By Eli Baldrige, Staff Writer
It was Senior Day for the San Diego State women’s soccer team, but it was a couple of freshmen who carried SDSU to a victory.
The Aztecs (7-9-3; 5-2 Mountain West Conference) defeated UNLV 2-0 thanks to a pair of goals from two SDSU freshmen.
“It was important to us to send the seniors off with a win,” head coach Mike Friesen said.
For the seniors on the team, the victory was bittersweet.
“It feels so good to go out with a win, but I’m sad it’s coming to an end,” senior forward Michaela DeJesus said.
Seniors Britney Bennett, Grace Shevlin and Aubree Southwick were also recognized. Because of a red card last week against BYU, Southwick could not participate in the game.
The first half was controlled by SDSU. The Aztecs outshot the Rebels 8-1 and spent the majority of the time in their opponent’s half. However, SDSU failed to connect on any of its shots and went into halftime tied 0-0.
In the second half, a pair of freshmen provided a nice spark off the bench.
With 43 minutes left in the game, the Aztecs were awarded a free kick from 40 yards out. Freshmen defender Haley Palmer played a ball into the box that bounced in the middle of several players. A charging Soledad Gomez was able to get her knee on it and buried the goal from two yards away. For the freshman midfielder, it was her third goal this season.
“We ran a play and it was a good service by Haley Palmer,” Friesen said. “(Gomez) ran in at the ball and got just enough.”
In the 63rd minute, another freshman was able to score for SDSU. Bennett mounted a charge down the middle of the field and passed to fellow senior DeJesus at the top of the box. From there, DeJesus quickly found freshman midfielder Zoe Carroll who was running down the left side of the field. After a touch, Carroll lifted her shot over the Rebel keeper to score her first career goal.
“This goal will make me more confident heading into the conference tournament,” Carroll said.
The win tied an Aztec record for MWC wins in a season and allowed the quartet of seniors to become the winningest senior class at SDSU in MWC history. But the seniors are not satisfied yet.
“This win was nice,” DeJesus said. “But we don’t want to stop playing now.”