Things to Know: San Diego State Aztecs

The San Diego State Aztecs take the field for the first time this season on Saturday for a scrimmage at NCAA D-III Whittier before opening their MCLA schedule Feb. 10 against USC. Coach Jesse Foss provided a few things to know about San Diego State heading into the 2018 season.

Things to Know

Key returning players
Colin McMahon (senior, defense) was an MCLA Honorable Mention All-American and first team All-SLC. Eric Dodds (senior, defensive midfielder) was a second-team All-SLC selection. Adrian Jeffries (junior, attack) was an Honorable Mention All-SLC Selection. Patrick Greene (sophomore, midfield) was on the SLC All-Freshman team. Steve O’Sullivan (sophomore, goalie) was on the SLC All-Freshman team.

The team returns eight starters from last year’s team, which finished 7-7, including Jeffries, Will Mallonee, Kevin Leis, Greene, Dodds, Colin McMahon, Christian Gleason and O’Sullivan.

Best nickname
Brady “The Buzz Saw” Burwell. I think he may have given it to himself, but it is awesome!

New players
Kade Simonds (freshman, midfield) from Hilltop HS in Chula Vista consistently showed the ability to beat his man and will push for playing time this spring. Ben Borglin (freshman, midfield) from Las Lomas HS in Walnut Creek has freakish speed and will find his way on the field in some capacity. Collin Mandichak (freshman, defense) from Aliso Niguel HS has quickly worked himself into the defensive rotation. Brady Burwell (freshman, attack) from Mater Dei HS will work himself onto the field based on his tenacity in the ride alone.

New coaches
Ryan Flaherty has been hired as our goalie coach. Coach Flaherty is a recent SDSU alum, having led the Aztecs to their best year as a program in 2015. He is a phenomenal young coach who will do a great job with our goalkeepers.

Number of players in the program
This season we have 35 players, including 18 new players. There was some expected attrition after the first season under a new staff. This was necessary, and we are excited for the players that decided they were ready for the commitment. The chemistry of the team is unlike anything SDSU has had in recent years!

Captains for the 2017 season
Dodds, McMahon and Leis all return for their second year as team captains. Senior defenseman Gleason has joined them for his final year. Christian earned his captainship after working himself into a starting role last year and becoming a vocal leader for the team this fall. Christian was our team’s “Most Improved Player” in 2017 and has solidified himself as one of our leaders.

Team goals for the 2017 season
Our goals remain consistent and simple: Get better, work hard and have fun.

Academic achievements
Our overall team GPA from the Fall 2017 semester was a 3.17.

Offseason team-building
We really committed ourselves to building the culture and chemistry this past year. In the fall we had fun events including a Box Lacrosse Tournament, Halloween Scrimmage and a Team Beach day. We also participated in a community service event with the San Diego Center for Children.

This spring season we have committed to skipping one practice each week in favor of a team event. These events include playing paint ball, taking a Brazilian jujitsu class attending an SDSU basketball game, going bowling and going on a local hike.