Spartan Summer: Gavin Wenyon

Gavin Wenyon is spending his second summer in a row playing for San Jose Frogs F.C. of the United Soccer Leagues (USL) Premier Development League (PDL). The Foster City, Calif., native and graduate of Burlingame High School will be one of two fifth-year Spartan seniors in 2008, alongside goalkeeper and two-time team captain Richard Mann.

Primarily an outside defender, Wenyon enters his final season of college soccer with the most starts (55) and most assists (14) among any Spartan on the current roster. He has only missed one game in three years, starting all 55 he has appeared in. Wenyon was one of just three Spartans to start all 19 games in 2007, along with fellow returners Hiroki Akiyama and Nick Cukar. He was tied for second on the team with three assists. The set-piece specialist had previously recorded a team-best nine assists as a redshirt freshman in 2005, earning All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation honorable mention.

A business administration major with a concentration in management and emphasis in entrepreneurship, Wenyon expects to graduate next spring.

In his most recent game for the Frogs, a 4-1 home win over the Lancaster Rattlers on the turf field at San Jose’s James Lick High School on a blistering hot afternoon last Sunday, July 6, Wenyon earned the start at right back for head coach Jorge Espinoza. He assisted on San Jose’s first goal, coming just five minutes into the game, when his accurate cross from the right wing found teammate Jose Munoz inside the penalty box on the far side. Munoz turned and shot with his left foot into the right side of the Rattler goal.

After the visitors tied the contest with a similar-looking goal just five minutes into the second half, the Frogs tallied three times over the final 30 minutes to cruise to victory. Andrew Wiedeman, who led the University of California in goals, assists and total points as just a freshman in 2007, scored twice and assisted former Bear teammate Javier Ayala-Hil on the final tally. Wenyon was substituted out at the 58-minute mark.

“This past spring, I was playing in central midfield, so it was a change to play in the back again, but that is where I feel I play my best” said Wenyon after the match. “Hopefully, this summer with the Frogs, I can improve my game by getting stronger defensively. With the level of players that are out here, it is easy to improve. I can learn from each and every one of them. Our team has been working hard all summer. I feel that this type of a training environment will definitely help me improve my game for the fall season.”

Added Wenyon about his summer in general, “It’s going well. I’m just training and relaxing. With the season coming around really fast, I need to keep training and working on my game.”

“I think this next year will be a very good year, with many of our players being seniors,” remarked Wenyon about the upcoming 2008 campaign for San Jose State. “I think that our team chemistry will also be better than in previous years, because we had so many young players last year who are now better accustomed to Division I soccer.”

The Frogs’ game against the Rattlers also featured three former San Jose State standouts. Savio Carrijo, who concluded his three-year Spartan career in 2007, started on the left side of midfield and played all 90 minutes. Johnny Gonzalez, who starred at San Jose State from 2002-05 and is one of just two Spartans to earn all-conference distinction in all four seasons, entered the game on the right side of midfield after Lancaster tied the score in the 50th minute. Dan Oka was another second-half substitute for the Frogs, entering the fray in central defense in the 64th minute. Oka excelled for Spartan head coach Gary St. Clair in his lone season in the program in 2005, starting all 19 games and providing 13 points off of three goals and seven assists. He transferred to San Jose State following three years at Fresno State, when the Bulldogs discontinued men’s soccer.

Among two other Spartan affiliates on the Frogs’ current roster, sophomore-to-be San Jose native Ricky Dorrego was inactive against Lancaster. Nelson Diaz, who played two seasons at San Jose State in 2004 and 2005 and earned second-team NSCAA/adidas Far West Region honors as a senior, was present at the game but still in the final stages of recovery from an injury suffered in a Frogs match last month.

After a two-game road trip to Southern California this weekend, the Frogs will return to Lick High School for one final home contest this season on Saturday night, July 19. Kick-off against the Bakersfield Brigade is set for 7:30 p.m.

Past 2008 Spartan Summer Features
June 12 - Jason Martin, Baseball
June 13 - Alex Sofranac, Baseball
June 16 - Craig Hertler, Baseball
June 19 - Ricky Dorrego, Men's Soccer
June 23 - Max Peterson, Baseball
June 26 - Danny Stienstra, Baseball
June 30 - Karson Klauer, Baseball
July 8 - Kyle Bellows, Baseball
July 10 - Gavin Wenyon, Men's Soccer