Peoria, Ill. - The San José State men's soccer team out shot the Western Illinois Leathernecks 12-to-9 in the closing match of the Hotels at Grand Prairie Classic, but couldn't overcome a goal in the ninth minute and fell 0-1 on Sunday afternoon.
"This has been a very tough weekend," said Spartans' head coach Simon Tobin. "I think we deserved a better result in both games and the stats bear that out. Today we allowed an early goal and just couldn't catch up. Lingering fatigue from Friday night was a major factor today."
The Spartans (0-2-0) managed just two shots in the first 45 minutes, one each from strikers Eric Mendez and Greg Harte. Both attempts were on frame, but turned away by Leatherneck keeper Yves Dietrich.
Harte, a freshman from Cork, Ireland, would lead San José State with six shots, three of which were on goal. He generated half of the Spartans total output for the match.
"Greg is just getting his legs under him, remember he only has two college games under his belt," said Tobin. "He is strong, quick and direct. With more experience he will learn how to finish those chances and our fans will really enjoy the way he plays."
WIU (1-1-0) made their first and only shot on goal count and forced the Spartans to chase the equalizer from early on in the match. Leatherneck Ben Fiddes served the ball in from the right side and, at the left post Armel Kouassi headed it home at the 8:35 mark.
Six of Western Illinois' nine shots came in the first half, but none, for the rest of the match, would reach Spartans' keeper Emmanuel Espinoza.
San José State ratcheted up the pressure in the second half out shooting WIU 10-to-3, including 4-to-0 in shots on goal, but could get the crucial goal to level the match.
"We played really well in the second half," added Tobin. "Honestly, losing on Friday in the last few seconds really took it out of us. It's difficult to play that hard, not get the result and then come back with the same intensity at the kickoff of the next match. That's what happened today and they got an early goal. We shrugged it off and really performed in the second half."
Sophomores Kyle O'Mahoney and Johnathan Colunga were named to the all-tournament team. Colunga took two shots against Western Illinois, as did Mendez. Frankie Beauchamp and Enrique Montano had one shot each.
"Kyle was at both defender and midfielder this weekend," said Tobin. "He and Johnathan (a midfielder) stood out and deserve recognition.
"Travel and weather issues have made this weekend tough for the team and next week it doesn't get any easier. We have UMass (University of Massachusetts) on Tuesday afternoon and then at Stanford on Saturday night."
The Spartans home opener against the UMass Minutemen is on Tuesday, September 2. Kickoff on Spartan Soccer Field (the north side of Alma between 10th Street and Senter Road) is set for 4:00 p.m.
Western Illinois (1-1-0) vs. San Jose State (0-2-0)
Date: 08-31-14 Attendance: 115
Weather: 84 degrees, mostly cloudy, humid
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Western Illinois.... 1 0 - 1
San Jose State...... 0 0 - 0
1. 8:35 WIU Armel Kouassi (2) (Ben Fiddes;Tyler Chavez) - Header at left post from right service
Shots: Western Illinois 9, San Jose State 12
Saves: Western Illinois 6 (Yves Dietrich 6), San Jose State 0 ()
HOTELS AT GRAND PRAIRIE CLASSIC - GAME 3