SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The San José State men's soccer team beat Houston Baptist, 2-1, to earn their first conference win of the year and their first overall win since August 28, breaking an 11 game winless streak.
The Spartans scored two second half goals after making the necessary adjustments at the intermission after a 0-0 first half.
"We played conservative in the first half, playing behind the ball just to make sure we stayed in the game. In the second half, we thought we needed to be more proactive. We played a little bit more of an attacking lineup and we converted chances. The changes at halftime made us more aggressive," said Spartans head coach Simon Tobin.
The change included inserting Spartans' leading scorer, Jeremy Romero, in the lineup after intermission. Three minutes into the half, the change nearly paid dividends when a streaking Romero down the left side centered it to Jonathan Colunga who dropped a pass to Rory Knibbs atop the six. Knibbs tried to slide the ball past HBU's goalkeeper, Chance Pope, but was denied on a diving stop.
Just a few minutes later in the 50th minute, the Spartans would breakthrough when freshman Jeffrey Dukes headed the ball in, off a corner kick by fellow freshman, Suliman Khorami. Dukes skied over the HBU defender inside the six to score his first goal as a Spartan.
The goal broke a streak of 12 consecutive game that the Spartans had allowed the opposition to score first.
SJSU struck again in the 59th minute when Romero buried a shot from just outside the six to put the Spartans up, 2-0. Romero's goal came off a quick touch pass from Khorami off of Darren Sinclair's pass from the right side.
It was Romero's team leading third goal of the season. Khorami was credited with his second assist of the match to give him a team-high four assists on the season.
Sinclair also was credited with an assist on Romero's goal, however, his value to the match went beyond the stat box when he cleared the ball off the line on two occasions.
"He came in today and acquitted himself and those are the things that win you games. It's just as important as a goal scored so he had a great game," said Tobin.
Less than a minute after Romero's goal, the Huskies would cut San José State's lead to 2-1, when Darrell Johnson blasted a shot from 21 yards out that beat Spartans goalkeeper Nedin Tucakovic up high.
"Just giving a goal away straight away was almost a killer for us with how the season's gone this year. We made it a bit interesting," said Tobin.
The closest the HBU got to tying the score came in the 84th minute when Malik Key's shot off a deflected save by Tucakovic was cleared off the line by Sinclair.
The Spartans improved to 2-10-2, 1-3-1 WAC and the Huskies dropped to 3-8-1, 1-4-0 WAC.
San José State plays Incarnate Word on Sunday, October 16 at 2:30 p.m. (PT). The match will either be played at the SJSU Football Practice Facility or CEFCU Stadium, depending on the weather.
Soccer Game Summary (Final)
2016 San Jose State Men's Soccer
HBU-M vs San Jose State (Oct 14, 2016 at San Jose, Calif.)
HBU-M (3-8-1, 1-4-0 WAC) vs. San Jose State (2-10-2, 1-3-1 WAC)
Date: Oct 14, 2016 Attendance: 102
Weather: Cloudy, 69 degrees. Slight drizzle at times.
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
HBU-M............... 0 1 - 1
San Jose State...... 0 2 - 2
- 49:57 SJSU Dukes, Jeffrey (1) (Khorami, Suliman) - Header inside the six off corner kick by Khorami.
- 58:01 SJSU Romero, Jeremy (3) (Sinclair, Darren;Khorami, Suliman) - Goal inside box off right side feed from #12 & 19.
- 58:44 HBU-M Johnson, Darrell (1) (Anthone, Marc) - Goal from straight ahead 21 yards out off a scramble infront of goal.
Shots: HBU-M 18, San Jose State 20
Saves: HBU-M 7 (Pope, Chance 7), San Jose State 11 (Tucakovic, Nedin
9; TEAM 2)