The San Diego State men’s soccer team did not let Friday’s heat distract or slow it down from beating the University of Nebraska Omaha 3-2 at the UCR/Courtyard by Marriott Soccer Invitational in Riverside.
The game started quickly when a UNO defender tried passing the ball to the goal keeper, but accidentally passed it to junior forward Jordan Ongaro, who saw the opportunity to knock it into the net in the fourth minute.
“I pressured him down and forced him to make a decision,” Ongaro said. “I capitalized on it.”
The Mavericks tied the game in the 26th minute on a shot by sophomore midfielder Vance Rookwood, but the Aztecs answered back six minutes later when sophomore defender Tyrone Martin assisted junior midfielder John Pegg with SDSU’s second goal, ending the first half with a score of 2-1. The goal was Pegg’s first of the year.
The Aztecs added to their lead in the second half when junior midfielder Casey Meuser made the game-winning goal in the 59th minute, his second of the game. Junior midfielder Blake Wise was credited with the assist.
The Mavericks went on to score again in the 89th minute, but it was too late.
“We still got a lot to improve on,” SDSU head coach Lev Kirshner said. “There’s some fire power going on and that’s very encouraging, but there’s a lot we need to continue to build upon.”
SDSU led the shot category 8-5 in the first half, but the Mavericks outshot the Aztecs 8-7 in the second half. Pegg attempted four shots, while Ongaro added three, all of which were on goal. Defensively, junior goalkeeper Blake Hylen finished with three saves on the day.
“It’s always good to come back from a win, but now this game is in the past and we are focused on the next game,” Hylen said.
The Aztecs returned to the pitch against North Florida Sunday afternoon in dominating fashion. Behind hat tricks by Ongaro and junior midfielder Kody Duff, SDSU moved to 3-2-1 on the season by defeating North Florida, 9-0. Pegg, junior midfielder Kevin Bick and senior midfielder Jose Altamirano each added a goal.
The nine goals are the most scored in a single game since the Aztecs scored nine against Christian Heritage College on Sept. 6, 1994. The win is also the most one-sided in team history since SDSU defeated Loyola Marymount University 12-0 on Nov. 4, 1988. The Aztecs attempted 35 shots, 20 of whichwere on goal.
SDSU’s next game is against the University of Nevada, Las Vegas at 7:30 p.m. this Friday at the SDSU Sports Deck.
“I think we are on the right track,” Ongaro said. “I think we just need to improve on the little mistakes and keep moving forward from where we are and I think we are going to do awesome this year.”