Sept. 29, 2013
San Jose, Calif. – The San José State men’s soccer team and the Saint Mary’s Gaels played 110 minutes on Sunday night with neither team able to find the back of the net, finishing in a 0-0 draw.
“I would be lying if I said I wasn’t very disappointed with this result,” said head coach Gary St. Clair. “We are putting ourselves in position to be successful. We’re getting the shots, but we just haven’t gotten the goals. I think we had the better of the play tonight, but we come away with a tie.”
Spartans keeper Emmanuel Espinosa made seven saves, a season high for the team, in earning his first clean sheet of the season and third of his career.
San Jose State (0-6-2) had the better of the play in the first 45 minutes. Less than a minute into the contest, Kyle O’Mahoney lofted shot from midfield that sailed over Gaels’ keeper Andre Rawls and hit the crossbar. He was inches from giving the Spartans an early 1-0 lead.
At the 24:59 mark Michael Semenza, had Saint Mary’s (2-4-2) best chance of the half. From a free kick at the top of the box, he bent the ball over the Spartans wall to the bottom corner at the far post, but Espinosa smothered the attempt.
Then in the 27th minute, Rory Knibbs ran onto a deep cross and from inside the 18 flicked the ball over the charging Rawls. The attempt looked like it was going in until defender Ismail Adam streaked back and at the last second tapped the shot over the goal.
“We spent this week’s training working on scoring,” said London, England native Rory Knibbs. “We just have to keep working. This is my first year here and I have never worked this hard, both in the games and in training. We are getting so close. It will come.”
The Spartans took a 5-to-4 advantage in shots into the locker room at halftime, with the score 0-0.
In the second half, the Gaels pressed the action and enjoyed an 8-to-4 advantage in shots. Twice in the 53rd minute, they had shots in the box. The first, at 52:17, was blocked. The resulting rebound found its way onto the foot of Ben Braman who hammered a shot at point blank range, which Espinosa turned away.
At the 71:24 mark, Eric Mendez was in the box and headed a ball that looked to be going in, but just clipped the bottom of the crossbar and was kicked out of the six-yard box by a defender. The last good opportunity to finish the match in regulation time came when a Knibbs shot, from in the box, was stopped by Rawls.
Saint Mary’s had the only shots of the first overtime. One hit the crossbar and Espinosa saved another.
The second overtime saw the Spartans playing higher up the field. In 106th minute, Bryan Ruiz-Unger took a corner kick. Andy Kelly rose up and headed the ball from the doorstep of the goal, but couldn’t keep it under the crossbar. Frankie Beauchamp and Jamison Loveless had shots in the final minute, but none of the attempts found the back of the net.
Mendez led the attack for the Spartans with three shots. Knibbs and O’Mahoney had two attempts each. Kelly, Loveless, Enrique Montano, Ruiz-Unger and Beauchamp had a shot apiece.
Saint Mary’s led the Spartans 16-to-12 in shots and 7-to-5 in shots on goal. Rawls made four saves for the Gaels who were led in shots by Rafael Sanchez’s five.
The Spartans continue their four-game home stand on Saturday, October 5, when they open Western Athletic Conference play against the Seattle U Redhawks. Kickoff in Spartan Stadium is set for 7:00 p.m.