In a battle of San Francisco colleges, San Francisco State took the season opener from the Academy of Art University on Thursday afternoon, 2-0, at Cox Stadium, during a physical game that saw 21 fouls and four yellow cards.
“We were focused on bringing the right mentality this first game,” head coach Javier Ayala-Hil told the SF State athletic site. “We worked pretty hard in the preseason but you never quite know how you’re going to come out in the first few minutes. We came out, sharp, and disciplined. We moved the ball well and had our opportunities and ended up scoring.”
The Golden Gators (1-0-0) opened up the season with seventh-minute score from newcomer Moses Gutierrez. Gutierrez — a junior transfer out of Adolfo Camarillo High School, by way of Rio Hondo College — took a beautiful right-to-left cross from freshman Crinan Dunbar to put SF State ahead a 1-0.
“The play started in the middle and I was in the right spot at the right time [for the goal],” Gutierrez said. “We came out pretty pumped and scoring in the first few minutes motivated us to keep going.”
In the 24th minute, Urban Knights goalkeeper Kris Jennson misplayed a ball passed back to him, and Golden Gators senior forward Carlos Trujeque leal pounced. booting the loose ball into an empty net for the final score.
All three of ART U’s shots on goal came in the second half, and all three were turned away by SF State keeper Peter Swinkels.
“We did really well as a unit,” said Swinkels, a sophomore local out of Stuart Hall. “We were really cohesive in the beginning. It’s early so we’re going to make some mistakes but Aydan [Bowers], T [Tariq Pulskamp], [Jordan] Wusstig and Miles [Burditt] were fantastic, and that’s not to mention the guys who came off the bench as well.”
The Golden Gators head to Notre Dame de Namur in Belmont on Sunday, for the second of four non-conference contests, with kickoff is slated for 2 p.m.
The Urban Knights will head to Cal State Monterey Bay on Saturday for a 2 p.m. kickoff. They then play at Cal State East Bay on Sept.6 and at Humboldt State on Sept. 9 before starting Pac West play at Fresno Pacific on Sept. 17. Last season, the Academy of Art was 5-12-1, and 4-9-0 in conference play.
SF State was 12-5-2 in 2017, with a second-round loss in the CCAA soccer championships to Cal Poly Pomona.