San José, Calif. – An early goal in the 26th minute proved to be enough as the San José State University women’s soccer team (3-4-2, 0-0-1) dropped its Mountain West opener to San Diego State, 1-0, Friday afternoon at Spartan Soccer Field.
“We played really well, especially in the second half,” said head coach Lauren Hanson. “Playing against a good team you always have to start fast and play the full 90 minutes. We started slow in both halves, and they got their goal in the first.
San Diego State (6-2-1, 1-0-0) took a one-goal lead when Haley Locker sent a cross into the box from the right side of the pitch, as Kelsey Booth fought off a Spartan defender to give the Aztecs the advantage.
SDSU had more opportunities at goal than San José, outshooting the Spartans in the first half, 9-1.
Out of the half, the Aztecs were on the attack once again. In the 45th minute reigning Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week, Zoe Makrigiannis, saved what looked like a sure goal off a laser shot from SDSU’s Hannah Keane to keep the Spartans in the match.
Shortly after the Makrigiannis save, Gabriella Stange moved her way down the left side of the pitch. Stange then directed a cross to the bottom left post to a sliding Alexis Venegas. Venegas slightly mistimed her slide, as the would-be equalizer rolled out of bounds to keep the match at 1-0.
Stange continued to press the issue for the Spartans, making moves down the opposite side of the pitch maneuvering past her mark to get a shot off. However, the shot from Stange went straight into the chest of the SDSU goalkeeper in the 50th minute.
The Spartans held its opponent scoreless in the second half for the fifth consecutive match, and nearly outshout SDSU, 6-5. But, San José could not put one home dropping the match 1-0.
“The way that we played defensively in the second half especially, no problem,” said Hanson. “We have to work on starting and finishing the game for a complete 90 minutes. Our defense was sound, and when we start keeping possession of the ball we look really good. That will be our goal on Sunday.”
San José State will have a chance to bounce back quickly on Sunday, Sept. 28 when the Spartans welcome the Lobos of New Mexico to Spartan Soccer Field.
Spartan fans don’t forget to follow the team on Twitter (@sjsusoccer) and Instagram (@sjsusoccer) and remember to like the Spartans on Facebook.
Game Notes: The Spartans have not allowed second half goal in five consecutive matches. Cal Poly, on Sept. 5 was the last team to score in the second half against San José.