Men's Soccer Wins First Round of Conference Tournament in Shutout Over Denver

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MPSF Round 1 Box Score
FRESNO, Calif.—The San Jose State University men’s soccer team advanced to the semifinal round of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championship after shutting out the University of Denver, 2-0, at Bulldog Stadium Thursday night in the first round of the MPSF Championship match in Fresno.

The teams played a scoreless first half, but the Spartans were able to take the lead after junior midfielder Frank Sanfilippo scored the first goal of the night at 66:11. Sanfilippo corralled a loose ball in heavy traffic around the far left post of the Pioneer goal and was able to shoot it past Denver’s goalkeeper Parker Jarvis.

“Frankie (Sanfilippo) played a wonderful match for us,” said Spartan head coach Gary St. Clair, “It was a typical and tough conference game, our guys showed enthusiasm and heart.”

The Pioneers continued to pressure the Spartan defense, but were unable to score the tying goal. San Jose State’s freshman forward Frank Mata added an insurance goal minutes after an apparent Spartan goal was called back. Freshman midfielder Fernando Martinez passed the ball to Mata who broke free and drove home the team’s second goal of the match with less than four minutes left.

“When we play well, we can beat anybody,” continued St. Clair, “We had one of those games where we came back and won against the team that beat us four days ago. Now we just have to retool and do it again tomorrow.

San Jose State was able to keep Denver scoreless through solid defense and goalkeeping. Senior defender Gonzalo Guerra and freshman Dylan Pender may have played their best games of the season, helping to keep the Pioneers to just three shots-on-goal. Junior goalkeeper Daniel Benton was credited with his second complete shutout of the season with three saves on the night. The Spartans will face the winner of Thursday last match between Air Force and Fresno State on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

In earlier games eighth seeded New Mexico upset the tournament’s top seed Sacramento State, 3-2, in overtime. The Lobos Ty Hibbert scored his second goal of the night unassisted in the 102nd minute to advance New Mexico to the semifinal round played

The UNLV Rebels were able to come from behind and tie the game in the 86th minute against San Diego State and send the game through two overtime periods. The Rebels eventually won the match, 7-4, on penalty kicks after UNLV’s Justin Dennis blocked three Aztec penalty kicks.

New Mexico and UNLV will play at 5:00 p.m. in the semifinal round on Friday, with the winner advancing to the championship match at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.

SCORING SUMMARY

San Jose State.........0 – 2 = 2
Denver....................0 – 0 = 0

SJSU—Frank Sanfilippo [1], (unassisted), 66:11
SJSU—Frank Mata [6], (Fernando Martinez), 86:50

SHOTS
SJSU—14 (7 SOG)
DEN—18 (3 SOG)

SAVES
SJSU—3 (Daniel Benton)
DEN—5 (Parker Jarvis)

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