San Jose, Calif. – The San José State men’s soccer team dominated the second half of its match against Incarnate Word (UIW), to the tune of 12-to-2 in shots, but a goal in the 46th minute was the difference and the Spartans fell the Cardinals 1-0 on Sunday afternoon on Spartan Soccer Field.
“This year the (Western Athletic Conference) has a lot of parity and we’re not to the stage where we can make a mistake and be good enough to erase it,” head coach Simon Tobin said. “We had a laps in concentration and they scored a minute into the second half. It was very poor defending that allowed the ball to be crossed into the middle which led to the goal.”
The Incarnate Word (5-6-0, 4-0-0 WAC) goal came from Ben Conway at the 45:47 mark. The ball was played into the box from the right side line and a scramble for control ensued. No less than five different players touched the ball before it bounded up to Conway, who headed it back to toward the top corner of the net for the go ahead goal.
For the next 44 minutes the Spartans (4-8-1, 2-2-1 WAC) would chase the equalizer.
Rory Knibbs and Enrique Montano each attempted four of their five shots in the second 45 minutes. Montano put three of his on frame and Knibbs one, but no matter how dangerous the chances were Kieran O’Boyle, the UIW keeper, was up to the task. Six of San Jose State’s 12 second-half shots were on goal, but they were all turned away.
“We played quite well in the second half and created enough looks to tie it up, but we just couldn’t get the goal,” Tobin said. “I was confident we would capitalize on one of them, but it didn’t work out. We need just a bit more composure in front of the goal and we’ll convert more chances. We’re still a bit anxious. We just need to settle down and let the plays happen.”
Despite the loss the Spartans remain in fourth place in the conference standings, with the top-six team advancing to the WAC Championship Tournament in Seattle, Wash. San José State has five games to play in the regular season and hosts three of them on Spartan Soccer Field.
“If you look around the WAC, it’s going to be a close race to the end,” Tobin said. “Dropping three points at home is sad because we have a tough second half of conference play. We must not let this result make us sorry for ourselves. We have five to go, 15 point available, and our goal is to get into the conference tournament. We’re well placed and just have to keep working.”
San Jose State was out shot 7-6 in the first half, but the most dangerous chance for either side came with 23 minutes left before the break. Enrique Montano had a free kick from 26 yards out. He bent it over the wall and, were it not for a leaping parry from Cardinals’ O’Boyle, it would have snuck in the top corner of the goal for a 1-0 Spartans lead.
In addition to Montano and Knibbs, Frankie Beauchamp took three shots and Ruben Want, Uriel Ayala, Dylan West, Eric Mendez and Ben Cowdrill each got off one shot. Felix Petermann made two saves, but the loss drops his record to 3-5-1.
Victor Pinal led Incarnate Word with three shots and O’Boyle stopped all 10 attempts that reached his line. He improves to 5-5-0.
The Spartans next game is Sunday, October 26 against CSU Bakersfield. Kick off, on Spartan Soccer Field, is set for 3:00 p.m.
Incarnate Word (5-6-0, 4-0-0 WAC) vs. San Jose State (4-8-1, 2-2-1 WAC)
Date: Oct 19, 2014 Attendance: 319
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Incarnate Word...... 0 1 - 1
San Jose State...... 0 0 - 0
1. 45:47 UIW Conway, Ben (3) (unassisted) - header off a scramble for ball on left post to far corner
Shots: Incarnate Word 9, San Jose State 18
Saves: Incarnate Word 10 (O'Boyle, Kieran 10), San Jose State 2 (Petermann, Felix 2)