San Jose, Calif.----The Spartans tallied three goals and blanked the Broncos at half, closing their spring season schedule Friday night with a win over cross-town rival Santa Clara, 3-2.
"We set a goal this week to finish this spring season very strong and we did," said head coach Gary St. Clair. "The performance in the first half was incredible. We have been working very hard on certain parts of the game and trying to finish. We finished by getting goals from two strikers that were top class goals."
The opening half was all San Jose State, as the Spartans controlled the tempo in netting three straight goals.
The two strikers, senior-to-be Nick Cashmere and junior-to-be Steven Sanchez, opened up the scoring in the first half followed by junior-to-be Mauricio Murillo's goal, which eventually became the game winning goal off the corner.
The Spartan trio set the pace of a balanced offensive attack with the help of a stringent defense that held the Broncos to a handful of outside shots in the first half.
Both teams' reserves saw some action in the second half. The Broncos' offense attempted a comeback in the waning minutes, scoring two straight times to cut the deficit to one, but San Jose State's built up lead from the first half gave them the victory.
Goalkeeper Jonathan Lester shutout the Broncos' offense in the first half while Doug Highton took over the final 45 minutes of action.
"I think it was a good overall spring and I think we finished it off extremely well so it's very positive for us going into the summer," added St. Clair. "Clearly we need to get better and bring one or two players in to make it special, but the players did what we were looking to do in the spring."
Some highlights of the spring season included back-to-back impressive shutouts against the 2010 NCAA Tournament quarterfinalist California Bears, 2-0, back on March 17, and against ancient Bay Area rival San Francisco, 2-0, under the lights at Spartan Stadium April 8. The Spartans finished their spring session 4-1 overall.
Latino Soccer Night
The success from the 2011 spring season was not only driven from the players on the field, but also the supporters from the stands.
San Jose State hosted its first annual Latino Soccer Night on Friday, April 8.
"Our first Latino Night (Primera Noche Latina) was a success," said Fernanda P. Karp the Manager of Special Projects for San Jose State University. "The children from the Hispanic Soccer League had a great time rooting for the Spartans and the players also enjoyed having the kids ask them for their autographs and showing so much excitement."
Around 200 children from the Hispanic Soccer League swarmed the west stands with SJSU pennants and team photographs that were later autographed by the players.
With less than 10 minutes to go in the contest, soon-to-be senior Dan Addiego unleashed a bullet from approximately 15 yards out that caught the inside upper corner, and the young Spartan fans jumped with excitement and gathered for autographs near the locker room entrance. The Spartans served the USF Dons their first spring season loss that night in a 2-0 decision.
Alumni Day Success
After being dormant since 1971, the Spartans hosted their Alumni Game that saw around 50 former San Jose State soccer players.
"It was a complete and utter success," said St. Clair who brought back the longtime tradition. "We had guys like Marvin Sorto (Class of 2004) come in as far as Houston (Texas), and guys like Ismael "Easy" Perez, San Jose State's all-time leading career goal scorer, and Sean Keoshane, who came back from the Class of 1978."
The current 2011 SJSU men's soccer team defeated the SJSU Alumni, 2-0. However, the scoreboard did not reflect the amount of respect and fun each team had with one another.
"Everyone involved, from the players to the families, had a great time," added St. Clair. "We will absolutely do this event again next year."
Senior-to-be Allen La Spina got the Spartans on the board in the first half and San Jose native and junior-to-be Steven Sanchez followed in the second. Senior-to-be Jonathan Lester guarded the pipes in the first and sophomore-to-be Doug Highton took over after the intermission.
2011 San Jose State Men's Soccer Spring Results
Spring Match 1: San Jose State vs. Saint Mary's, (L) 1-0
Spring Match 2: San Jose State vs. Cal, (W) 2-0
Spring Match 3: San Jose State vs. USF, (W) 2-0
Spring Match 4: San Jose State at Stanford, (L) 2-1
Spring Match 5: San Jose State vs. SJSU Alumni, (W) 2-0
Spring Match 6: San Jose State vs. Santa Clara, (W) 3-2