Spartans At Sacramento State Looking For First Road Win

Johnathan Colunga ranks eighth in the nation in assists.
Sept. 9, 2014

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San Jose, Calif. -  After four matches in nine days, which included a 3,000+ mile road trip to Peoria, Ill., the San José State men’s soccer team has a “relatively” quite week with just one match.  The Spartans, in search of their first road win, play at Sacramento State on Friday.

San José State (1-3-0)

at Sacramento State (0-2-1)
Friday, September 12, 2014, 4:00 p.m.
Hornet Field - Sacramento, Calif.

Live stats are available for free at www.sjsuspartans.com

LIVE STATS
Fans can follow the action of all San José State home and most road contests by accessing the “Live Stats” feature on the men’s soccer schedule page at www.sjsuspartans.com.  

VIDEO STREAMING
Spartan Digital is your ALL-ACCESS passport to Spartan Athletics.  For live and recorded video and audio of San José State men’s soccer home games, go to the SPARTAN DIGITAL link on the home page at
www.sjsuspartans.com.

SOCIAL MEDIA
Keep up with all 19 San José State teams through social media sites Twitter and Facebook.  For Twitter go to @sjsuathletics and on Facebook become friends with Sammy Spartan.

MEN’S SOCCER TICKETS
Tickets for all San José State men’s soccer home games are free for all SJSU students, faculty and staff with a valid Tower Card.  Adult tickets are $5.00, youth (12 years old and under) are $3.00 and any child wearing a jersey gets in for $1.00 on select match days.

Groups of 20 or more can purchase discounted tickets at $3.00 per person.  The Ticket Office opens one hour prior to kickoff at Spartan Soccer Field or can be purchased by calling the San José State Ticket Office at 408-924-SJTX (7589).

COLUNGA AND KNIBBS IN TOP-10 NATIONALLY
In the first statistical rankings from the NCAA (9/8), Johnathan Colunga (So., MF, Lindsay, Calif.) and Rory Knibbs (So., F, London, England) are each among the top in the nation.

Colunga’s three assists are eighth best in the nation and lead the Western Athletic Conference.  He is also No. 24 in the nation, and third in the league, in assists per game (0.75).

Knibbs is ninth in goals (3), good for third in the WAC, and 13th in the nation in points (7). His point total ranks third in the conference.

Knibbs also ranks 32nd in goals per game (0.75) and 38th in points per game (1.75) among Division I strikers.

SPARTANS IN THE TOP-100 IN SIX STATISTICAL CATEGORIES
In the first statistical release of the season by the NCAA, San José State can boast a top-100 ranking in six of the 11 categories.

The side is 42nd in total goals (6), 57th in total points (16) and 60th in scoring offense (1.50g/game).  In addition, the Spartans rank 62nd in assists (4), and 76th in both assists per game (1.0) and points per game (4.0).

LAST TIME OUT
Stanford got one goal in the first half and another in the second to defeat the San José State men’s soccer team 2-0 on Saturday night in Cagan Stadium.

The Cardinal (2-1-0) controlled the play in the first half.  They created numerous dangerous chances in the first 20 minutes and broke through at the 24:09 mark.

Jordan Morris, who was called up the U.S. National Team this week, drove down the right side and dropped the ball back to Eric Verso who beat Spartans’ keeper Emmanuel Espinoza (Jr., GK, San Jose, Calif.) low to the left from inside the six.

“Morris is the best college player in the nation,” said Spartans head coach Simon Tobin.  “You play him with Zach Batteer and (Stanford) has the two fastest forwards in the country.  They are match winners, special players.  We gave Morris a couple of good looks and he came through for them.”

The Spartans (1-3-0) didn’t take their first shot, a header by Frankie Beauchamp (Sr., MF, San Francisco, Calif.), until the 30th minute and finished the half in an 8-to-2 deficit in that statistic.

“Stanford is prepped to win every battle,” Tobin said.  “They’re physically strong and very fit.  I thought we came out a bit tentative in the first half.  But, toward the last 10 minutes we saw a little shift in momentum and that continued into the second half.”

The Spartans did a better job of taking the game to Stanford in the second 45 minutes out shooting the Cardinal 9-to-8.
In the 51st minute, Greg Harte (Fr., F, Cork, Ireland) blasted a shot from the top of the 18, which went just wide of the diving Stanford keeper Andrew Epstein.

Then, in the 72nd minute, Victor Parra (Jr., F, Central Falls, R.I.) took a pass from Rory Knibbs (So., F, London, England), split two defenders and hammered a shot that Epstein first deflected and then collected to preserve the 1-0 score.

Harte had San José State’s last quality chance.  In the 83rd minute, he powered a shot from 25 yards out which Epstein had to dive to his right and save in order to maintain his clean sheet.

Stanford added the insurance goal in the 87th minute when Verso assisted on Morris’ first tally of the year.

The Spartans offense was led by four shots from Parra, two of which were on goal.  Harte had three shots, one on frame.  Beauchamp had two shots.  Enrique Montano (Sr., D, Salinas, Calif.) and Johnathan Colunga (So., MF, Lindsay, Calif.) had a shot each.

SCOUTING SACRAMENTO STATE
The Hornets, members of the Big West Conference,  enter the match with San José State with a  0-2-1 record.  Sacramento State has surrendered three goals in each of their three games this year.  Twice, at Temple and against Loyola Marymount, the team has fallen 0-3.  Their draw came at home, 3-3, against San Diego.  The Hornets are looking for their first home win and the Spartans are in search of their first road win of the year.

In records since 1954, San José State holds a 30-14-4 lead in the series.  In the seven matches since 2010 the Spartans are 2-4-1, with each of the losses coming in overtime, including a 0-1 double overtime result in Spartan Stadium last year.  The last meeting in Sacramento, in 2012, was a 2-1 SJSU victory.

Sacramento State has gotten individual goals from Chimdum Mez, Andres Garcia and Devante Raynor this year.  Mez leads the side with six shots.

Two players have seen time in goal for the Hornets with Philip Bru logging the most time.  In 200 minutes, Bru has a 2.70 GAA and has stopped 11 of the 17 shots that have reached his line.  He is 0-1-1. 

Head Coach Michael Linenberger is in his 26th season leading the Sacramento State program.  He brought a 168-248-51 career into the 2014 season.
The Last Meeting
Sacramento State1  
San Jose State0(2OT)
August 30, 2013
Spartan Stadium
Men's Soccer Falls In Double Overtime To Sacramento State
The Spartans and Sacramento State Hornets combined for nine yellow cards, 26 fouls and a 1-0 decision for the Hornets in each team's regular season opener.