The San Diego State Women’s Soccer team earned its first victory ever against fourth-ranked Portland on Sunday after being beaten by the Pilots eight times previously.
SDSU (3-1) gained the important win against Portland (2-1) thanks to junior midfielder Tiffany Hurst’s goal in the 24th minute, giving the Aztecs a 1-0 victory on their home turf.
Tensions were high from the start as players from both teams stepped onto the field at the SDSU Sports Deck, meeting for the first time since 2008 when the Aztecs suffered a 3-0 defeat against the Pilots. However, it was clear SDSU had come prepared.
“For us, it’s a game we have circled on our schedule for several years,” head coach Mike Friesen said.
The Aztecs dominated the first half as they outshot Portland 6-2 and had control of the ball the majority of the time. Twenty four minutes into the game, Hurst scored her first goal of the season off a rebound three yards out, giving SDSU an instant edge. At the end of the first half, the Aztecs led 1-0.
“At halftime, our goal with the defense was to communicate and stay organized,” senior defender Megan McQueeny said. “We wanted to avoid them playing over the top and getting behind the defense.”
Within the first few minutes of the second half, a near goal by Portland almost tied the game. However, the Aztecs’ defense led by McQueeny shut down the Pilot’s offense and limited their shots on goal to only two for the entire match.
“They are a very good team, but on a whole I think we outplayed them today,” Friesen said. “It’s an exciting win for us, but we have a long season ahead so we need to continue playing like this for a successful season.”
Overall, the team had a successful weekend with a win on Friday against the University of Minnesota. The Aztecs won against the Golden Gophers in a 2-1 victory with a pair of goals from two SDSU freshmen, forward Hannah Keane in the 28th minute and forward Haley Locker in the 83rd minute.
“This was a big win for us playing against a team that was in the Sweet 16,” Friesen said.