Men's Soccer Heads To UC Riverside, UC Irvine

The Spartans will travel south to UC Riverside and UC Irvine this weekend to battle two strong teams in non-conference play. San Jose State will open the weekend with UC Riverside at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 14. On Sunday, Sept. 16, the Spartans will take on No. 20/24 UC Irvine. The Anteaters are the first ranked team the Spartans will play this season.

San Jose State is coming off of a tough loss to the Dons of San Francisco in their lone game of the week. The Spartans held an early lead in the game, but fell late in the first half. The Dons extended their lead at the start of the second half before the Spartans cut the lead to within one with less than five minutes to play.

Following the team’s trip south, they will return to San Jose for their first home game on Thursday, Sept. 20. The Spartans will play host to local rival, Santa Clara at 7:00 p.m.. The Broncos are currently ranked No. 8 in the country.

SAN JOSE STATE (2-1-0)

The Spartans are coming off of their first loss of the 2007 season. San Jose State fell to the Dons of USF on Sunday, Sept. 9 on the Dons’ home turf, 3-2. The loss brings the Spartans’ record to 2-1-0 on the season.

Heading into this weekend’s games, the Spartans are currently tied for first place in the MPSF. Their 2-1-0 record matches that of Denver. The Spartans rank above No. 24 New Mexico who stands in third place with a 2-2-0 record so far this season.

Currently leading the Spartans in points are Nick Cukar and Colby Moore. Both sophomores have notched two goals this season. Cukar is the reigning MPSF Player of the Week following his two goals at Davidson to open the season. Moore notched a goal at Davidson and also scored the final goal at USF.

Leading the team in shots is freshman Efrain Burgos, Jr., with The rookie has started all three games of the season and has taken 15 shots.

In goal, junior co-captain Richard Mann has played every minute of the last three games. He has made 15 saves and has allowed only six goals.

UC RIVERSIDE (3-1-0)

UC Riverside will be hosting the Spartans on the new TigerTurf of UCR Soccer Stadium on Sept. 14 at 3:00 p.m. The Highlanders are 3-1-0 on the season. They’ve posted two shutouts so far this season, including one against No. 21 San Diego State.

For his defensive efforts, UCR’s goalkeeper Charles Alamo was named the Big West Player of the Week. Alamo posted his 11 and 12th career shutouts last week.

The Highlanders competed in the Mercer Tournament last week, posting a 1-1 record over the weekend. UCR fell to Mercer in the opening game, 2-1, before posting a win against Alabama A&M. Aaron Hunter posted the lone goal of the Highlanders 1-0 win over the Bulldogs.

After hosting the Spartans, the Highlanders will host Sacramento State on Sunday, Sept. 16.

UC IRVINE (3-0-0)


UC Irvine will then host San Jose State in non-conference play Sunday at 2:00 p.m. in the second match of another doubleheader with the UCI women at Anteater Stadium. The Anteaters have been ranked 20th in the country by College Soccer News and 24th by Soccer America. The team is ranked sixth in the Far West region by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

The Anteaters shut out CSU Bakersfield 3-0 in their lone match of the week. Senior Brandon Foster scored the eventual gamewinner on his first career goal. Freshman Spencer Thompson scored the first goal of his career and freshman Amani Walker added another goal in the win. Freshman keeper Pat Barton had six saves as he earned his third straight shut out.

Junior midfielder Matt Murphy has been named Pre-Season Third Team All-America by College Soccer News. Murphy was the Big West Midfielder of the Year in 2006 after leading the Anteaters with 25 points. Murphy has 39 points, 15 goals, nine assists and seven game-winning goals in his career.

Murphy and Amani Walker lead the team with four points on two goals. Spencer Thompson and Shane Westbrook are tied for third with three points. Keeper Pat Barton has 14 saves and a 0.00 goals against average and three shutouts.