SAN DIEGO (Daily Aztec) - San Diego State men’s soccer needed overtime to defeat UC Irvine, 2-1, during the finale of the Courtyard Marriott San Diego Central Aztec Soccer Tournament on Sunday evening at the SDSU Sports Deck.
SDSU (2-2-1) fell behind early, but used two late goals to secure its fifth championship in the events 11 year history.
Head coach Lev Kirshner said the team was happy to come away victorious in the hometown tournament.
“Obviously we are super excited about winning our own tournament,” Kirshner said. “I hate giving the trophy to the other team, so that makes us very happy.”
The Aztecs trailed 1-0 until the 85th minute, when junior defender Miles Stray tied the game with a header off of a free kick from redshirt junior Pablo Pelaez.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Stray said about his equalizer. “Pablo played a great ball in, I didn’t really have to do much; it was served on a spoon.”
SDSU secured the victory two minutes into sudden death overtime, after junior midfielder Emil Kjellker scored on a sliding shot off an assist from redshirt sophomore midfielder Keegan Kelly.
Kirshner said capitalizing on dead ball opportunities, like SDSU did late in the game and in overtime, can determine a team’s season.
“We talk about seasons being dictated by dead balls and your seasons being dictated by overtime,” Kirshner said. “The goals came off dead balls, and we won in overtime.”