Men's Soccer Travels North For OSU/Nike Challenge

THIS WEEKEND - SPARTANS HEAD TO OREGON FOR OSU/NIKE CHALLENGE
Coming off of a decisive opening 4-1 triumph at home over UC Davis, the San Jose State University men's soccer team next faces its first road foray of the 2009 season. The Spartans fly to Portland, Ore., on Thursday evening, September 3, and move on to Corvallis, Ore., for the OSU/Nike Challenge.

San Jose State (1-0) meets host Oregon State (0-0) on Friday, September 4. Kick-off at Paul Lorenz Field for the Beavers' 2009 season opener is slated for approximately 5:30 p.m. The Spartans will then take on Houston Baptist (0-1) on Sunday, September 6, at 11:00 a.m.

GAME #2
SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY (1-0, 0-0 MPSF)
at OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY (0-0, 0-0 PAC-10)
PAUL LORENZ FIELD, CORVALLIS, ORE.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 5:30 P.M.

GAME #3
SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY (1-0, 0-0 MPSF)
vs. HOUSTON BAPTIST UNIVERSITY (0-1, 0-0 ASC)
PAUL LORENZ FIELD, CORVALLIS, ORE.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 11:00 A.M.

LIVE STATS
Live stats are available for all San Jose State home soccer matches, as well as for most road contests, including both this weekend at the OSU/Nike Challenge, 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 the men's soccer home page and access the live stats from there.

SAN JOSE STATE (1-0, 0-0 MPSF) at OREGON STATE (0-0, 0-0 PAC-10)
Oregon State has played a single exhibition tune-up ahead of this Friday night's season opener at home against San Jose State. The Beavers posted a 5-2 victory over Trinity Western at home on Sunday, August 23, playing two 45-minute halves, plus an extra 30-minute session.

The Beavers feature 2008 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Danny Mwanga, who struck for four goals a season ago. They went 6-9-4 overall and 3-5-2 in league play a year ago for a fifth-place finish in the six-team Pac-10. OSU returns four starters among 11 letterwinners, to mix in in with 14 newcomers.

Oregon State officially begins the Steve Simmons Era on Friday night. The first-year Beaver leader spent the past six years as the men's soccer head coach at Northern Illinois University. Simmons was 59-47-13 in charge of the Huskies, guiding them to an NCAA Championship berth in 2006.

SAN JOSE STATE (1-0, 0-0 MPSF) vs. HOUSTON BAPTIST (0-0, 0-0 ASC)
Sunday's meeting will be the first of two between the Spartans and Huskies this season, as San Jose State will still travel to Houston, Texas, for its second tournament of 2009 the first weekend of October. The Spartans open the Houston Baptist Tournament with the host Huskies at Sorrells Field on Friday, October 2. That match will also serve as a late home opener for HBU.

Houston Baptist began its season with a 2-0 neutral-site loss to Central Arkansas in Plano, Texas, on Tuesday, September 1. The Huskies, 10-6-1 in 2008, are members of the Atlantic Soccer Conference.

Steve Jones is 180-150-12 in his 16th season as the Houston Baptist head coach.

SPARTANS OPEN IN IMPRESSIVE FASHION AGAINST AGGIES
At Spartan Stadium on Tuesday night, September 1, San Jose State overturned a 1-0 first-half deficit and produced an impressive 4-1 victory in its 2009 debut over a UC Davis side that had earned at-large berths into the NCAA Championship in each of the past two seasons.

Four different Spartans scored in the game, with senior standout Nick Cukar providing the insurance to make it 3-1 with half an hour to go, after having set up the first two goals by drawing fouls. Fellow senior co-captain Oscar Monjaras tallied what proved to be the game-winner on a penalty kick in the 41st minute. Oscar Yniguez had earlier knotted the game with a perfect free kick into the lower right corner at 33:56, to offset an 18th-minute strike by UCD. Justin Castro's goal, with assists going to Josh Boemecke and Ricky Dorrego, capped the scoring with under three minutes to go. Both Monjaras' and Castro's goals were the first of their careers. A total of seven players made their Spartan debuts on the night, including Jonathan Lester, who drew the start in goal and made four saves in earning his first college win.

UPCOMING
Following the OSU/Nike Challenge, San Jose State will face a second straight weekend away from the friendly confines of Spartan Stadium. The team will head in the opposite direction as this week, playing first at LMU on Friday, September 11, and then at UC Riverside on Sunday, September 13.

STREAKING
San Jose State takes a five-match win streak and seven-match unbeaten run dating back to late last season, into this weekend's OSU/Nike Challenge. The Spartans concluded the 2008 campaign on a tear following four straight one-goal losses (two in overtime) to begin the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation slate. The streak included wins at Air Force and at home over UNLV, New Mexico and Sacramento State after a 1-0 home defeat of Air Force and a 3-3 tie at first-time MPSF champion Denver. The Spartans got off to a 1-0 start in 2009 with a 4-1 home triumph over UC Davis on Tuesday night, September 1. They have now also won five straight home contests since late in 2008, by a combined score of 12-3.

FOR STARTERS
With its 4-1 home defeat of UC Davis on Tuesday, September 1, San Jose State is now 6-3-1 in season openers and 5-4-1 in home openers this decade.

RESULT SIMILARITIES
San Jose State has posted back-to-back 4-1 victories in its last two regular-season contests, both at home, with the 2008 finale against Sacramento State (11/15), and the 2009 opener with UC Davis (9/1).

So far this year, the Spartans have surrendered the first goal in both matches they have played. In its lone exhibition match on August 28 against Cal State Monterey Bay, San Jose State went down 1-0 after five minutes, but stormed back for a 5-1 thumping. Facing the Aggies on Tuesday, September 1, the Spartans allowed an 18th-minute goal before rallying for four unanswered scores.