Aztecs Fly By Pilots, Upset No. 4 Portland, 1-0
Aug. 28, 2011
SAN DIEGO -
San Diego State, the preseason Mountain West favorites, recorded perhaps the biggest victory in program history as it defeated fourth-ranked Portland, 1-0, Sunday afternoon at SDSU Sports Deck. The Aztecs improve to 3-1 on the season, while the Pilots fall to 2-1.
San Diego State recorded its first win over a top-10 team since Nov. 7, 2009, when it defeated No. 8 BYU in the MWC tournament final by an identical 1-0 score. The Aztecs also improve to 1-1-1 in their last three regular-season games against nationally ranked squads.
SDSU controlled the tempo for the majority of the contest and it started with Cat Walker executing a crafty move to get off a quality shot that went high in the sixth minute. Five minutes later, the Aztecs found themselves on the attack and on a 4-on-4 situation. Jensen Skinner started the opportunity and dribbled the ball across the midfield line and found Megan Jurado, who found Walker. The senior took a few dribbles and fired off another shot, but the attempt was blocked.
The game-winning sequence started with 24:33 left in the first half. Tiffany Hurst took a corner kick and the effort bounced off the near post. The rebound created a loose-ball situation and Haley Locker blasted a shot, which was blocked, and Hurst, who was in the box, corralled the deflection and tucked her shot into the left corner from three yards out. The goal marked her first of the season. Locker, meanwhile, notched her first career assist.
Then with 14 seconds left in the frame, Kelsey Booth, from 20 yards out, launched a rocket to the upper left corner, which required Pilot goalkeeper Hailee DeYoung to make a diving save to prevent the Aztecs from taking a 2-0 lead into halftime.
Less than three minutes into the second half, Portland enjoyed its top scoring chance up to that point when Emily Sippel had her shot blocked. She then surrounded the rebound and fired off another shot that hit the left post.
Six minutes later, the Aztecs shared the ball with precision passing and Marisa Fraticelli found herself with a quality look. With the DeYoung out of the picture after stumbling to the ground, Fraticelli's shot was kick-saved by a Pilot field player who was the visitor's last line of defense.
San Diego State kept Portland on its toes moments later when Walker put one on target, but was blocked, took the rebound and fired off another only to have that one blocked as well.
Hurst, looking to pick up her third assist of the season, found Walker and the senior's shot was just off the mark. The attempt went wide left by a foot in the 58th minute.
With the Pilots trailing, Portland's only other goal-scoring opportunity came with 28:31 left in regulation. Rebekah Kurle blasted an attempt toward the left side of the net and SDSU keeper Rachel Boaz kick-saved it to preserve the Aztecs' lead.
The Pilots, who were trying to find the equalizing goal, started to find a bit of rhythm on the offensive side in the final 15 minutes. But like the first 75 minutes, the SDSU defense erased any hope as the Aztecs secured the victory.
The aforementioned San Diego State defense was stellar in recording the team's second shutout of the season. The unit held Portland to just two shots in the first half and nine for the game, including two on goal. In comparison, the Aztecs had 13 shots and four on goal.
SDSU, which is 3-1 for the first time since 2005, returns to action on Friday, Sept. 2, when it plays host to Central Florida at 4 p.m. PT. Admission is free.