Freshmen Lead the Way as SDSU Downs Minnesota, 2-1
Aug. 26, 2011
SAN DIEGO -Hannah Keane and Haley Locker scored their first career goals as San Diego State defeated Minnesota, 2-1, on a hot Friday afternoon at SDSU Sports Deck. With the victory, the Aztecs improve to 2-1, while the Golden Gophers fall to 1-2.
"Today was a good victory for us against a Minnesota side that will win a lot games this season," San Diego State head coach Mike Friesen said. "It was a hot day, but the team really pushed through and didn't give up. Today was a total team effort and it gives us confidence heading into Sunday's match against Portland."
Minnesota, which entered the week as the first team out of the NSCAA Top-25 Poll and advanced to last year's Sweet 16, had a couple of great opportunities in the early going. Nicole Baier put one on goal that required a diving save by SDSU goalkeeper Rachel Boaz. On the rebound and a couple of touches, Steph Brandt had a clean look, but her shot was blocked.
Less than four minutes later, SDSU forward Megan Jurado sent in a perfectly placed cross to a streaking Cat Walker, who had an open look, but her header was saved by Golden Gopher keeper Cat Parkhill.
After Walker's attempt, the game became a back-and-forth affair for the next 19 minutes until the Aztecs found themselves on the attack. Coming in from the left side, Haley Palmer dribbled the ball and found Keane, who deposited her shot into the lower right corner to give the home side the lead. The assist was Palmer's first of the season.
As the half was coming to a close, Boaz and a Minnesota player were involved in a collision, which forced the SDSU goalkeeper out of the game with 1:31 remaining. Megan Allaire replaced Boaz and was faced with a Gopher attack with less than 20 seconds on the clock. As time ticked, Becca Roberts was on the receiving end of a Sheridan Reiners pass and tucked her shot into the lower left corner at 44:53 to knot the game at 1-1 at the mid-game break.
Boaz returned to the game at the start of the second half and San Diego State began to assert itself on both ends of the field. The Aztecs opened with three shots before Minnesota attempted two within a three-minute period that Boaz saved easily. The second of the two shot attempts would be the Gophers' last for the next seven minutes before being shut out the rest of the match.
SDSU, meanwhile, continued to put pressure on the Golden Gopher defense, but could not find the back of the net. But after consecutive corner kicks, the Aztecs finally took advantage of the opportunity as Tiffany Hurst tapped it to Carli Johnson, who gave it back to Hurst. The senior, who had an assist at California on Sunday, dribbled the ball and found Locker in front of the net. The freshman knocked it in from five yards out into the lower right corner to give San Diego State the 2-1 cushion with just over six minutes to play.
Minnesota continued to look for the equalizer, but the Aztecs thwarted every Golden Gopher attempt. On the other end, Walker had a shot to put the game out of reach in the 87th minute, but was unlucky and had her shot stopped by Parkhill as SDSU eventually emerged with its seventh home win its last eight outings.
San Diego State, which was outshot in the first half (6-2), finished with a 15-9 advantage in the category and held a 4-3 edge in corner kicks. Both goalkeepers finished with four saves apiece.
The Aztecs return to the pitch on Sunday when No. 4 Portland visits SDSU Sports Deck. The match is scheduled for a noon PT start and admission is free.