Santa Clara, Calif. - Jonathan Salceda scored two second-half goals to go along with two assists and Steven Sanchez got the game-winner as the San Jose State men's soccer team took a 5-3 decision over Bay Area rival Santa Clara on Sunday night in Buck Shaw Stadium.
"My biggest strength is speed," says Salceda. "It was a bit of an unfair matchup against their left back. On the first goal, I knew if I got it past him he couldn't catch me."
That is just what Salceda did. Driving down the right sideline in the 68th minute, he turned the corner and from just outside the 6-yard box beat Santa Clara keeper Kendall McIntosh to the far post.
"It feels great to score and help the team," added Salceda. "That goal seemed to build our momentum."
Eleven minutes later, Salceda took a loose ball at midfield and bent a shot into the open net after McIntosh misplayed it after coming out of his goal. The Spartans (1-2-0) had a 3-1 lead at the 79-minute mark.
"I practice those types of shots in training," says Salceda. "I saw the opportunity, took it and it worked."
In the 82nd minute, Salceda again drove down the right side, turned the corner and sent the ball across the mouth of the goal to Steven Sanchez at the far post. Sanchez got turned around in the scrum for control, but was able to tap it in with his heal for what would end up being the game-winner. It was his seventh game-deciding goal in his last eight tallies, dating back to last season.
In the last seven minutes of play, Eric Mendez took a pass from Sanchez and beat MacIntosh one-on-one, tucking the ball inside the goal post for the Spartans fifth score of the match. It was the first goal of Mendez's Spartan career and came sandwiched between two Santa Clara (1-4-0) tallies from Erik Hurtado making the final score 5-3.
"It's just a big boost for our confidence," says Salceda of the Spartans first win of the season. "We have a lot of potential and can do damage if we put things together like we did tonight."
The Spartans were outshot in both periods. They ended the match with 10 shots to Santa Clara's 21, but San Jose State made the most of their opportunities.
"A lot of times, in the final third of the field, it isn't about tactics or coaching," associate head coach Ron Smare says. "It's just about players making plays and tonight we finished well. Our guys played with a tremendous amount of heart. They gave everything they had and wanted it more."
Santa Clara opened the scoring in the ninth minute off the foot of Carlos Montes. Dylan Murphy, getting his second goal in as many games, got the equalizer at the 37:15 mark off a throw in from Salceda.
Spartan keeper Michael Schwinn made eight saves, parrying several away on diving stops, en route to his first win for San Jose State. His record is now 1-2-0
San Jose State travel to Stanford for their next match Wednesday, September 12 against the Cardinal. Kickoff is scheduled 7:00 p.m.