Edinburg, Texas – On Friday night, the San Jose State men’s soccer team accomplished half of its mission this weekend. The Spartans defeated the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Vaqueros 3-1 in Western Athletic Conference (WAC) action and earned three points to maintain its position in WAC table.
The victory gives SJSU 13 points. That combined with Houston Baptist’s 4-2 loss to CSU Bakersfield and UNLV’s 3-2 loss at UMKC, means the Spartans remain in a tie for fifth place. They entered the night tied with Houston Baptist and leave it tied with UNLV.
“The conditions were really bad tonight,” head coach Simon Tobin said after the match. “They are still dealing with the remnants of that huge storm down here. It was windy and raining yesterday and tonight, at times, the wind was really howling.”
The Vaqueros came out more aggressive than SJSU, producing the games first six shots. It wasn’t until the 28th minute that San José State was credited with an attempt and they made it count.
The Spartans (6-9-1, 4-3-1 WAC) scored on their first shot, which came off the foot of junior Rory Knibbs. It is Knibbs’ 10 goal of the season and with it he becomes the first SJSU men’s soccer player to reach double-digit goals since Nelson Diaz scored 10 times in 2005.
On the play a UTRGV defender, in control of the ball on his own end line, passed it to his keeper on the edge of the six. The keeper, Leo Castillo, made a touch from which he appeared to want to then boot the ball down the field.
However, the touch was a bit to far in front of him and as he moved toward the ball, Knibbs simply ran passed him and tucked it into the open net. It was 1-0 at the 27:34 mark.
“We were really gifted that goal, but it got us going,” said Tobin.
Alex Alcaraz took the sides next two shots with his second finding pay dirt. Freshman Zach Penner passed the ball to him at the top of the 18. From there the junior from San Jose hammered it into the right side of the goal. It’s his first major college goal and gave the Spartans a 2-0 advantage at the 39:45 mark.
The score remained 2-0 going into the half. In the first 45 minutes the Spartans had taken four shots and scored on two of them.
San Jose State built a 3-0 lead on a penalty kick in the 54th minute. At the 53:49 mark, Alcaraz was dragged down in the box. A yellow card was given to a Vaqueros (4-11-1, 1-7-0 WAC) defender and the ball placed on the spot. Jonathan Colunga took the PK and sent it to the back of the net for his fourth tally of the season.
The score remained 3-0 into the 78th minute. Fernando Arellano ended San José State’s bid for a shut out with goal from the right side of the box.
“That goal gave them a bit of a lift and they started playing with more spirit,” Tobin said, “but we got the three points we needed out of this game and we move on to Houston. Our last two games (at Houston Baptist on Sunday and home against CSU Bakersfield on November 7) are going to be real battles.”
Keeper Felix Petermann made three saves and improved his record to 2-3-1, and has not been beaten in the last three matches.
The Spartans play at Houston Baptist on Sunday. Kickoff is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. (PT).
Soccer Game Summary (Final)
2015 San Jose State Men's Soccer
San Jose State vs UT Rio Grande Valley (Oct 30, 2015 at Edinburg, TX)
San Jose State (6-9-1, 4-3-1 WAC) vs. UT Rio Grande Valley (4-11-1, 1-7-0 WAC)
Date: Oct 30, 2015 Attendance: 611
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
San Jose State...... 2 1 - 3
UT Rio Grande Valley 0 1 - 1
- 27:34 SJSU Rory Knibbs (10) (unassisted) - 6 picked up ball off of goalie and into empty net.
- 39:45 SJSU Alex Alcaraz (1) (Zach Penner) - pass from 14 to the top of the box, 8 into the right side of the goal
- 53:49 SJSU Jonathan Colunga (4) Penalty kick
- 77:20 UTRGV Fernando Arellano (1) (Markus Bjors;Archie Massen) - pass from 2 to 4 to 5 with shot from right side of box
Shots: San Jose State 13, UT Rio Grande Valley 11
Saves: San Jose State 3 (Felix Petermann 3), UT Rio Grande Valley 2 (Leo Castillo 2)