SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San José State men’s soccer team played to a 2-2 draw in double overtime against UC Riverside, in front 1,267 fans at CEFCU Stadium on Sunday night. It was the biggest crowd to watch a home men’s soccer game since 2007.
The crowd was treated to an entertaining game that saw each side take a one goal lead, only to give it back.
UC Riverside opened up the scoring when Romario Lomeli, the older brother of SJSU freshman Ronaldo, scored in the 12th minute. Lomeli scored on a left foot shot off a header assist by Jacob Arrieta from 13 yards out.
The Spartans answered back in the 30th minute when sophomore Andrew Mendoza played a give-and-go with Alex Alcaraz on the left side and slotted a shot past the UCR goalkeeper inside the 18. It was Mendoza’s second goal of the season to tie up the score at one apiece.
Going into halftime, the score remained 1-1. While the players from both sides walked up the north ramp to their locker rooms, hundreds of children participating in the evening’s ‘juggle-a-thon’ made their way down the ramp.
The participants juggled on the field along with Spartans mascot, Sammy, and with San Jose Earthquakes mascot, “Q”. Various local youth club teams and elementary school children filled the stadium field to showcase their juggling skills.
Two minutes into the second half, the Highlanders were awarded a penalty kick when Romario Lomeli was taken down inside the box. In the ensuing penalty kick, Spartans goalkeeper Nedin Tucakovic, who already made a penalty kick save from earlier in the season against Pacific, dove to his right to smother Lomeli’s PK shot to the keep the score at 1-1.
The score remained 1-1 until Zach Penner, playing in only his second match of the season, scored a goal in the 56th minute. The sophomore out muscled the UCR defender to force a turnover inside the 18, and shot it across his body to beat the UCR goalkeeper to put the Spartans up, 2-1. It was Penner’s first goal of the season.
Just like the Spartans overcoming a one goal lead in the first half, the Highlanders did the same. UCR’s Dominique Philipp headed in Tucakovic’s initial save off a free kick to tie up the score at 2-2.
Neither teams could muster a goal in two overtime periods, resulting in the final score of 2-2.
It was an evenly played match all around with both teams taking 18 shots apiece, 13 of those finding the frame for the Spartans and 12 for the Highlanders. Tucakovic was credited with 10 saves, including the huge penalty kick save compared to 11 saves for UCR’s Vincent Morales.
Next up for the Spartans is Loyola Marymount on Sunday, September 25 at SJSU Football Practice Facility. Kickoff is at 3:00 p.m.
UCR vs San Jose State (Sep 23, 2016 at San Jose, Calif.)