San Jose, Calif. – San Jose State’s Jonathan Salceda scored a goal at the 83:01 mark to break a 0-0 tie and sent the Spartans men’s soccer team to a 1-0 victory over the UC Santa Cruz (UCSC) Banana Slugs in exhibition play on Sunday evening in Spartan Stadium.
“We lost some starters from last season and I know I have to step up,” Salceda said. “I’m a striker and I have to finish when I get the chance. We created a lot of chances tonight, but were frustrated that we didn’t finish. That’s something we will continue to work on.”
Salceda took a throughball from Diego Ochoa and drove down the left side. From just outside the six yard box, he placed a perfect shot low to the far post for his second goal of the exhibition schedule.
“Jon is emerging as a scorer,” head coach Gary St. Clair said. “He’s created something for himself and it’s going to be up to him to continue that. He’s been very good in training and both of our games. He’s scoring goals, staying on the field and that’s what these guys need to do.”
The Spartans outshot UCSC 16-to-4 on the night and had an 8-to-2 advantage in shots on goal. Salceda took six shots, five of which were on frame. Steve Sanchez got off three shots and Garret Foster took two.
“We’ve been working really hard to have a balanced side,” St. Clair said, “one that defends well, is organized but also one that can create chances, put ourselves in good scoring position and score goals.
“In out last match we were able to score goals, but we made a lot of mistakes. We really worked on cleaning things up in training and we saw the results tonight. The organization, the shape was very good, but our work in the last third of the field, in front of the goal, was pretty poor. We had a few guys who play up front out tonight, but when we get chances we have to put them away.”
Keeper Michael Schwinn saw his first action as a Spartan and had two saves.
“Michael played very well,” St. Clair said. “This is one of the most difficult kinds of games for a keeper to play. For long periods of time he has no activity at all. He has to sit there, but keep his focus and concentration up because one mistake or an opportunity for the other team and he is going to be right in the thick of it. I was pleased with his performance in a difficult situation. Most people don’t realize how tough a game like this is for a keeper.”
The Spartans wrap up exhibition play on Friday, August 24 when they host Cal State Monterey Bay at 5:00 p.m. in Spartan Stadium.