Colorado Springs, Colo. - In a feast or famine 2104 season, the San José State men's soccer team traveled to the Air Force Academy and feasted on the Falcons to the tune of four first-half goals on their way to a 5-1 win on Cadet Soccer Field. It is the Spartans first road win and first Western Athletic Conference win of 2014.
"This was an excellent team performance, particularly since it came on the road in a very difficult place to play," head coach Simon Tobin said. "We got the lead early and never let them get into the game. This is the first time, as a coach, that my team has beaten Air Force on this field."
The Spartans (3-7-0, 1-1-0 WAC) gave Falcons' freshman-keeper John Went, in the first start of his career, a rude introduction to Division I soccer.
Greg Harte opened the scoring at the 3:35 mark. From 15 yards out he fired a shot to the left corner of the frame for a 1-0 lead. It was the freshman's fourth tally of the year. Eric Mendez was credited with an assist on the score, the first of his career.
In the sixth minute, the Spartans struck again. Rory Knibbs, from the top of the right side of the 18, healed a ball back to the middle. Jonathan Colunga picked it up, dribbled to the right where he laid it off to Kyle O'Mahoney. From 25 yards out, O'Mahoney fired a shot that skipped off the wet grass. Wendt dove and got a piece of the blast but it was in the back of the net before he hit the ground. It was Colunga's fifth assist of the year and O'Mahoney's first strike of his career.
Exactly three minutes later, at the 8:54 mark, Eric Mendez had a throw-in from the right side. Knibbs ran on to it at the top of the 18 and from 15 yards out bent a shot around the defense and inside the left post, just beyond the reach of a diving Wendt. In less than nine minutes the Spartans were up 3-0.
Knibbs' next dangerous chance came in the 35th minute when his shot from the right side slammed off the near post. That shot was inches off line, but Knibbs' next attempt wouldn't miss.
Off a corner kick in the 38th minute, the ball sailed beyond the back post where Frankie Beauchamp headed it down. The ball bounced up toward the goal and Knibbs redirected it inside the left post for a 4-0 lead. It was Kinbbs' second goal of the half, sixth of the year and his second multi-goal match of 2014.
San José State out shot Air Force 13-to-5 in the first 45 minutes. Six of the Spartans shots were on frame while only two for the Falcons reached Spartans keeper Felix Petermann.
Trailing big, Air Force (5-2-3, 1-1-0 WAC) turned up the pressure in the second half. Through the 80th minute they got off 11 shots to the Spartans four and put five of those attempts on goal as the teams battled through fog so thick that at times visibility was about five feet.
Despite the Falcons' shot advantage, it was San José State that nabbed the first goal of the second half.
Colunga stole the ball near midfield dribbled down the middle and passed to Harte on the right side. Harte drove inside the left corner of the box and tucked a shot under the on coming keeper for a goal to the far post and a 5-0 lead at the 80:46 mark. It was Harte's second of the night as well as Colunga's second assists.
Petermann, who made a career best eight saves in earning the win, kept a sheet clean until the 86th minute when Ben Kern scored to the top shelf on a 25-yard free kick.
The Spartans wrap up their two-game weekend road trip on Sunday at UMKC. Kick off is set for 1:00 p.m. in Durwood Soccer Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.
San Jose State (3-7-0, 1-1 WAC) vs. Air Force (5-2-3, 1-1 WAC)
Date: Oct 10, 2014 Attendance: 145
Weather: 45 degrees, scattered showers
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
San Jose State...... 4 1 - 5
Air Force........... 0 1 - 1
6. 85:28 AF Kern, Ben (1) (unassisted) - 25 yds free kick to top
Shots: San Jose State 18, Air Force 17
Saves: San Jose State 8 (Petermann, Felix 8), Air Force 4 (Wendt, John 4)