San Diego State Wins Third Straight MW Women's Soccer Regular-Season Championship
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (GoAztecs.com) – No. 24 San Diego State captured its third straight Mountain West regular-season championship on Sunday after it defeated Colorado State on the road, 1-0, in double overtime. With the win, the Aztecs improved to 14-3-1 (9-1 MW), while the Rams fell to 4-14 (2-8 MW) on their Senior Day.
“Winning a third consecutive Mountain West title is a big deal,” San Diego State head coach Mike Friesen said. “It says a lot about our team winning it on the road facing serious adversity, playing a man down and enduring tough conditions. We are excited to get back home to play on Friday vs. New Mexico and play host to the conference tournament.”
In addition to claiming the regular-season crown for the third year in a row (fourth MW title, fifth regular-season crown overall), SDSU earned the top seed in the MW Championship, which is being held at San Diego State Nov. 4, 6, 8, at SDSU Sports Deck. And as a result of winning the title, the Aztecs will play host to the 2015 Mountain West tournament.
San Diego State received the winning goal in the 106th minute when Rams cleared the ball just beyond the midfield line where Meggie Gulczynski was located. The junior sent a long ball to freshman Aliyah Utush, who put a foot on the ball only to have her shot blocked by CSU goalkeeper Jesse McGinley. The rebound went right back to her and the Rocklin, California, native slotted her shot past the sliding McGinley to send the Aztecs into a frenzy.
For Utush, the goal was her fifth of the season, which tied her with seniors Hannah Keane and Katie Perry for the second-highest total on the team behind senior Kelsey Booth’s seven. Utush’s five goals, meanwhile, leads all SDSU freshmen, just one ahead of Angela Mitchell. As for Gulczynski, the assist was her fourth of the year.
The Aztecs found themselves in double overtime despite controlling the tempo throughout the game. San Diego State outshot Colorado State, 6-2, in the first half and 4-2, in the second, while owning a 6-4 lead in corner kicks after 90 minutes of action. Credit goes to the Rams for not bleeding a goal through the first 100 minutes of the game and holding the Aztecs to without a shot in the first overtime. In fact, SDSU’s only shot in the second overtime session was Utush’s successful attempt.
What is more impressive about the Aztecs’ win is the fact they competed a player down after Mitchell was whistled for her second yellow card in the 85th minute. Even a man down, San Diego State was able to win its 14th game of the season, which surpassed its 2013 total when they went 13-7-2, and post its ninth conference victory, which tied the school record for most league wins in a single year (2013).
At the end of the contest, SDSU held advantages in shots (11-5), shots on goal (5-1) and corner kicks (8-4). In what was a physical game, the Aztecs were called for 10 fouls compared to Colorado State’s 17. Individually, Utush led all players with three shots and two shots on goal. San Diego State goalkeeper Melanie Vaughn, meanwhile, earned win No. 13 and her fifth shutout of 2014.
The Aztecs will return to action on Friday, Oct. 31, when they play host to New Mexico at 7 p.m. PT. The Senior Night affair will take place at SDSU Sports Deck and admission is free. For those unable to attend, the contest will steam live at GoAztecs.com courtesy the Mountain West Network.