SDSU blanks Cal State Northridge to open the NCAA Tournament.
The second-seeded and fourth-ranked San Diego State women's soccer team defeated Cal State Northridge, 3-0, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday night at SDSU Sports Deck. The win propels the Aztecs to a 20-1-1 record, while the Matadors complete their season with a mark of 11-5-6.
SDSU moves onto the round of 32 and will play host to California, which was a 1-0 winner over Pepperdine in their first round match. The game is set for Friday at SDSU Sports Deck at 7 pm.
With the decision, San Diego State broke the single-season school record for wins in a season as this year's squad eclipsed the 1998 team's 19-win performance. The `98 squad also shut out 13 opponents, a number that was equaled tonight with the blanking of the Matadors.
On an NCAA Tournament level, the win, which was San Diego State's 12th straight, brought the Aztecs' all-time Tournament record to 3-3 and put SDSU into the second round for the second time in four seasons.
The Aztecs made it to where they are thanks to a goal in the 10th minute and a defense that limited the Big West champions to just two shots on goal. Following a clearance by defender Kory Spotts, the ball took a high hop over a Matador player, then Hannah Keane headed the ball past the CSUN keeper and the sophomore ultimately knocked her shot into the empty net. For Keane, the goal was her sixth of the campaign.
Later in the first half, Keane located Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year Megan Jurado along the left side of the pitch. The senior took a dribble, created space and placed a beautifully placed ball into the upper right corner from 22 yards out for her team-leading 15th of the year in the 25th minute.
Cal State Northridge, which pressured SDSU all night long, was kept at bay despite its 16-8 shot advantage (SDSU, 4-2 SOG). The Aztec defense limited the Matadors to long-distance attempts and they had only one clean look at the goal.
SDSU added a third goal in the 80th minute when Sarah Halverson connected on a low sweeping kick from 10 yards out into the lower left corner. The goal was the senior's sixth of the year and it came against a goalkeeper in Cynthia Jacobo that ranked third in the nation in save percentage (.913) and fourth in goals-against average (0.46).
San Diego State's last line of defense, goalkeeper Rachel Boaz, matched the school record for shutouts in a season with her 11th clean sheet of 2012. The Aztecs are now 13-0-0 at home with 11 shutouts, while allowing just three goals.