Spartans Beat Fresno Pacific In Season Opener

San Jose, Calif. -In both team's season opener, the San Jose State Spartans men's soccer team scored four times, all by reserves, and beat the Sunbirds of Fresno Pacific 4-1 on Friday night in Spartan Stadium. 

The Spartans, the first San Jose State athletics team to earn a victory in the 2011-12 school year, are now 1-0-0, while Fresno Pacific is 0-1-0.

Despite outshooting the Sunbirds 9-2 in the first half and getting four shots on goal, head coach Gary St. Clair was not overwhelming happy with the Spartans start.

"I was disappointed that we started slowly," St. Clair said.  "We didn't control the tempo in the first 15 minutes."

In the 31st minute, San Jose State's Dylan Murphy put the Spartans on the board. Craig Hertler played a cross from near sideline to Nick Cashmere at the top of the 18.  Murphy broke to the net, taking the pass from Cashmere and fired a shot to the far post for his first goal as a Spartan. 

"I had toe surgery on Wednesday," Murphy said.  "I wasn't sure I would play tonight because I didn't practice.  When I came in I was pumped up.  I think I scored on my first touch of the game."

The teams went to the locker room with San Jose State leading 1-0.

Just over two minutes into the second half the Sunbirds tied the game up.  Paul Islas took a pass and drove down the sideline.  His shot from 15 yards out beat Spartan keeper Jonathan Lester to the near post for the equalizer.

Three minutes later, at the 50:47 mark, Murphy struck again.  He picked up a loose ball at the top of the 18 and blasted it to the upper left corner of the net to put the San Jose State back in front 2-1.

Barely a minute later, at 51:45, Roberto Casteneda fed Hertler the ball at the far left corner of the penalty box.  Hertler bent a shot to the far post for a 3-1 San Jose State lead.  It was his first collegiate goal in his first college match, after earning four letters on the Spartan baseball team.

"I felt great," Hertler said.  "I was a bit nervous before the game, but once I got in there it was like riding a bike. I took a shot earlier but waited a bit too long and the keeper made a good save.  The guys were telling me to take the shot a bit earlier and on the next opportunity I did and it went in."

Cashmere, who assisted on the Spartan first goal, scored the fourth for San Jose State.  In the 68th minute he took a pass from Steven Sanchez and hammered a shot past Sunbirds' goalie Steven Waite for the final score of 4-1.

"The guys that came in (off the bench) played really well, which is what they are supposed to do," St. Clair said.  "Fresno Pacific was better than I thought they would be.  In the second half we made some adjustments and clearly they worked well for us.  Of the goals that we got tonight, three were really spectacular.  It was great to see our players making plays. 

"We have to be as prepared, as good, as sharp in October as we appear to be in August.  This is great but tomorrow we start all over."

Lester earned the win with one save on eight Fresno Pacific shots.  Waite faced 20 shots by San Jose State and made seven saves on the 11 that were on frame.

The Spartans return to action on Wednesday, August 31 when they welcome the Otter of Cal State Monterey Bay in an exhibition match in Spartan Stadium.  Kickoff is set for 7:00p.m. On Sunday September 4, San Jose State travels to Moraga to face the Gaels of Saint Mary's with kickoff scheduled for 3:00 p.m.