SAN DIEGO -- No. 3 Washington (11-0-4, 4-0-2 Pac-12) earned a businesslike win, dominating San Diego State (4-8-1, 1-4-1 Pac-12) at both ends to stay unbeaten and earn three big points on the road. The Dawgs got goals from Cristian Roldan and Darwin Jones to move into first place in the Pac-12 with No. 1 California idle in the Pac-12.
"We should have gone up in the first half, but because we didn't it became a fight in the second," said head coach Jamie Clark. "In the second half we got two individual moments of brilliance from Cristian and Darwin. To win these games you need your big-time players to step up and they came through."
The Dawgs had their chances in the first half, but went to the break scoreless. Washington outshot the Aztecs, 8-6, but would have to wait for the goals.
The Huskies took the lead just four minutes into the second half when Roldan scored on a Michael Harris flip throw. Harris launched a long throw into the box and Roldan rose above the defense and buried a header for his fifth goal of the season. It was another big goal for the Husky freshman, the third in the past four game that came with his head.
The goal opened things up and the Huskies began to dominate. Washington outshot San Diego State 8-1 in the second half, frustrating the attacking-minded Aztecs.
The Dawgs would put the game away in the 73rd minute when a long ball was played over the top of the Aztec defense resulting in a Jones breakaway. The Husky junior beat San Diego State goalkeeper Blake Hylen to the ball and the Aztec netminder had no choice but to take down Jones. Hylen was issued a red card and the Dawgs got a free kick from 30 yards out.
With San Diego State down to 10 men, the Huskies had the clear advantage, but Jones decided to get his goal anyways. Jones stood over the free kick and blasted it, bending around the wall and into the upper corner for a spectacular goal. It was Jones’ sixth goal of the season as he continues to find form in recent weeks.
"Darwin got taken down on the breakaway, but stood right up and hit a great free kick into the upper corner," said Clark.
Washington was able to cruise from there as the game got more physical with San Diego State desperately trying to get something going. Seven cards, including five yellows and a red in the second half were issued, but the Dawgs escaped without incident.
After allowing five goals over the past two games, the Husky defense returned to its usual stout ways, earning the shutout. Ryan Herman made just one save as the backline of Harris, Taylor Peay, Justin Schmidt and Andy Thoma did well to nullify many chances.
"Those back five were brilliant making the small corrections," said Clark. "Ryan was brave coming out to get some crosses and the center backs nullified San Diego State's service, which had been dangerous in the first meeting."
Washington now gets less than 48 hours to rest before a big rematch with No. 4 UCLA on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Dawgs and Bruins tied 2-2 this past Sunday in Seattle and now the rematch will have major Pac-12 title implications.