After winning for the first time since Oct. 5 last Sunday, the No. 23 Washington men’s soccer team made it two in a row Thursday against Pac-12 rival San Diego State, winning by a score of 1-0.
Much like the first contest between the two squads, this match was all Huskies (11-5-1, 4-3-1 Pac-12), all night.
Washington dictated the tempo early, attempting four shots in the first 10 minutes courtesy of four different players, a sign of their control over the ball for most of the game. Two of these shots came in a span of four seconds from sophomore midfielder John Magnus and redshirt junior forward Kyle Coffee. These shots were attempted from point-blank range off of a free kick, but miraculously the Aztecs (5-10-0, 0-6-0 Pac-12) blocked both, and temporarily kept the Huskies off the board.
SDSU got a great opportunity of their own in the 16th minute. Senior forward Jeroen Meefout, the Aztecs’ leading goal scorer, came streaking with the ball down the right sideline past the Huskies defense and lined up a dangerous shot, but redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Saif Kerawala, who returned Thursday after his one-game suspension, came out to the edge of the box to save the shot and keep the home team at zero.
After attempting three more shots and applying constant pressure on the Aztecs’ goal, the Huskies finally got on the board in the 39th minute. Sophomore forward Elijah Rice made a great run with the ball towards goal, which enticed the keeper to come out and try to deflect or grab the ball. The keeper missed the ball, and Rice made a simple pass back into the middle to a streaking Scott Menzies, and the redshirt junior forward put away his seventh goal of the season and gave the Huskies all the goal support they would need.
However, the rest of the game did not come without complications. In the 45th minute, SDSU was awarded a questionable penalty kick, and into the box stepped Meefout once again. Looking to finally get himself and his team in the goal column, he came up to the ball, sent a fast and low shot into the bottom right corner. But Kerawala came up big in another big moment against Meefout, diving to his left and sticking his left hand out to deny yet another good SDSU chance right before the half.
For the start of the second half, Washington subbed in sophomore midfielder Handwalla Bwana, and right off the bat, he came out firing. In the first 10 minutes of the half he attempted two shots and took two corners, though none of these chances ended up yielding anything of note.
The second half was characterized by the UW’s pursuit of an insurance goal, and their defense’s reluctance to give SDSU any chance at all. Menzies got a couple more chances in the last period, with one being blocked and the other sailing high. Coffee got a good chance from outside the box in the 87th minute, but the keeper stretched out to make the save.
In total, the Huskies outshot the Aztecs 16-4, allowing no shot attempts for the opposition in the second half as they imposed their will on San Diego State once again, keeping them winless in the conference.
Reach reporter Chris Angkico at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @chrisangkico