The Cukar Corner: 2009 Men's Soccer Blog 3

Nick Cukar is a fourth-year senior on the 2009 San Jose State University men's soccer team. He is a local product out of Millbrae, Calif., and Capuchino High School. The Spartan co-captain and Lowe's Senior CLASS Award candidate has struck for 15 goals from his left outside midfield spot over the past two seasons, with an incredible 10 of them game-winners. The 2008 second-team all-region and first-team All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation selection is the leading returning goal-scorer in the conference. Nick is a kinesiology major.

San Jose State hosts UC Davis on the official Opening Night of the 2009 NCAA Division I men's soccer season at Spartan Stadium this Tuesday, September 1. Kick-off is set for 7:00 p.m. Individual game tickets for Spartan Soccer are on sale. Prices are $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for youth aged 12 and under, and $1.00 for youth in soccer jerseys. San Jose State students can attend all matches free of charge with a valid Tower ID card. Groups of 20 or more receive a discounted rate. Gates open one hour prior to the start of each match.

Blog Entry #3 (Sunday, August 30)
Up Next: Opening Night!

Hey everyone! Welcome to another men's soccer blog!

As many of you know, we won our game Friday night against the Otters of Cal State Monterey Bay. The game served as a useful exercise to see where we stand as a team after coming into camp just two weeks prior. Many new people were able to make their debuts in Spartan Stadium, which is always an exciting experience. I remember my first game my freshman year against Cal State Monterey Bay. I was really anxious and excited to play in Spartan Stadium, as I had always watched the San Jose Earthquakes' games when they called Spartan Stadium home.

We ended up winning the game (Friday night), 5-1. However, they scored within the first 10 minutes of the game, which we always talk about, winning the first 10 minutes of every match. We kept our cool after giving up that early mistake and never looked back. I scored the first two goals. The first one wasn't beautiful, but hey, a goal is a goal! My partner on the left (side of midfield), Bobby (Jackson), got himself a solid goal (to make it 3-1), keeping his composure in the 18-yard box to slot one in. I think he likes playing the exhibition games, as in the past two years he's played, he's scored a goal in every (all three) match!

Literally right after kick-off, we seemed to score again. This time, the goal came from the right-mid position, from young Steven Sanchez, who made a great individual effort to defend, take the ball all the way down and score from almost no angle. What I like most about our team is the quality and depth that we have on the flanks. All four of us (Steven, Bobby, Ricky and myself) definitely bring out the best in each other. I think that's key for our team this year, as these positions are not usually 90-minute positions. When you have the quality that the guys bring in off the bench, it makes our team that much better without losing a step.

For the last goal, little Oscar (Yniguez) put his signature on it, always finishing with finesse. The crafty lefty is always putting goals away in practice, and it was great that he could get himself a nice little goal.

Overall, I thought we played well, especially with all the new people getting looks, but we still need to improve, as teams like UC Davis, Oregon State, New Mexico and Denver are not going to let the tiny mistakes go and allow us to come back like we did. Coach gave us Saturday off to rest and recover, and today we were right back at it, preparing for UC Davis on Tuesday night, which is a big battle as they have been to the NCAA's two years in a row. The boys worked awfully hard this morning, and we'll be at it again tomorrow to ensure we are properly prepared for such a game, and for the real season to begin! The game is Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. in Spartan Stadium. Everyone should come out. It'll be a great battle! We love it when we see a big crowd, so come on out and root for your Spartan men's soccer team!!!

Thanks for checking in!!!
Go Spartans!

Nick

2009 San Jose State Men's Soccer Blog Entries

August 15 - Nick Cukar, Senior Co-Captain

August 25 - Nick Cukar, Senior Co-Captain

August 30 - Nick Cukar, Senior Co-Captain