San Diego, California - San Diego State will play host to No. 11 Loyola Marymount on Saturday at Aztec Aquaplex in a pivotal Golden Coast Conference game. First sprint for the final home game of the season is set for 1 p.m. PT and admission is free.
SDSU comes into the game having won two straight, including a 20-1 victory over GCC foe Fresno Pacific last Saturday morning. The Aztecs are 18-10 overall and 2-0 against the league. The Lions (17-9), meanwhile, head south to Montezuma Mesa with a four-game winning streak in hand and a 4-0 mark vs. GCC opponents.
Last weekend, San Diego State routed the Sunbirds and defeated Brown, 10-5, in a Saturday doubleheader. In the game with FPU, 10 different Aztecs scored with seven recording two or more goals. Anique Hermann, Alyssa Diacono and Ioli Benekou each tallied three goals, with Makena Magro, Taylor Gums, Caroline Israels and Hana-Elise Lambur finding the back of the net on two occasions. The 19-goal margin of victory was SDSU’s largest since beating Chapman on the road, 22-2, back on April 14, 2012.
In the outing vs. the Bears, only four Aztecs scored, but all four posted multiple goals led by Israels’ four. Benekou, Hermann and Diacono each tallied a pair as San Diego State doubled up Brown. In both games, goalkeeper Emily Tylka earned the starting assignment and posted 13 total saves, including a career-high nine vs. Brown. Melanie Merritt saw a quarter of action against Fresno Pacific and made two stops.
As the Aztecs head into their final home game of the season, Benekou, a freshman, leads the team with 41 goals. Hermann, who ranks second with 37 goals, owns an SDSU-best 54 assists, 57 steals and 53 ejections drawn. Diacono and Israels, meanwhile, are third and fourth on the team with 35 and 31 goals, respectively.
LMU is venturing out on the road for the first time since March 14, when it beat Iona and La Verne at the Lancer Invitational in Riverside, Calif. The game at SDSU, however, is the Lions’ first true road game and fourth overall since March 8 when they beat FPU, 12-3.
Since its two wins in Riverside, Loyola Marymount has played six straight at home, going 4-2 in those games. During its four-game winning streak, the Lions beat Pomona-Pitzer and Brown, and conference foes Pacific and Santa Clara.
The Aztecs are facing LMU for the first time since the 2012 season when they swept a pair of matches, once at the UCSD Triton Invitational (8-7) and the other at the UCI Invite (9-5). The game on Saturday will mark the first time the Lions have played at San Diego State in almost 14 years. The last time the schools met with SDSU as the home team was April 15, 2000, when the Scarlet and Black emerged victorious, 12-2.
San Diego State will close the campaign with four regular-season road games. In the immediate future, the Aztecs will head to northern California for GCC dates with SCU and UOP. The game at Santa Clara is slated for Friday, April 11, at 3 p.m. PT, and the tilt with Pacific will start at noon PT on Saturday, April 12.