Men's Soccer Opens Season With Two Home Matches

The San Jose State University men’s soccer team officially kicks off the 2008 season with a pair of home contests this weekend. Fresh off a 5-0 exhibition victory over UC Santa Cruz inside Spartan Stadium last Friday evening, August 22, San Jose State plays host to the Argonauts of Notre Dame de Namur University in its season opener on Friday afternoon, August 29. Start time is set for 3:00 p.m., with the game to be played at Spartan Field due to Saturday evening’s football opener. Admission is free. Fans are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.

After Friday’s match with the Argos, members of the NCAA Division II and Pacific West Conference, San Jose State will have one day of preparation left before a primetime meeting with Bay Area rival Stanford University at Spartan Stadium at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 31.

The Spartans posted a 10-9 overall record and finished at an even 5-5 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation a year ago. In the annual preseason poll, league head coaches have picked them to finish in a tie for third with UNLV, behind four-time defending MPSF champion New Mexico and Denver.

San Jose State last faced both NDNU and Stanford during the 2006 regular season, registering wins over both by the identical score of 2-1. The Spartans first won a dramatic affair at Stanford on September 8, 2006, as part of the Stanford Nike Invitational Tournament, getting unassisted, first collegiate goals by then-freshman Colby Moore at 85:05 and then-sophomore Gavin Wenyon with just eight seconds remaining in regulation on his 21st birthday to overturn a 1-0 deficit late.

The win over Notre Dame de Namur came at home inside Spartan Stadium on September 16, 2006, via two successful Ed Brand penalty kicks, 10 minutes into each half.

Friday’s meeting marks Notre Dame de Namur’s season opener as well. Stanford will also be opening its 2008 campaign against the Spartans, having dropped a pair of exhibition matches at home, 2-1 to Sonoma State on Wednesday, August 20, and 1-0 to San Jose State’s MPSF opponent, Sacramento State, on Saturday, August 23.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 29, 3:00 P.M.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 31, 7:00 P.M.

Live stats will be available free of charge for all San Jose State men’s and women’s soccer matches played inside Spartan Stadium throughout the 2008 season at Just click on Live Stats under Live from the top menu bar on the front page. JumpTV has re-designed the look of the live stats this year. Links will also be made available at the same location for most road contests. The season opener with Notre Dame de Namur will not have live stats.

For the San Jose State University men’s and women’s soccer programs throughout the 2008 season, cost of admission for matches inside Spartan Stadium is $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for kids aged 12 and under, $1.00 for kids in soccer jerseys, and free, as always, for students with a valid Tower ID card. No admission will be charged for games at Spartan Field. The Notre Dame de Namur opener is the first of two scheduled matches this year at San Jose State’s alternate venue.

San Jose State scored four times in a span of five minutes and 53 seconds late in the first half and cruised to a 5-0 exhibition victory over visiting UC Santa Cruz at Spartan Stadium last Friday, August 22. The first two goals, and one assist, came from Efrain Burgos, Jr., with fellow sophomore Ricky Dorrego adding a goal and three assists. Burgos was credited with a game-high seven shots as the Spartans out-shot their opponent, 27-11. All 21 eligible players saw action.

Colby Moore and Robert Jackson scored the final two goals for the Spartans, with San Jose native Richard Mann, fellow senior Lewis Sweeney and redshirt freshman Tyler Newman combining on the shutout in goal. Mann, a fifth-year Spartan and second-year captain, started and played the first 27:30, with Sweeney in net for the next 31:02 and Newman on for the final 31:28. All three were credited with a single save, with Newman going down to his left to stop a second-half penalty kick and keep the clean sheet intact.

...the UC Santa Cruz exhibition:
“It was an exhibition game. It is what it is. You’re trying to look at an awful lot of people. I was pretty pleased with the way we performed overall. First game of the season after 10 days of training, it’s a mixed bag. You never know what you’re going to get. So, overall, I was quite pleased with the way just about everybody played.”

...this weekend’s games:
“The down side of playing that exhibition game is that you get kind of a false look at things. These two games this weekend are going to be battles. We have got to understand that what we saw in the exhibition, we’re not going to see Friday. We’re going to need some real match focus. Our set pieces need some work. We need to be able to defend well and establish the tone. All of the nice passes are great, but this team needs to have a practical side to it. We have to be able to stop Notre Dame de Namur, as well as Stanford, until we can get things moving a little bit."

...whether he is concerned about the team possibly overlooking NDNU with Stanford next:
“I don’t think that will be a problem. This is the opening game of the season for us. It all counts from here on out. The Stanford game means awfully little if we don’t perform well and put in a good result against Notre Dame de Namur. I could see this in the middle of the season being a bit of a difficult game for us to prepare for, but our guys are ready.”

SAN JOSE STATE (0-0, 0-0 MPSF) vs. NOTRE DAME DE NAMUR (0-0, 0-0 PacWest)
Notre Dame de Namur, like San Jose State, has played one exhibition match ahead of its 2008 opener, defeating Academy of Art University of San Francisco, Calif., by a comfortable margin at home on Monday, August 25.

Located in Belmont, Calif., Notre Dame de Namur is in its first official season as an NCAA Division II program. The Argos are in the Pacific West Conference. NDNU went 10-9-1 overall a year ago, and 6-4  in the PacWest, placing second. Sophomore goalkeeper Sheldon Steenhuis was recently chosen the PacWest Preseason Player of the Year, while senior defenders David Wulff and Sean Vogt joined him as Preseason All-PacWest selections.

In addition to the 2-1 defeat in 2006, San Jose State also topped NDNU 2-1 at home in 2005 at Spartan Field, scoring twice in the last 10:23 to rally from a 1-0 first-half deficit. The Argos last beat San Jose State the year before, on September 1, 2004, in San Jose, 3-2 in overtime. The Spartans posted a 6-0 shutout defeat at home to open the 2003 campaign on August 29, and a 1-0 overtime win on October 14, 2002.
Notre Dame de Namur head coach Lance Thompson is in his second season in charge.

SAN JOSE STATE (0-0, 0-0 MPSF) vs. STANFORD (0-0, 0-0 Pac-10)
Stanford returns nine starters among 22 letterwinners from a team that finished 7-6-5 a year ago. Among the returnees are leading scorer Bobby Warshaw, the 2007 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, and 2006 goal-scoring leader Evan Morgan, who missed last season due to injury. Stanford returns starters at each position, starting from the back with two-year starting goalkeeper John Moore, now a junior. The defense features sixth-year senior Ryan Imamura in central defense and right back Tim Jones. T.J. Novak, a starting defender last year, is expected to move up to central midfield, where he will join captain Michael Strickland and returning starter Tom Montgomery. Thiago Sa Freire and Brant Bishop return on the wings, with Warshaw up front.

The Cardinal was picked to place third by league head coaches in the six-team Pac-10, behind Cal and UCLA, after tying for second in 2007.

Stanford year-by-year records indicate that prior to 2007, the Spartans and Cardinal had met each year dating back at least to 1973. The teams were long-time conference foes before Stanford joined the Pac-10 in men’s soccer in 2000.

Before the thriller at Stanford in 2006, the sides opened their respective 2005 accounts with a scoreless draw at Spartan Stadium. The last Cardinal victory in the all-time series between the area rivals was on September 10, 2004, with Stanford coming away with a 1-0 home win on a goal at 79:13 against current first-year Spartan volunteer assistant coach Dan Benton. The last time the Cardinal won in San Jose was a 5-1 decision on November 6, 2003. San Jose State dropped a double-overtime heartbreaker, 2-1, to then-second-ranked Stanford on the road on October 3, 2002.

Stanford head coach Bret Simon is 64-52-23 in his eighth season at the helm of the Cardinal.

San Jose State head coach Gary St. Clair begins his 19th season in charge at his alma mater. He has compiled an overall record of 171-157-25. The two-time NSCAA/adidas Far West Coach of the Year and two-time Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Coach of the Year ranks second in the Spartan record book in career wins behind Julius Menendez (295).

In 2008, St. Clair is joined on his staff by associate head coach Ron Smare, now also in his 19th season with the San Jose State program, sixth-year assistant coach Chris Behler and first-year volunteer assistant Dan Benton, like St. Clair a former standout Spartan goalkeeper.