Men's Soccer Opens With 0-0 Tie in Exhibition

San Jose, Calif. The San Jose State University men’s soccer team opened the 2007 season against the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs with a challenging 0-0 tie on Friday night, August 24.  Both teams put up solid defense, allowing just five shots on goal in 90 minutes of play.  The Spartans will open the regular season on Friday, August 31 with the Davidson adidas Classic in North CarolinaSan Jose State will take on Charlotte and the host team, Davidson, in tournament play.


The Spartans led on offense against UC Santa Cruz, recording 12 shots in the game, three of which were on goal.  Newcomer Efrain Burgos, Jr. led the attack with three shots, including one on goal. 


"I thought all of our new guys that played their first game for us tonight, performed very well,” said head coach Gary St. Clair.  “We just need more experience and confidence. The future is very bright for this team."


Colby Moore and Jacob Morrison were the next top shot-takers for the Spartans.  Moore had a shot on goal in the first half that was saved by UC Santa Cruz’s goalie, Jared Wheeler.  Moore’s second shot was a header in the second half that went just wide.  Morrison’s first attempt on goal at the 43:26 mark of the first half went wide of the goal while his second shot in the final half was blocked by the Banana Slugs’ defense.


In goal for the Spartans were Richard Mann and newcomer Lewis Sweeney.  Mann has been San Jose State’s top-choice goalkeeper for the past three seasons.  He was just one of three Spartans to start all 18 games in 2006.  In his 45 minutes of play against Santa Cruz, Mann made one save. 


"I thought we played well,” said Mann.  “We were particularly solid on defense. We didn't give up many chances. We need to pick it up a little bit offensively. We had our chances. We have to finish."


Sweeney also notched his first save as a Spartan with less than a minute to play left in the game.  Sweeney snagged the ball on a shot by UC Santa Cruz’s Matt Skenazy to maintain the dual shutout.


Skenazy and Adam Smarte were the only two Banana Slugs to notch shots on goal in Friday’s contest.  A shot by Cameron Hector was a near-goal for UC Santa Cruz at the 63:28 mark of the game as the ball hit the crossbar. 


The Spartans take the field again on Friday, August 31 in the first game of the Davidson adidas Classic in Davidson, N.C.  San Jose State will take on Charlotte to open the regular season at 2:00 p.m. Pacific time.