THIS WEEK - SPARTANS TAKE ON OTTERS IN EXHIBITION
The San Jose State University men's soccer team hosts the Otters of Cal State Monterey Bay this Friday evening, August 28, in its one and only tune-up for the 2009 regular season. Kick-off for the men's squad's first match on the new FieldTurf at Spartan Stadium, is set for 5:00 p.m. The contest will serve as the first half of the first of two Spartan Soccer doubleheaders in 2009. The San Jose State women will then take on San Diego State beginning at approximately 7:30 p.m.
The Spartans are coming off a 2008 campaign in which they finished 9-5-4 overall and 5-4-1 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. San Jose State won its final four matches to cap a six-game unbeaten stretch at 5-0-1, all against league foes. Cal State Monterey Bay is a member of the California Collegiate Athletic Association, arguably the top conference nationally in the NCAA Division II. Last year's Division II national champion, Cal State Dominguez Hills, hails from the CCAA.
After Friday's exhibition, San Jose State will officially open the 2009 season on Tuesday, September 1, against UC Davis, an NCAA Division I Championship participant in each of the past two years. That match is set for a 7:00 p.m. start at Spartan Stadium.
SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY (0-0, 0-0 MPSF)
vs. CAL STATE MONTEREY BAY (0-0, 0-0 CCAA)
SPARTAN STADIUM, SAN JOSE, CALIF.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 28, 5:00 P.M.
Live stats are available for all San Jose State soccer matches at Spartan Stadium, and most road contests, at SJSUSpartans.com. Just click on Live Stats under Live from the top menu bar on the front page. Fans can also click on Schedule/Results from each soccer home page and access the live stats from there.
SAN JOSE STATE (0-0, 0-0 MPSF) vs. CAL STATE MONTEREY BAY (0-0, 0-0 CCAA)
Cal State Monterey Bay will be in the middle of a four games in five nights stretch when it pays Spartan Stadium a visit on Friday, August 28. The Otters play at the Spartans' conference foe, Sacramento State, in an exhibition match on Thursday evening, August 27. Following Friday's date with San Jose State, they move on to Chico, Calif., to open the 2009 season at the Chico State Tournament against Academy of Art on Saturday, August 29. CSUMB also takes on Saint Martin's on Monday afternoon.
CSUMB went 4-12-4 last season, including 3-8-3 in CCAA play. One of the Otters' leaders is senior forward Nathan Torricelli, who collected 11 points from five goals and one assist in 2008. Mario Koury is another senior forward, out of Nazareth, Israel. Against San Jose State, he is likely to face fellow Israeli national Omri Brinner, a redshirt freshman for the Spartans. Goalkeeper Brenden Baca, a transfer from UC Santa Barbara, started 16 matches for the Otters in 2008 and posted a 1.35 goals-against-average with 80 saves. The CSUMB head coach is Artie Cairel.
RETURNING ALL-CONFERENCE TALENT
Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Player of the Year candidate Nick Cukar is back as San Jose State's top offensive threat in 2009. As a junior left-sided midfielder in 2008, the native of Millbrae, Calif., led the Spartans with 18 total points from nine goals, an incredible seven of them game-winners in his team's nine triumphs. Cukar was a second-team National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/adidas All-Far West Region and first-team All-MPSF selection.
In addition to Cukar, 2008 second-team All-MPSF striker Colby Moore returns for his fourth and final year after pacing the league with eight assists as a junior. Josh Boemecke, a junior holding central midfielder now in his second year as a Spartan following a transfer from Saint Louis University, garnered All-MPSF honorable mention in 2008.
Two other seniors, Oscar Monjaras and Brian McGuire, as well as junior right-sided midfielder Ricky Dorrego, will also have a large hand in San Jose State's fortunes on the field this season.
San Jose State returns both the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation goals and assists leaders from a season ago in fourth-year senior teammates Nick Cukar and Colby Moore, respectively. Cukar produced a league-best seven game-winners among his nine total strikes, which tied UNLV's Lamar Neagle for the top spot in the MPSF. With Neagle having concluded his eligibility, Cukar is the leading returning goal-scorer in the conference. Moore contributed a career-high eight assists in 2008.
STACKING WINNING SEASONS
In 2009, San Jose State will be looking for its third winning season in a row. The Spartans went 10-9 in 2007 and 9-5-4 a year ago. The Spartans now have their sights set on a first return trip to the NCAA Championship since 2003.
San Jose State will be captained in 2009 by fourth-year senior outside midfielder Nick Cukar (Millbrae, Calif./Capuchino HS) and fifth-year senior center back Oscar Monjaras (Watsonville, Calif./Watsonville HS).
The Spartans have two other veteran seniors on the 2009 roster in fifth-year holding central midfielder Brian McGuire, and fourth-year striker Colby Moore. Forward Stephen Cordova was supposed to be a senior this season, but will now redshirt with an injury suffered over the summer. Cukar and Moore, out of Los Gatos, Calif., and Bellarmine College Prep, are the men's soccer team representatives on the Spartan Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) for 2009-10.
SPARTAN SOCCER: A FAMILY AFFAIR
There are a couple of family ties on the 2009 San Jose State men's soccer roster. Brothers Nick Murphy and Dylan Murphy, out of San Francisco, Calif., and Lowell High School, will both be freshman on this year's squad. Nick is older by three years, but took some time off following the conclusion of his prep days in the City. Also, Eric Angell, the projected starter at left back and a sophomore this year after spending his freshman year at Cal State Stanislaus and redshirting with the Spartans in 2008, is joined by his cousin, freshman center back Nick Carrara. Both natives of Redwood City, Calif., were prep standouts at Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif.
2009 SPARTAN SOCCER TICKET INFORMATION
For the San Jose State University soccer programs throughout the 2009 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 for students with a valid Tower ID card. Groups of 20 or more receive a discounted rate. Gates open one hour prior to kick-off.