Sept. 14, 2013
San Jose, Calif. - Ben Reiter scored the first goal of his collegiate career and the San Jose State men's soccer team earned a 1-1 draw against the Fresno Pacific Sunbirds on Friday evening in a non-conference match in Spartan Stadium.
Reiter, a freshman out of College Park High School in Pleasant Hill. Calif., was in perfect position when the ball rebounded off the post on a shot from Rory Knibbs. The ball came right to Reiter who placed it high in the top corner to give the Spartans a 1-0 advantage at the 24:35 mark.
"It was nice to get the goal," said Reiter. "But when you don't win the game, it kind of takes some of the fun of scoring away."
It was the second game in a row that San José State (0-3-1) struck first, having cracked the scoreboard first at San Francisco last Sunday. Where the Dons were able to come right back and get the equalizer, San José State maintained its advantage for the rest of the half.
Despite being outshot 6-to-3 in the period, the Spartans put two attempts on goal to the Sunbirds (1-1-1) zero. SJSU relied a possession game to control the clock and create dangerous opportunities.
In the 51st minute, Knibbs was in the box with the ball and had an opportunity to increase the Spartans lead, but slammed his shot off the crossbar. Instead of a 2-0 advantage, San José State saw the Sunbirds get the equalizer at the 56:57 mark.
Alvaro Nogales, scored his first goal of the year on a free kick. He bent the ball around the Spartan wall from a hard angle on the far left wing. The strike was high in the frame and made the score 1-1.
Fresno Pacific's best chance to take a lead came at the 78:31 mark. San José State keeper Emmanuel Espinosa came off his line and was just beaten to the ball by the Sunbirds' Gustavo Silva. Silva popped the ball over the on-rushing Espinosa for what seem like a sure goal. Dylan West, coming back in support, dashed toward the goal and popped the ball over the net for what might have been a game saving play.
The Spartans outshot Fresno Pacific 10-to-5 in the second half, but just one was on frame and the sides reached regulation time tied at 1-1.
In the 93rd minute, FPU's Silva again found himself with the ball in the box. He blasted a shot from point blank range. Espinosa again came off his line to cut down the angle and this time took the shot fully off the left side of his face. The save was made, but Espinosa was forced to leave the match and Felix Petermann played the rest of the way for San José State.
The Spartans had the best chance to win the match in the final overtime period. Bryan Ruiz-Unger, from inside the 18 ripped a shot which ricocheted off the crossbar at the 102:03 mark. It was the last and best chance either side would have.
"We've had good scoring chances, we've just been off the mark by a really small margin," said Reiter. "As we get more and more familiar with each other, I think we will start to see them go in. We just have to keep grinding away and they will come."
Knibbs led San José State with six shots, two of which were on frame. He hit the post and crossbar among his attempts. Ruiz-Unger had two shots including his crossbar shot in the 103rd minute. Eight other players had one shots each.
For Fresno Pacific, Silva paced their attack with five shots.
Espinosa, who had five saves before leaving the contest, earned the decision. Fabian Rangel, the starter for Fresno Pacific was also lifted, but was credited with the draw.
The Spartans hit the road on Sunday, traveling to Cal Poly to take on the Mustangs in Alex G. Spanos Stadium. Kickoff for the match is set for 1:00 p.m.