San Jose, Calif. - The San Jose State men's soccer team opens the 2011 regular season on Friday, August 26 when they welcome the Sunbirds of Fresno Pacific for a 7:00 p.m. kickoff in Spartan Stadium.
SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY (0-0)
vs. FRESNO PACIFIC (0-0)
FRIDAY, AUGUST 26, 7:00 P.M.
SPARTAN STADIUM, SAN JOSE, CALIF.
SCOUTING FRESNO PACIFIC
The Sunbirds are coming off a 2-16 overall record last season, 1-9 in the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) after forfeiting seven wins. Fresno Pacific, an NAIA school, returns their two top goal scorers in junior Paul Islas and sophomore Gustavo De Silva. The two combined for 17of the Sunbirds 30 goals last season, while leading the squad to a fourth-place finish in the GSAC and a home first-round playoff berth.
Islas led the team with nine goals and five assists for 23 total points in the regular season. Da Silva, a native of Brazil, scored eight goals and had two assists in his freshman campaign.
In 18 seasons, Jamie Ramirez has coached the Sunbirds to a 221-101-24 record which includes seven Golden State Athletic Conference Championships, three Region Championships and four NAIA National Championship Tournament appearances . His 221 wins are the most in FPU soccer history.
SOCCER KICKOFF NIGHT
On Wednesday, August 24, the San Jose State men's soccer teams will be hosting their Annual Soccer Kickoff Night at the Silicon Valley Capital Club.
Spartan soccer alumni, friends and family are invited to this free event, which takes place on the top floor of the Knight Ridder Building in downtown San Jose. Dress is business casual.
Live stats are available free of charge for all San Jose State home matches and select road contests. Click on the Live Stats icon at the top of the San Jose State Athletics web page at www.sjsuspartans.com and select the game by clicking on the camera icon. Fans can also access the live stats from the Schedule/Results section off the men's soccer page at www.sjsuspartans.com.
HEAD COACH GARY ST. CLAIR
Gary St. Clair is in his 22nd season leading his alma mater's men's soccer program. The two-time NSCAA Far West Coach of the Year and two-time MPSF Coach of the Year enters 2011 with a 196-181-33 career record.
San Jose State is 4-1-1 in its last six season openers under head coach Gary St. Clair. Since a 0-2 loss to Santa Clara in 2007's home-opener, the Spartans have taken each of their last three.
SAN JOSE STATE PICKED TO FINISH SIXTH
In its annual vote by the conference head coaches, San Jose State was picked to finish in sixth place among the eight teams that make up the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. The Spartans received 19 total points, three points behind fifth-place selection UNLV (22 points). The poll was led by Cal State Bakersfield with 46 points and five first-place votes. New Mexico and Denver tied for second with 41 points each and two and one first-place votes, respectively.
HITTING THE BOOKS
In the 2010-11 academic year, six Spartan men's soccerl players were honored as MPSF Academic All-Conference Award winners. The athletes includes current Spartans Dan Addiego, Omri Brinner, Dylan Murphy, Nick Murphy and Steve Sanchez. In addition, Nick Murphy became the third Spartan in the last four years to earn CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VIII Men's Soccer First Team recognition.
In 2011, the nucleus of the Spartans coaching staff returns. Head coach Gary St. Clair (22nd season), associate head coach Ron Smare (22nd season), assistant coach Chris Behler (9th season) and volunteer assistant coach Dan Benton (4th season) will guide the Spartans.
CAREER MARKS UP AHEAD
Head coach Gary St. Clair is four victories shy of 200 career wins as the Spartans begin play in 2011. He trails only legendary coach Julius Menendez on the San Jose State career win's list. Menendez, who retired after the 1989 season, finished his Spartan's soccer coaching tenure with 295 wins.
Keeper Jonathan Lester, with 12 career shutouts is sixth on the program's all-time list, with his next clean sheet he will move into a tie for fourth with Richard Mann (2005-08) and Ryan Moore (1979-82) with 13 shoutouts.
SCOUTING THE SPARTANS
San Jose State returns 16 players who were with the team last season and welcomes in 10 newcomers in 2011.
The Spartans will miss two key players from the 2010 team. Senior striker Josh Boemecke (9 G, 18 pts), was a 2010 first-team All-MPSF honoree and the teams leading scorer and senior midfielder Nick Cukar (2 G, 4 A, 8 pts), who led the team in assists and was the second leading scorer.
Among the returners Ricky Martin, a sophomore defender, totaled five points on two goals and an assist last season. Four other returners each had one goal - Roberto Casteneda (1 G, 2 A, 4 pts), Nick Cashmere (1 G, 1 A, 3 pts), Dan Addiego (1 G, 2 pts) and Steve Sanchez (1 G, 2 pts).
Senior keeper Jonathan Lester, in 40 career appearances, has a 1.05 goals against average. His seven shutouts in 2009 placed him fourth on the programs single season list, tying him with head coach Gary St. Clair. His 12 career clean sheets on good for sixth in San Jose State history.
"We were competitive in all the matches we played last season," St. Clair said. "What we didn't do was put the ball in the back of the net enough times. In our preseason training we have been stressing scoring more and I believe with the work we have put in we will see positive results.
"Our athletes have worked very hard over the summer and in the last three weeks. I know Spartan Stadium is a big place, but we want to fill it and make it loud. The players feed off the energy in the stands.
"Today every team in the MPSF is on equal footing. The MPSF sent three teams to the NCAA Tournament last season. That is more than the Pac-10 (now the Pac-12) and I believe more than just about any conference in the nation. We play in one of the most competitive conferences in the nation. We hope the fans come out, support us loudly and help us get to the postseason."
SPARTANS DROP EXHIBITION AT CAL
The San Jose State men's soccer team and the Bears of California played an exhibition match at Goldman Field on Saturday. A header by Alec Sundly in the 70th minute would be the only score in a 1-0 decision for the Bears.
The Spartans outshot No. 7 California 15-to-13 overall and 5-to-4 in shots on goal. San Jose State's Nick Cashmere pulled the trigger a game-high five times, three of which were on frame, also a game high. Steve Sanchez had the Spartans other two shots on goal in his four total attempts.
Spartans keeper Jonathan Lester made three saves in the first half, allowing just Sundly's tally at the 69:16 mark. Steve Birnbaum and Ryan Neil were credited with assists on the goal. California used two goalkeepers, Robby Gogatz and Kevin Peach, to combine on a five-save shutout.
Other Spartans on the shot sheet were Roberto Casteneda with three and Ricky Martin, Dylan Murphy and Nick Murphy with one each.