Men's Soccer Travels South For A Pair

The San Jose State University men's soccer team loads up the bus on Thursday afternoon, September 10, bound for Southern California. The Spartans, now 1-2 in the early going, will look to bounce back from two losses at last weekend's OSU/Nike Challenge in Corvallis, Ore., when they step on the field against the Loyola Marymount University Lions (1-1) in Los Angeles on Friday evening, September 11. San Jose State then takes on UC Riverside (0-2) in the Highlanders' home opener on Sunday, September 13, at 2:30 p.m. That match will signal the end of a season-long four-game road stretch for the Spartans.


at UC RIVERSIDE (0-2, 0-0 BWC)

Live stats are available for all San Jose State home soccer matches, as well as for most road contests, at 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. Live stats on Friday against LMU are courtesy of GameTracker by CBS College Sports, but no live stats will be available for Sunday afternoon's match at UC Riverside.

San Jose State's game on Friday, September 11, at LMU, can be heard live on-line, free of charge, through and Stretch Internet. Air time is listed as 3:45 p.m. from LMU's Sullivan Field.

LMU is off to an even 1-1 start to the year following a 2-1 victory at San Diego State on Tuesday, September 1, and a 1-0 loss at Cal State Northridge on Sunday, September 6.

The Lions feature junior forward Rafael Baca, the first M.A.C. Hermann Trophy candidate in program history and a two-time All-WCC pick. Baca scored both of LMU's goals against San Diego State to overturn a 1-0 deficit. Senior Patrick Sampson, who along with Spartan senior Nick Cukar, is one of just two players from California schools who were included among 30 candidates nationwide for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award for men's soccer, is the Lion starter in goal (1.00 GAA, 10 saves).

San Jose State and LMU have not met since October 12, 2003, when the Lions took a 2-1 home decision. Prior to that in this decade, San Jose State won 2-0 at LMU on September 21, 2000, and LMU won 3-1 in San Jose on September 29, 2002.

LMU is 98-94-25 under 12th-year head coach Paul Krumpe.

SAN JOSE STATE (1-2, 0-0 MPSF) at UC RIVERSIDE (0-2, 0-0 BWC)
UC Riverside began the season with back-to-back one-goal losses at San Jose State's conference rival, Sacramento State (1-0), on Friday, September 4, and at Saint Mary's two days later, both as part of the Saint Mary's Tournament. Senior forward Jeremy Clay picked up UC Riverside's first goal of the season to open the scoring in Sunday's 2-1 overtime defeat at Saint Mary's. Senior David Lozano and freshman Chris Smith, both defenders, were named to the all-tournament team. Redshirt freshman Cody Suppe has played all 182:37 in goal for the Highlanders, with a 1.48 goals-against-average and nine saves.

Ahead of its home opener against the Spartans on Sunday afternoon, UC Riverside plays at another MPSF opponent in first-year member Cal State Bakersfield on Friday night, September 11, at 7:00 p.m. The Highlanders have dropped eight straight matches heading into Friday's contest, dating back to a 2-1 home triumph over then-seventh-ranked UC Davis on October 18, 2008.

This decade, San Jose State is 3-2 against UCR, including 1-2 in Riverside. The last time the two teams met, the Spartans posted a 3-0 shutout victory at UCR Soccer Stadium on September 14, 2007. Four current Spartans played in that game, with junior Ricky Dorrego assisting on the first goal. The Spartans have won two straight meetings since back-to-back Highlander home wins in 2002 (3-2 in overtime) and 2003 (2-1 in double overtime). In the first of those matches, the 2002 season opener, second-year San Jose State volunteer assistant coach Dan Benton played all 99:12 for the Spartans and made six saves.

Junior Gonzalez, a former national champion in 1997 as a player for the UCLA Bruins, is in his sixth season as the UC Riverside head coach.

San Jose State dropped both of its games at the OSU/Nike Challenge at Oregon State's Paul Lorenz Field in Corvallis, Ore., last weekend. The Spartans first lost to the host Beavers, 3-1, in their 2009 season opener under new head coach Steve Simmons, on Friday evening, September 4. Nick Cukar's unassisted goal made it a 2-1 game in the 57th minute, but San Jose State could not find the equalizer. Cukar had a game-high four shots. Tyler Newman made six saves in his college debut in net.

On Sunday, September 6, a late score at the 85:08 mark sent the Spartans down to a 1-0 defeat to Houston Baptist in the first of two meetings between the teams this season. Jonathan Lester was credited with one stop in goal. San Jose State opens 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.

Following the conclusion of the current four-game road stretch, San Jose State returns to Spartan Stadium to take on Notre Dame de Namur next Wednesday night, September 16. Kick-off is at 7:00 p.m.

San Jose State had a five-match win streak and seven-match unbeaten run, dating back to late last season, snapped at the OSU/Nike Challenge with a 3-1 loss to host Oregon State on Friday, September 4. 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.

The Spartans have still won five straight home contests since 2008, by a combined score of 12-3.

Nick Cukar had his streak of six straight regular-season matches with at least one goal, dating back to the 2008 season, snapped following the Spartans' 1-0 loss to Houston Baptist in Corvallis, Ore., on Sunday, September 6. Cukar has still found the back of the opposing net in five consecutive home matches. The Spartans were an undefeated 13-0-1 all-time in games in which he scores, prior to the OSU loss.

So far in 2009, a total of 10 players have made their first appearances for the Spartans. Eight of them, Nik Allen, Nick Carrara, Mauricio Murillo, Jr., Dylan Murphy, Nick Murphy, Tyler Newman, Christian Romero and Steven Sanchez, have made their college debuts, while Eric Angell and Jonathan Lester are sophomore transfers who previously played at Cal State Stanislaus and SMU, respectively.