|Spartans Edged In PK Shootout For WAC Championship|
November 7, 2010
Ruston, La.----San Jose State women's soccer lost 3-1 in a penalty shootout against Fresno State after going scoreless through 110 minutes in the championship match of the Western Athletic Conference Soccer Tournament Sunday, November 7. Fresno State keeps its unbeaten streak alive at eight and improves to 10-8-4, while San Jose State finshes the season at 12-7-2.
"The outcome today is heart-wrenching," explained head coach Jeff Leightman. "It was a great soccer game and unfortunately we couldn't finish. At half we talked about how we were going to come back in to bring it, and play with energy, play fearless, and play Spartan soccer, to have fun. We had a couple really good chances, but nothing would go in."
Despite a strong effort from the Spartans, including a shot that hit the post in the 85th minute from San Jose State's Amanda Martin, the score remained 0-0. After the two 10 minute sudden-death overtimes could not decide a winner, the match moved into a best-of-five penalty kick shoot out.
San Jose State won the coin toss and elected to shoot first. The first penalty attempt by San Jose State's Lauren Sanchez sailed through, giving SJSU a 1-0 lead. Fresno State responded as Kaitlyn Revel hit the lower-left corner to tie 1-1. Maria Esquivias for the Spartans and Kendall VanDine for the Bulldogs, followed with both shots getting knocked down by the keeper. Next up was Stephanie Righetti for San Jose State who took her shot to the post which bounced off and out of the goal.
Fresno State's Claudia Cardenas responded and buried her shot in the back of the net for the 2-1 lead. The next shot by Jessica Ingram hit the post and bounced back out. Megan Ashjian sealed the win for Fresno State with a goal as the Bulldogs' fourth shooter.
"It's unfortunate we finished the year with a tie, but we had a great year," added coach Leightman. "I am so proud of them as a group and individually. I couldn't ask for a better group."
The tie likely ends a memorable season for the Spartans, who eclipsed numerous school records under the guidance of head coach Jeff Leightman, who in just his third year in charge at San Jose State, clinched the program's only two regular-season conference titles, in back-to-back seasons. San Jose State joined the WAC in 1996. Leightman also led the team to its second straight winning campaign, the program's first since 1999-2000.
San Jose State broke a team mark for most single-season WAC wins with six. The program received numerous awards from the 2010 All-WAC women's soccer teams as Kayla Santacruz earned Freshman of the Year distinction, and Kelsey Lord, Jessica Ingram, and Lauren Sanchez received All-WAC honors.
Score by Periods: