In NSCAA Men's Soccer, the Aztecs shocked No. 1 Akron in men's soccer Friday night, winning 1-0 on Travis Nicklaw's 61st-minute penalty kick before a standing room only crowd at the SDSU Sports Deck. The victory ranks among the program's biggest victories since its run to the 1987 NCAA final and the biggest in Coach Lev Kirshner's 17 seasons on Montezuma Mesa.
The Aztecs climbed into the No. 13 spot on in the second Division I NSCAA poll of the 2016 regular season. Fans poured onto the field at the final whistle to mob the players.
Considering Akron had attempted 42 shots in its first two games and was held to six by the Aztecs, the win was well deserved. Goalkeeper Adam Allmaras saved both for his second shutout in three games; in all, SDSU has allowed one goal - a 30-yard bomb against Illinois-Chicago - all season and none in the last 277 minutes.
The Zips returned much of the roster that reached the NCAA semifinals last season and opened this one with wins against No. 7 Georgetown and No. 9 Seattle.
It's no surprise that the Aztecs (2-0-1) hadn't received votes in two of the three major polls. This seems to be a consistency in football and basketball, and other Aztec sports.
"This isn't a fluke," Kirshner said. "This is a very good (SDSU) team that has bought into the Aztecs culture that we've fought really hard to regain. Akron is a very good team, and so are we."
SDSU moved up 10 places past the 23rd spot in the NSCAA national poll from a week ago, collecting 302 points to outpace No. 14 Creighton (298 pts.) and No. 15 Virginia Tech (239 pts.), while Utah Valley holds down the No. 12 spot with 314 points. With their advance, the Aztecs find themselves with their highest national ranking since the 2000 campaign.
The Aztecs are one of three Pac-12 Conference teams in the latest NSCAA poll, joining No. 8 UCLA (408 pts.) and No. 24 Stanford (76 pts.), while Washington, California and Oregon State are all receiving votes.
Bolstered by 15 first-place votes, Notre Dame (606 pts.) took over the No. 1 spot in this week's ranking, topping No. 2 Clemson (593 pts.), which racked up five first-place votes, while North Carolina (549 pts.), Indiana (524 pts.) and Maryland (516 pts.).
The Aztecs play host to UT Rio Grande Valley in the Courtyard Marriott San Diego Central Tournament at 7 p.m. PT at SDSU Sports Deck. The Aztecs finish the weekend with a game against Memphis on Sunday, Sept. 11, beginning at 1 p.m. PT.