No. 23 San Diego State men’s soccer stuns No. 1 Akron 1-0
SAN DIEGO (Via San Diego State University) – Redshirt senior Travis Nicklaw scored on a penalty kick in the 61st minute on Friday to lift the No. 23 San Diego State men’s soccer team to a monumental 1-0 victory over top-ranked Akron in the team’s 2016 home opener.
With the win, the Aztecs remain unbeaten on the year at 2-0-1, while the Zips suffered their first defeat of the season, slipping to 2-1 overall.
“This was a well-earned victory against a very, very good good team,” said SDSU head coach Lev Kirshner. “I am so proud of the effort of my team and staff who deserve all of the credit for this historic moment. I would be remiss if I did not thank the alumni, drumline, cheerleaders and the entire community who came out to assist us in this wonderful win.”
After Akron was whistled for a foul deep in the box, Nicklaw converted the ensuing penalty kick, beating Zips goalkeeper Ben Lundt, who mistakenly dove to his right as the ball found the back of the net on the opposite side.
Akron entered Friday’s contest ranked seventh in the country with an average of 21.0 shots per game. However, the Aztec defense limited the visitors to six attempts for the night, including a mere two on net. Redshirt junior goalkeeper Adam Allmaras went high to stop an attempt by the Zips’ Tyler Sanda in the 16th minute and later snuffed out Akron’s only other threat in the 79th minute on Brad Ruhaak’s header following a corner kick.
Conversely, SDSU finished with 10 shots overall as eight different players recorded at least one attempt, including two on goal by junior forward Jeroen Meefout. The Aztecs had two opportunities to score late in the first half. However, freshman midfielder AJ Vergara’s blast in the 41st minute sailed just wide to the left, while sophomore defender Kyle Adams’ short attempt with time winding down hit the left post.
The two sides were called for a combined 28 fouls in the defensive battle, including 23 in the second half alone. In addition to shots, SDSU held a 5-4 advantage in corner kicks.
The Aztecs will conduct their annual Alumni Match on Saturday at noon, before resuming their homestand on Friday, Sept. 9, when they square off against UT Rio Grande Valley in the Courtyard Marriott San Diego Central Soccer Tournament. Game time is set for 7 p.m. PT.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Goalkeeper Adam Allmaras received Man of the Match honors after recording his second straight clean sheet and 12th of his career. Facing the top-ranked team in the nation, Allmaras made two saves on the night, including a stop in the 79th minute on a header following an Akron corner kick to help preserve the shutout.