San Jose, Calif. - The San Jose State University men’s soccer team got scores from three different players and a shutout in goal by senior Lewis Sweeney in posting a 3-0 win over Notre Dame de Namur University in the 2008 season opener for both sides on a hot afternoon at Spartan Field on Friday, August 29.
It took the Spartans just over eight and a half minutes to notch their first goal of the new campaign, as senior midfielder Hiroki Akiyama poked a shot low and past the Argonaut goalie. Akiyama was appearing in his 50th consecutive game since his debut as a freshman on September 29, 2005. Colby Moore was credited with an assist.
A shot by Nick Cukar at 13:26 generated the day’s first save by Argo starter Sheldon Steenhuis. The Spartans out-shot NDNU, 13-6, for the remainder of the period after allowing the game’s first effort just 63 seconds into the match, but there was no further scoring over the first 45 minutes. The Argos did have one good chance in the 33rd minute, with Sweeney snatching a Juan Barajas attempt off the line. Just under a minute later, Brian McGuire’s header went just wide to the right of the NDNU goal.
Twenty minutes into the second half, San Jose State finally found the second goal it was searching for to give itself a bit of a cushion. Oscar Monjaras provided a cross from the left that an Argo defender and McGuire both jumped for in the center of the penalty box. The ball deflected toward the back post to the foot of fifth-year senior Gavin Wenyon, the Spartans’ right back. In a move belying his position, Wenyon came up with a neat flick over the top to turn around the player that was defending him, and powered a low shot into the left corner at 65:28.
Less than seven minutes later at 72:02, the Spartans put the result out of doubt, as McGuire sliced a through ball ahead to space for junior newcomer Stephen Cordova to run on to. The City College of San Francisco transfer’s first effort was saved by David Meherg, who took over in the NDNU goal for the second half, but the rebound fell right to Cordova to slot into the empty net.
Cordova’s goal was the first of his major college career, while Wenyon’s was his second as a Spartan. The assists by Monjaras and McGuire accounted for the first points of their college careers for the two juniors.
For the game, San Jose State out-shot Notre Dame de Namur, 26-11, after out-shooting UC Santa Cruz in a 5-0 exhibition victory last Friday, 27-11. Efrain Burgos, Jr., once again led the way with seven efforts on goal, while Cordova had five attempts in 33 minutes off the bench.
Sweeney was called upon to make just a pair of saves in earning his fourth Division I clean sheet for San Jose State. For Notre Dame de Namur, Steenhuis and Meherg made three and four stops, respectively, in 45 minutes apiece.
In addition to Cordova, eight other Spartans made their Spartan debuts. The lone newcomer in the starting lineup was Josh Boemecke, a sophomore transfer from the nationally-ranked Saint Louis University program. He impressed as a holding midfielder alongside Akiyama in his first collegiate start after appearing in eight games as a member of the Billikens in 2007. Six San Jose State redshirts from a year ago, Kachiside Madu, Brent Young, Justin Castro, Robert Jackson, Boyah Kaar and Sky Cutler, as well as Oscar Yniguez, a true freshman out of Redwood City, Calif., and Woodside High School, made their first collegiate appearances in reserve roles. Jackson, Yniguez, Young and Castro all entered the fray, in that order, in the first half, while Cordova, Kaar, Madu and Cutler were second-half substitutions.
Sweeney and senior central defender Sam Shore were the only Spartans to play the full 90 minutes.
San Jose State next hosts area rival Stanford University of the Pacific-10 Conference this Sunday night, August 31. Kick-off inside Spartan Stadium is set for 7:00 p.m.
Notre Dame de Namur (0-1) - 0 0 - 0
San Jose State (1-0) - 1 2 - 3
SJSU - Hiroki Akiyama (1) (Colby Moore), 8:31
SJSU - Gavin Wenyon (1) (Oscar Monjaras), 65:28
SJSU - Stephen Cordova (1) (Brian McGuire), 72:02
NDNU - 11
SJSU - 26
NDNU - 7 (Sheldon Steenhuis-3, David Meherg-4)
SJSU - 2 (Lewis Sweeney-2)
NDNU - 1
SJSU - 3
NDNU - 22
SJSU - 18