Sept. 10, 2009
SAN DIEGO -
San Diego State Men's Soccer Welcomes Penn, Wisconsin in Second Annual The Courtyard Marriott San Diego Central Tournament
Last year, SDSU finished runner-up in the inaugural tournament after going 1-1. San Diego State lost to Michigan, 3-2, in overtime, before routing Albany, 6-0. Current sophomore Daniel Steres (Calabasas, Calif.) was named the tourney's Most Valuable Defensive Player, while the Colorado contingent of Nick Cardenas (Thornton, Colo.), Raymundo Reza (Denver, Colo.) and Evan Toft (Aurora, Colo.) each were selected to the all-tournament team.
Examining the Aztecs
The two losses are a bit deceiving, however, as SDSU has combined to outshoot its two foes, 30-24, including a 16-10 advantage on net. San Diego State also has more corner kicks (14-11) than its opponents and far less goalkeeper saves (15-7). In addition, the Aztecs had a 1-0 lead against the Lions and were victim of an own goal against the Toreros in the 1-0 loss.
Sophomore Daniel Steres (Calabasas, Calif.), who earned The Courtyard Marriott San Diego Central Tournament Most Valuable Defensive Player last year, has scored the only goal for SDSU this season. He also leads in points (two) and has put both of his shot attempts on net. Senior Evan Toft (Aurora, Colo.) and freshman Morgan Sacco (Greeley, Colo.) each earned assists on Steres' goal. Toft and junior Raymundo Reza (Denver, Colo.) lead the squad with six shots in the two games, while redshirt senior Jamel Wallace (San Diego/Oceanside HS) and senior College Soccer News preseason All-American Nick Cardenas (Thornton, Colo.) have played all 180 minutes. Redshirt junior Brad Byrns (Alamo, Calif.) has minded the net all 180 minutes and has a 1.50 goals against average and seven saves for a .700 save percentage.
Scouting the Quakers
Alex Takakuwa has scored both goals for Univ. of Penn and also leads the squad in points (four) and shots on goal (three). Lee Rubenstein has an assist, while Nick Unger has a team-high seven shot attempts. Ben Berg has logged all 200 minutes in goal for the Quakers, posting a 1.35 goals against average and .786 save percentage.
Friday's match will be the second-ever meeting between the two schools. Penn won the only other game by a 2-0 score on Oct. 14, 1990.
A Look at the Badgers
Mark Roos scored the game-winner against the Fighting Leathernecks, while Scott Lorenz and Austin Spohn lead the team with seven and six shots, respectively.
San Diego State and Wisconsin have never met.
At the Helm
Since the men's soccer team earned its full allotment of scholarships in 2005, the Aztecs have gone 32-28-17, including a 14-13-13 mark in the Pac-10.
Over his nine seasons, Kirshner has coached two All-America selections, three Academic All-America picks, eight professional players, six all-Far West selections and 40 all-conference picks.
Aztecs Picked to Finish Fifth in Pac-10.....Again
SDSU picked up nine points, three behind fourth-place Washington (12). California is predicted to win the regular season title with 24 points, including four first-place votes, while UCLA grabbed the other two first-place votes and is picked to finish second with 22 points. Stanford is third with 15 points, followed by the Huskies (12), the Aztecs (9) and Oregon State (8).
San Diego State, which has never been picked higher than fourth in its five preseason polls, has finished the season better than each of its predicted finishes. In its inaugural Pac-10 season in 2005, SDSU was picked sixth, yet managed a fourth-place finish. The Aztecs finished second in each of their next two seasons despite being picked fourth and fifth, respectively, in the preseason poll. Last year, San Diego State was picked fifth but finished third in league play.
Aztec Men's Soccer Recruiting Class Ranked No. 22 in the Nation
The accolades of the five-player group include, but are not limited to, an under-17, 18 and 20 U.S. national team starter, numerous high school All-Americans, multiple starters on ODP teams, a nationally-ranked goalkeeper and one of the top defenders from the state of Texas.
On the website, the Aztecs are one spot behind perennial power Indiana (21st) and ahead of South Carolina (23rd), Harvard (24th) and Santa Clara (25th). Other schools behind San Diego State include Big East members St. John's (26th), Connecticut (27th) and Georgetown (28th), Big West programs Cal Poly (33rd) and UC Irvine (38th), and SEC power Clemson (35th).
Cardenas Named to College Soccer News Preseason All-America Team
A defender, Cardenas has anchored a backline which has posted 18 shutouts over his three-year career. Last season, Cardenas tallied a career-high four assists while leading the team in minutes played (1,646).
A member of the 2008 preseason M.A.C. Hermann Award Watch List, Cardenas became the first Aztec to be named to three straight NSCAA/adidas all-Far West teams since Kyle Whittemore (1985-88) when he was picked as a second-team selection in December. He also garnered all-Pac-10 Conference accolades for the third consecutive year.
A 2006 U.S. U-20 National Team Camp call-up, Cardenas has twice been named a national player of the week (Sept. 17, 2007 by Top Drawer Soccer and Nov. 1, 2006 by NSCAA/adidas). In 2006, Cardenas was picked as the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, as well as a College Soccer News All-Freshman and a Top Drawer Soccer All-Rookie first-team selection.
Altamirano Named One of 100 Freshmen to Keep an Eye On
Altamirano (5-7, 135) comes to The Mesa as the most heralded recruit in recent history. Altamirano is a member of three U.S. national team age groups (U-20, U-18, U-17) and is a three-time NSCAA Youth All-American (2006-08). Altamirano, who ESPNRISE.com ranks as the third-best prospect in the country and Top Drawer Soccer.com rates as the fifth, also garnered All-America accolades from EA Sports, Parade Magazine and ESPNRISE.com after the 2008 campaign. Additionally, Altamirano was picked as the CIF Player of the Year and San Diego County's Player of the Year.
Aztec Men's Soccer and Kick for Hope Team Up to Raise Money for Africa
Following the Aztecs' game against San Diego on Sunday, SDSU head coach Lev Kirshner and the rest of the men's soccer team ran a one-hour soccer clinic for participating boys and girls from the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO). All the benefits went directly to Kick for Hope.
"We are extremely grateful to SDSU for hosting the AYSO clinic to benefit Kick for Hope," Kick for Hope President Kristen Chandler said. "While raising $550 to support our efforts, we also raised awareness among the youth and their families about the struggles facing African children, who like them, have a passion for soccer. We hope each player left with a sense of satisfaction that their participation will not only impact their game, but will also impact on the lives of some of the poorest children in the world."
In addition to the Kick for Hope soccer clinic with the AYSO players, Kirshner also did a special coaches clinic with various coaches of club teams in the area. Some of the topics Kirshner focused on included practice organization, attacking and defending techniques and strength and conditioning methods, to name a few.
Click on the complete release for more information, including notes, stats and box scores.