Men's soccer edged by Cal State Fullerton, 3-2, in season opener

San Jose, Calif. - The San Jose State University men’s soccer team was edged by Cal State Fullerton, 3-2, in a wild overtime contest at Spartan Stadium on Sunday, August 27, in the regular-season opener for both teams. A penalty kick by Michael Farfan at 94:17 gave the visiting Titans the victory.

San Jose State took an early lead at 23:48 when Jacob Morrison netted his first career goal, shooting a rebound attempt past Titan goalkeeper Brent Douglas. Teammate Hiroki Akiyama took the first shot attempt on the play, and the block of his shot came back to the foot of Morrison. Akiyami was credited with his first assist of the season.

Said Morrison of his opening goal, “Gavin (Wenyon) had a nice throw-in, and Hiroki (Akiyama) worked real hard to get a shot off. The ball bounced back off a defender, and I was in the right place at the right time. I just picked up the scraps.”

The Spartans took their one-goal lead into the second half before Farfan scored his first goal of the season at 61:57 when his long-distance shot from around the midfield stripe found its way over Spartan goalkeeper Richard Mann and into the net.

San Jose State took its second lead of the contest at 66:20 when off a Gavin Wenyon corner kick, Keven Azevedo scored on a header at the near post. It was the first assist of 2006 for Wenyon, who led the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation with nine in 2005.

“(Head) Coach (Gary) St. Clair has us working on set pieces during practice, and we are very organized on them,” said Azevedo. “It was a great ball by Gavin. All the practice worked out for us.”

Cal State Fullerton roared back to tie the game yet again when Amir Shafii got a cross from the left, and netted the ball inside the near post. Reid Baker and Skyler Thuresson were credited with assists on the play.

The Spartans nearly won the contest in overtime when Yousef Samy’s shot at 93:51 glanced off the crossbar.

The Titans had 26 shots to the Spartans' 24. Akiyama led the Spartans with six shots, and Patrick Scheufler added five.

Mann produced a career-high nine saves in goal for SJSU, bettering his previous mark of seven, which also came against Cal State Fullerton, in Fullerton, Calif., back on September 11, 2005. Douglas, who was a member of the Spartans in 2004 and 2005, stopped six shots.

“I was doing my job,” said Mann. “We were short players for some time, and it was up to me to keep the ball out of the net. I thought we played well today. We played with a lot of heart. We still have plenty to work on, though.”

There were two lengthy stoppages in the match. Eugene Brooks, a senior forward for Cal State Fullerton, was injured during a second-half collision near midfield. There was also a delay a short while later in the second half while match officials sorted out an incident which eventually led to four red cards being issued, two for each side.

The match featured a total of 12 yellow cards and six red cards. The Spartans played with a man fewer than the Titans for the final 24:14 of the contest.

With the result, the Spartans fall to 0-1 on the young season, while Cal State Fullerton starts out 1-0 for 2006.

San Jose State will next host area rival Saint Mary’s College at Spartan Stadium on Thursday, August 31, at 7:00 p.m.

SCORING SUMMARY
CSF (1-0) - 0 2 1 - 3
San Jose State (0-1) - 1 1 0 - 2

Scoring
SJSU - Jacob Morrison (Hiroki Akiyama), 23:48
CSF - Michael Farfan (Unassisted), 61:57
SJSU - Keven Azevedo (Gavin Wenyon), 66:20
CSF - Amir Shafii (Reid Baker, Skyler Thuresson), 81:18
CSF - Michael Farfan (Penalty kick), 94:17

Shots
CSF - 26
SJSU - 24

Goalkeeper Saves
CSF - 6 (Brent Douglas-6)
SJSU - 9 (Richard Mann-9)

Corner Kicks
CSF - 6
SJSU - 2

Fouls
CSF - 25
SJSU - 27