Aztecs Beat USD 2-1 in Dramatic Fashion

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10/21/2021 – 8 P.M. PT| 8 P.M. PT

Pac-12 Networks

SAN DIEGO – After scoring a free kick with just four seconds remaining, the Aztec men’s soccer team (7-3-3) won a thriller at University of San Diego (1-11-0), 2-1 Friday night at Torero Stadium.

After SDSU had been leading for 82 minutes, the Toreros tied it at 1-1 in 88 minutes. However, USD committed a costly foul with seven second remaining to set up a free kick from 30 yards by the Aztecs. Iñigo Villaldea sent the ball into the far side of the box, and Rik Regeling, who was making his first career start, got a head on it to send it across the box to Blake Bowen who tapped it in with his right foot.

“I ran to the near post and Rik [Regeling] headed it back across and made it an easy tap in for the win,”Bowen stated after the match. “It feels good to get another [game-winner].”

Bowen and the Aztecs had scored the game-winning goal for the second time with a free kick in five seconds. Bowen scored the game-winning goal against UC Davis with just one second remaining on Sept. 10.

“Wow, what a finish again,”Ryan Hopkins, head coach, said after the match. “The guys keep continuing to find ways to win games and that’s the mark of a resilient team. They never lost belief in each other, and I couldn’t be prouder of them. They set a team goal to go undefeated in non-conference play and to accomplish that in such a dramatic finish is even more rewarding.”

SDSU was outshot by 9-6 and 5-3 in shots at goal. But the Aztecs led the Aztecs until the final three minutes. After some clever passing, SDSU scored in 6 minutes. Iñigo Villaldea found Alex Hjælmof in the middle of the field who one-touched a pass to Andre Ochoa who scored inside the far post with his left foot. Ochoa, the Aztec captain has scored a record five goals.

After a cross hit an Aztec defenseman, the ball bounced off the crossbar to Ross Johnstone, who completed the goal in the 88th minute.

Jacob Castro (7-3-3), goalkeeper, recorded four saves. He has allowed just one goal in 11 of his 12 matches so far this season.

This is the second time that SDSU has scored a game-winning goal using a free kick in each of the last five seconds.

The Aztecs were undefeated in non conference play (5-0-2).

SDSU’s record against the Toreros is now 15-7-2

The Aztecs are back in Pac-12 play on Thursday at Stanford at 8:30 p.m. Stanford defeated SDSU 1-0 in extra-time earlier this year.

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