Sep 1, 2013
San Jose, Calif. – The San José State men’s soccer team and the Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville (SIUE) Cougars played a match that was similar in nearly every statistic but the one that counts the most. The Spartans fell to SIUE 2-0 on Sunday afternoon in Spartan Stadium.
“We looked better today than we did on Friday night,” said head coach Gary St. Clair. “We lost a couple of players in the first half, so at halftime I asked the guys to really give us some more and they responded. We did a better job of possessing the ball and had opportunities. We have 17 new players on this roster and it takes time for everyone to come together. Although the result is not what we want, today is a step in the right direction.”
The Cougars scored a goal in each half. In the eighth minute, Christian Volesky split the middle of the San José State back line and ran onto a pass from Matt Polster at the top of the 18. Spartan keeper Emmanuel Espinosa charged off his line and dove to smother Volesky’s attempt. The ball snuck just under Espinosa’s reach and into the goal for a 1-0 SIUE lead.
Southern Illinois (2-0-0) did a good job throughout the half possessing the ball, but the Spartans did have chances to get the equalizer. At the 29:17 mark, Rory Knibbs had perhaps the best opportunity.
In a near mirror image of the Volesky goal, Knibbs ran on to a ball outside the top of the penalty area. Uriel Ayala had played it in to him from midfield. As Knibbs got his first touch, SIUE keeper John Berner met him at the penalty box forcing Knibbs to stretch and tap the ball under the diving keeper. It was a great attempt, but the ball rolled just outside the post.
At the 58:39 mark, Volesky picked up his second goal of the match. He again ran onto a pass which split the defense and got the ball past Espinosa, low to the far post, for a 2-0 SIUE advantage.
“At times we lost our shape on the back end,” Espinosa said. “We played pretty well all day, but they took advantage of a couple of our mistakes. It’s something we will clean up in training this week.”
The Spartans (0-2-0) had two quality chances to get on the board late in the second half. In the 85th minute Eric Mendez, who along with Knibbs led San José State with three shots apiece, unleashed an attempt from just inside the 18. His blast got behind Berner, but banged off the post.
The ball rebounded right to the foot of Colton Portela who was close on the right wing. Berner, who was moving to the right following Mendez’s shot, smothered Portela’s attempt to maintain his clean sheet.
Southern Illinois survived the Spartans late surge and took the 2-0 decision. SIUE led in shots 9-to-8, shots on goal 6-to-5, and saves 5-to-4.
Espinosa, who made four saves in his first action of the year, was tagged with the loss. Berner’s record improves to 2-0-0 making five saves. Volesky took seven of the Cougars nine shots.
Southern Illinois (2-0-0) vs. San Jose State (0-2-0)
Date: Sept 1, 2013 Attendance: 158
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Southern Illinois... 1 1 - 2
San Jose State...... 0 0 - 0
1. 7:11 SIUE VOLESKY,CHRISTIAN (POLSTER,MATT) - split def w/a throughball #8 came in alone shot under diving keeper
2. 58:39 SIUE VOLESKY,CHRISTIAN (BAUMANN,SEAN) - long pass from midfield #8 ran onto it shot to low far post
Shots: Southern Illinois 9, San Jose State 8 Saves: Southern Illinois 5 (BERNER,JOHN 5), San Jose State 4 (Espinosa, Emmanuel 4)