Mendez's Strike Propels Men's Soccer To Championship Match
Nov. 15, 2013
Colorado Springs, Colo. – Freshman striker Eric Mendez scored an unassisted goal in the 77th minute and the Spartans defense made the goal stand up as the San José State men’s soccer team defeated the CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners 1-0 on Friday night to advance to the championship match of Western Athletic Conference Tournament.
“The most important part if the year is at the end of the season,” head coach Gary St. Clair said. “If you are playing well now, everything that’s come before this is meaningless. We deserved this game.”
Mendez picked up a loose ball from 10 yards out and fired through a melee in front of the goal at the 76:08 mark. It is his first goal of the tournament and the year.
For the match, third-seed CSU Bakersfield (9-9-1) out shot the Spartans 19-to-15, but in the first half each side attempted nine shots. San José State (4-12-4), the sixth seed, got off to a quick start with three shots in the first four minutes, two of which reached Roadrunners’ keeper Anthony Perez.
The best opportunity for the Spartans in the first half came in the 36th minute. Andy Moya picked up a loose ball on the near right side and fired a ball across to the far post. Perez just managed to parry the ball away and maintain a 0-0 score.
Coming out in the second half, the teams traded shots before Mendez put San José State up 1-0. CSUB made a final push in the last 13 minutes taking five shots with three of them reaching Spartans’ keeper Emmanuel Espinosa’s line, but he turned them all away.
“This was a team effort,” St. Clair said. “This team is very disciplined and works very hard for each other. We had three years of Division I experience out there tonight and you see what a lot of heart, a good match plan and good execution can do.
“I’m very happy for the players. They get to play for a championship on Sunday and we’ll see what happens.”
Espinosa made seven saves in the win. Ben Cowdrill led the Spartans shot output with four attempts. Kyle O’Mahoney, Rory Knibbs, Jamison Loveless and Moya took two shots each. Frankie Beauchamp, Thomas Ryan and Mendez got off a single shot each.
San José State plays the top-seed Seattle Redhawks on Sunday, November 17 at 12:00 p.m. (MT). The winner receives the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Soccer Game Summary (Final)
2013 San Jose State Men's Soccer
San Jose State vs CSU Bakersfield (Nov 15, 2013 at USAF Academy, Colo.)
San Jose State (4-12-4, 3-6-1 WAC) vs. CSU Bakersfield (9-10-2, 6-3-1 WAC)
Date: Nov 15, 2013 Attendance: 135
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
San Jose State...... 0 1 - 1
CSU Bakersfield..... 0 0 - 0
1. 76:08 SJSU Mendez, Eric (1) (unassisted) - 10 yds through melee
Shots: San Jose State 15, CSU Bakersfield 19-Saves: San Jose State 7 (Espinosa, Emmanuel 7), CSU Bakersfield 6 (Perez, Anthony 6)