SAN JOSE, Calif. – On senior day, with a Western Athletic Conference Tournament berth on the line, the San José State men’s soccer team fell to the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, 2-1, ending their season.
With the loss, the Spartans (4-13-2, 3-6-1 WAC) were eliminated from qualifying for the WAC Tournament, missing the tournament for the first time since joining the conference in 2013.
The Spartans were the aggressors in the first half, outshooting the Vaqueros, 4-1, and holding an edge in corner kicks, 7-1, however, the score remained, 0-0, heading into halftime.
The best opportunity for either team in the first half came on a free kick from Angel Farias in the 40th minute. From 20 yards out Farias' kick sailed just high of the cross bar.
After the intermission, the Spartans remained aggressive, putting a couple of shots on goal but right at the UTRGV goalkeeper, Esa Aalto.
SJSU broke through in the 63rd minute when Carlos Valdovinos pressured the ball in the UTRGV backline to pick the pocket of the Vaquero defender, finding himself one on one with Aalto on the right side. Valdovinos delivered a low strike to find the back of the net to put the Spartans up, 1-0. It was Valdovinos’ first goal of the season.
However, the Spartans lead was short lived when less than a minute later UTRGV tied the score on a bicycle kick by Isidro Martinez off a header pass from Damian Roszczky.
The score remained, 1-1, until the 85th minute when the Vaqueros’ Sami Tiittanen sent a long ball to a streaking Isaiah Hinds who found himself behind the Spartan defense. Hinds beat Spartan goalkeeper Nedin Tucakovic in the one on one match up for the game winner.
The win put UTRGV (6-8-3, 4-4-2 WAC) in the WAC Tournament for the first time in their program history and ended the SJSU season along with the careers of six Spartan seniors: Tanner Akol, Alex Alcaraz, Uriel Ayala, Jonathan Colunga, Rory Knibbs and Kyle O’Mahoney.
Soccer Game Summary (Final)
2016 San Jose State Men's Soccer
UTRGV vs San Jose State (Nov 05, 2016 at San Jose, Calif.)
UTRGV (6-8-3, 4-4-2 WAC) vs. San Jose State (4-13-2, 3-6-1 WAC)
Date: Nov 05, 2016 Attendance: 223
Weather: Sunny, 71 degrees
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
UTRGV............... 0 2 - 2
San Jose State...... 0 1 - 1
- 62:18 SJSU Valdovinos, Carlos (1) (unassisted) - #17 shot ball low to far post on a one on one off a turnover.
- 63:17 UTRGV Martinez, Isidro (Roszczky, Damian) - Corner kick
- 84:48 UTRGV Hinds, Isaiah (1) (Tiittanen, Sami) - #19 received long pass from #11 and beats GK one on one.
Shots: UTRGV 4, San Jose State 13
Saves: UTRGV 7 (Aalto, Esa 7), San Jose State 1 (Tucakovic, Nedin 1)