SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Playing in front of nearly 900 fans, the USD men's soccer team knocked off cross town rival San Diego State 2-1 in extra time Thursday evening at Torero Stadium. After USD was held scoreless for the first 89 minutes, Julian Ringhof scored the equalizer in the 90th minute to force the match to extra time. Just two minutes into the extra period, Michael Turner bent a beautiful corner kick into the back of the net for the dramatic game winner.
"All it took was a corner and a little bit of luck and it just dropped in there for us," Turner humbly said after the match.
Although the match was technically a scrimmage, both squads treated it as if it counted in the record books. Turner noted it was "definitely some revenge from last year," referring to the Aztecs 5-0 win early in the 2013 season.
The two sides played a scoreless first half, each team had a couple scoring opportunities but neither could capitalize. The Aztecs took the lead in the 56th minute when Travis Nicklaw was able to loop a short pass into box for freshman Donald Benamna, who headed it up and over a leaping Drew Illijevski.
The second half pace picked up with teams trading counter attacks. The Toreros almost scored early in the second frame when newcomer Dave Musambi nearly finished a pass from senior Connor Brandt, but couldn't sneak it inside the near post.
Shane Thompson had a great opportunity immediately after entering the match in the 74th minute. The redshirt junior launched a rocket from the top of the box, but an Aztec defender was able to block it at the last moment.
As the clock winded down, the Aztecs continuously subbed in newcomers making their college debut and the Toreros took control of the tempo and pace. In the 90th minute, sophomore Merlin Hoeckendorff (Kiel, Germany) delivered a low cross from the right endline to his countryman Julian Ringhof (Sexau, Germany) who made a sliding stab at the ball, sending it past new Aztec keeper Nedin Tucakovic.
"We were scrambling. We were pushing it forward and I think we earned that goal at the end [of regulation]. That gave us the momentum for overtime," Turner said.
In the 92nd minute of extra time, Turner delivered the game-winner. Taking a kick from the left corner, Turner hooked the ball around the near post and into the back of the net for the Olympic goal.
Both squads tallied eight shots, but the Toreros put six on frame compared to the Aztecs' two. USD starting goalkeeper Drew Illijevski notched one save while playing 77 minutes and Thomas Olsen held the Aztecs scoreless for the remainder of the match.
The Toreros will officially kick off their 2014 season Friday August 29 when they host Buffalo for a 5:00 p.m. match.
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