SAN DIEGO — If practice makes perfect, Tuesdays above Parking Lot 7 on the campus of San Diego State cultivate a rescue for success.
“I think people tend to overlook us,” said Aztecs soccer player Rommee Jaridly. “I’m happy to have been able to come out to a hard start this season, and show the country that we can play with all these guys and do great things”
Nationally ranked and paired with the sixth best RPI in the country, the unbeaten Aztecs have yet to surrender a goal this season through seven matches. — the longest shutout streak in program history.
“We don’t get scored on, we can’t lose,” Jaridly continued. “It’s a pretty cool feeling that we’re the only team in the country that hasn’t conceded a goal, but we have to look at the long run as well. A goal against us is going to happen eventually, so we just have to be ready for that.”
With six wins and a tie to start the year, the Aztecs paired those shutouts by outscoring opponents by 24 goals.
“We had the No. 1 recruiting class in the country last year, and we just felt like those guys needed a little seasoning,” said Head Coach Ryan Hopkins.
What’s even more impressive, the Aztecs were initially picked to finish last in the Pac-12 preseason poll after losing seven starters, including their goalie last season.
“Obviously when you’re picked to finish sixth out of six teams, when coaches pick that it does give you a little bit of an edge. You want to prove them wrong,” said midfielder Alexander Levengood. “We know we have the quality to compete and win a Pac-12 title, and we’re ready to show it.”
The Aztecs open their conference season at home on Thursday, Sept. 8 against Cal Berkeley.
“Our guys actually love that we’re maybe not getting the respect nationally we feel we deserve,” continued Coach Hopkins, “I told them it’s a great life lesson, you’re not always going to get what you want in life. When you think you deserve it, and all you can do is either complain about it or you can put your head down and continue to work.”
All games on the Mesa this season are free to attend.