Eight Home Matches On Men's Soccer Schedule

San Jose, Calif. - San Jose State University men’s soccer head coach Gary St. Clair has announced a 2007 schedule that features eight regular-season home games.

Under St. Clair, entering his 18th season in charge of his alma mater, San Jose State will be after its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2003.

San Jose State will contest eight of its 19 regular-season games at home in 2007, with a five-game road stretch early and a five-game homestand in the middle. The Spartans face three opponents that participated in the 2006 NCAA Tournament.

The Spartans will begin the 2007 season with a lone exhibition match against UC Santa Cruz on Friday, August 24. Kick-off at Spartan Stadium is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

The official season opener, in Davidson, N.C., marks the start of a five-game road swing. In its first out-of-region trip since the 1995 season, San Jose State will take part in the Davidson adidas Classic. In 1995, the Spartans made an appearance at the New Mexico Soccer Classic in Albuquerque, N.M., before the University of New Mexico became a member of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. In North Carolina, they first take on Charlotte on Friday, August 31, before playing host Davidson on Sunday, September 2.

Following the short trip up the freeway to the University of San Francisco on Sunday, September 9, San Jose State will wrap the five-game stretch down south against a pair of Big West Conference foes, traveling to UC Riverside on Friday, September 14, and 2006 conference runner-up UC Irvine on Sunday, September 16. The Big West produced the 2006 national champion in UC Santa Barbara.

San Jose State will finally play its 2007 home opener on Thursday night, September 20, facing Santa Clara University in the annual “Rivalry Series” contest between the South Bay foes. The action at Spartan Stadium is set to begin at 7:00 p.m.

The Spartans will take on their third and final West Coast Conference opponent of 2007 on Sunday, September 23, traveling to Moraga, Calif., to play Saint Mary’s College.

The lengthy homestand will start with Cal State Bakersfield, which enters the second transition year of a five-year reclassification process up to Division I, on Wednesday, September 26, and College of Charleston on Sunday, September 30, both at Spartan Stadium.

The MPSF portion of the 2007 schedule gets rolling on Sunday, October 7, as San Jose State hosts Sacramento State at 7:00 p.m. The Spartans will then host three-time defending league champion and 2005 national runner-up New Mexico on Friday, October 12, in a match beginning at 3:00 p.m. as their only scheduled game in the new season at Spartan Field.

The Spartans conclude the homestand by hosting UNLV on Sunday, October 14, at 1:00 p.m. inside Spartan Stadium.

San Jose State makes its annual two-game Colorado trip to Air Force and Denver on October 19 and October 21, respectively, before taking a week off and hosting the duo. The team welcomes Denver to Spartan Stadium on Sunday, November 4, at 1:00 p.m. on Senior Day.

The regular season will conclude away from San Jose, with the Spartans at UNLV on November 9, New Mexico on November 11 and Sacramento State on November 18.

“With the trip to North Carolina, we will get an early indication about just where we are with this team, and who has come to play this year,” remarked St. Clair. “The great thing for us is that ours is always one of the more difficult schedules on the west coast and in the nation, simply because geographically, we play in such a strong Division I soccer area. What we have done is we have added a trip out of region this year for the first time since 1995, opening at the Davidson tournament. Charlotte and Davidson are two powers on the east coast, and obviously provide a great opportunity to see where we are very quickly.

“What is also unique about our schedule is that we open away from Spartan Stadium for the first part of September. Usually, we are at home during that time quite a bit. So, it’s North Carolina, and then we play a very difficult USF team away. We go down (south) and play two very good teams in UCR and UCI, and then finally get to come home. There is absolutely nothing easy on this schedule. We have Santa Clara, which is a great rivalry, in (our home opener at) Spartan Stadium. Saint Mary’s is probably the most difficult place to play of all the venues we are going to. We come back with a couple of new teams we haven’t played. Cal State Bakersfield is now Division I. (Then we play) College of Charleston and we are right into (the) conference season.

“I think the conference is going to be wide open. It’s going to be wide open because there are going to be a lot of good teams, not because there’s going to be no strong teams. New Mexico, the conference champion, has had two or three very good recruiting years, and they are going to be extremely good. Denver, which came in second and maybe should have won the conference championship last year, has a new coach, and more importantly, very good players returning. They are going to be very strong. The MPSF will again be strong.”

The MPSF double round-robin champion gains an automatic berth into the 2007 NCAA Tournament. In conference play, teams receive three points for a victory and one point for a tie, with the top point-getter earning the league crown. This year’s NCAA Men’s College Cup will take place in Cary, N.C., Friday and Sunday, December 14 and 16.

San Francisco, Santa Clara and New Mexico, which earned the conference’s automatic NCAA bid by finishing first atop the MPSF standings for the fifth time, participated in the NCAA Tournament last season. Santa Clara, ranked seventh nationally in the final NSCAA/adidas poll, advanced to the national quarterfinals following a first-round bye, before dropping a 3-1 decision at Wake Forest. New Mexico, rated 22nd in the final national poll, blanked USF on a neutral field at California, 1-0, before being eliminated in the second round by the host Bears, 3-1.

San Jose State returns 13 letterwinners and eight starters from a team that finished 7-10-1 overall in 2006 with a league record of 4-6. St. Clair will announce his captains at a later date.