San Diego, Calif. – The Belmont Bruins fell short in their first match of the Courtyard Marriot Central Aztec Soccer Tournament on Friday night, as the San Diego State Aztecs came away with a 2-1 home victory at the SDSU Sports Deck.
Junior midfielder Esteban Lestido scored his second-career goal in the second minute for the Bruins (0-2-1), but it was not enough to stave off the Aztecs.
San Diego State (2-1-0) was led by senior midfielder Pablo Pelaez, who tacked on a pair of goals for the Aztecs in the 11th and 57th minutes.
Lestido's second-minute goal got Belmont off to a hot start early, putting the Bruins up 1-0. However, Pelaez responded for San Diego State with an equalizer in the 11th minute on a cross from junior midfielder Tevenn Roux.
Within the first 25 minutes of the physical contest, the two teams combined for a total of 10 fouls. San Diego State pressured the Bruins with three-straight shots on goal midway through the first half.
Overall, The Bruins and the Aztecs registered the same amount of shots on goal (3), saves (2) and fouls (11) in the first 45 minutes, as the match remained tied at 1-1 going into halftime. Still, Belmont dominated the corner kick battle by a 5-0 margin in the first half.
San Diego State opened up the second half with a 57th-minute goal from Pelaez, who netted a 30-yard free kick. The first corner kick of the night for the Aztecs came in the 65th minute.
Junior midfielder Nigel Leo recorded the final shot on goal for the Bruins in the 88th minute, as Belmont finished out the match with three-consecutive fruitless corner kicks in the 89th minute.
In total, four Bruins logged a full 90 minutes on Friday night: Junior goalkeeper Nicolo Dini, sophomore defender Brett Royster, junior midfielder Jack Shaw and senior forward Creaghan Diekema. Belmont finished with five shots on goal and edged San Diego State in corner kicks 8-3.
UP NEXT: The Bruins will round out the weekend tournament with a matchup against the San Diego Toreros Sunday at 2 p.m. CT at Torero Stadium. Belmont will wrap up its five-game road stint on Friday with a match at Purdue Fort-Wayne on Sept. 13.
The home opener for the Bruins at E.S. Rose Park will come on Tuesday, Sept. 17 against the Memphis Tigers.
David Costa, Head Coach
"We had a good performance against a PAC-12 opponent tonight. Unfortunately, they were able to punish us and capitalize in key moments that we gave away. Our performances continue to improve every game and we felt we deserved more tonight."