aztecs at the 3:18 mark as he watched his shot just miss wide from 22 yards out. About six minute later, Junior Kody Duff then took a shot along the goal line that went out over the goal and hit the bar.
SDSU's first good scoring opportunity came in the 12th minute as junior Jordan Ongaro fired an attempt from the top of the box, but Cal goalkeeper Kevin Peach notched the save.
The Aztecs continued to pressure the Golden Bears down the stretch as Ongaro tallied another shot on goal at the 18:18 mark that required a diving save from Peach. Then in the 25th minute, SDSU tested Peach again with another shot on goal from senior Ata Ozbay.
San Diego State remained in control as the first half winded down. After two shots that missed just high, the Aztecs had their next scoring opportunity in the 37th minute as junior Blake Wise tallied an attempt that was once again saved by Peach. SDSU then came extremely close to taking the lead when Ongaro had his shot blocked from about eight yards out at the 42:31 mark.
At halftime, the Aztecs held a 9-5 advantage in shots (4-2 in shots on goal) and they also controlled the corner kick battle by a 4-1 margin.
The second half started out with SDSU notching the first shot in the 51st minute on an attempt by sophomore Anthony Gooch from 18 yards out that required yet another save from Peach. Both teams stepped up their defense for the next 10 minutes as neither team was able to tally a shot. Then at the 60:53 mark, junior Casey Meuser fired a shot that just missed wide.
Midway through the second half, the Golden Bears had yet to tally a shot. The Aztecs, on the other hand, had the momentum in their favor and nearly took advantage in the 74th minute when Duff attempted a header that just missed wide.
Cal was finally able to get its first attempt of the second period, but had Stefano Bonomo's shot miss wide. SDSU responded right back with a shot from freshman Travis Nicklaw that required a save from Peach.
The Golden Bears then managed to fire consecutive shots that went wide and regulation eventually ended with the Aztecs holding the advantage in shots and corner kicks by a 14-8 margin and 7-2 margin, respectively.
In the first overtime period, both teams battled as each notched two shots. In the second overtime, it was a different story as the Golden Bears managed to pick up the tempo en route to notching the game-winning goal at the 107:31 mark.
The Aztecs continue their stay in the Bay Area with a game at Stanford on Sunday. The Pac-12 matchup is set for a 2:30 p.m. PT start.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Evyn Hewett is the Man of the Match for his effort in San Diego State's Pac-12 contest with California. The sophomore from La Palma, Calif., was key to the Aztecs' defensive effort against the Golden Bears.