San Diego State men’s soccer team lost 3-2 in their first game of the season to the University of San Diego on Friday night.
A USD goal in the 67th minute by Miguel Berry proved to be the difference on the SDSU sports deck during “Light the Night,” where the first 500 fans were gifted light-up bracelets. Berry finished with two goals on three shots and led his team to a victory.
Aztec goalkeeper and redshirt sophomore Harrison Skinner was tested often tonight.
“On that third goal I saw their number nine [Berry] coming down the field I thought we had a chance to foul him earlier in the midfield. He went through our defense and he was able to tuck it by me.”Harrison Skinner
Emotions ran high as the cross-town rivals battled for San Diego bragging rights, multiple yellow cards were handed out throughout the match.
A crowd of over 1,600 people was rewarded with a seesaw match. SDSU jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, due to a free kick by senior midfielder Pablo Pelaez.
“I feel disappointed [and] out of words. We usually do well against USD. It’s a tough one to swallow in front of all these amazing people that came out, but that’s soccer and we’ve got to move on from this and there is a game in two days we get to look forward to.”Pablo Pelaez
17 minutes later, the Toreros tied the game 1-1 thanks to a Ross Meldrum goal. But only five minutes later, the Aztecs retook the lead thanks to a Tristan Weber score, making it 2-1 in the 64th minute.
In the end, the Aztecs had numerous missed scoring opportunities all throughout the game.
Aztec midfielder Keegan Kelly attempted to set teammates up throughout the night, but they did not return the favor.
“We could’ve gotten a better result, but the guys worked hard; I think we were prepared for this game. At the end of the day, we need to look in the mirror and look at ourselves and see what we need to improve on because this is back to back. We controlled the game and we can’t get the result we want.”Pablo Pelaez
Due to missed opportunities, the Aztecs gave up two straight goals, which put them too far out of reach during the latter stages of the game.
Head coach Lev Kirshner, who is in his 20th season, pointed to the two goals made by USD’s Barry.
“We didn’t contain him [Berry], the kid picks up a ball at midfield on a dubious no call and he just runs right down the gut of our team. [He ran] 55 yards right down the middle and the second goal basically the same thing, but he only ran 35 yards so we did not just contain that well and getting ourselves isolated too often we made him look very good tonight.”Lev Kirshner
SDSU men’s soccer team will play again at UNLV tonight at 8:00 pm.