Davis, Calif. - San Jose State University allowed a pair of first-half goals in dropping a 2-0 decision to 29th-ranked UC Davis in non-conference men’s soccer action at Aggie Soccer Stadium on Sunday afternoon, September 14.
With the first defeat in its first road match of the season, San Jose State drops to 2-1-1. UC Davis, an NCAA Championship participant in its first official campaign as a Division I program in 2007 and currently the No. 29 team in the country according to College Soccer News, improves to 4-1 on the year.
After surrendering the two goals prior to halftime, the Spartans came out and registered eight shots to just five by UC Davis over the final 45 minutes, but could not make up the deficit.
San Jose State’s first shot of the afternoon came off the foot of Stephen Cordova at the 13:49 mark. The transfer out of City College of San Francisco earned his first major college start in the absence of fellow junior striker Colby Moore, as the product of Bellarmine Prep served out his one-game suspension due to a red card received in last Wednesday night’s dramatic, 1-0, double-overtime triumph over USF. Cordova’s shot went wide of the Aggie net.
Less than eight minutes later, UC Davis took the lead, with senior Sule Anibaba gaining credit for his second goal of 2008 and teammate Dylan Curtis getting the assist at 21:39.
The host Aggies doubled their advantage at 28:31 when senior striker Quincy Amarikwa tallied his fifth of the season off of a Curtis corner kick.
The Spartans were out-shot over the first 45 minutes, by the count of 9-3, with attempts coming from Cordova and sophomore midfielders Josh Boemecke and Efrain Burgos, Jr.
Spartan senior Lewis Sweeney and Aggie sophomore Ryan McCowan each played all 90 minutes in net for their respective teams and finished with two saves apiece.
Boemecke had a career-high three shots to lead San Jose State, while Cordova provided two shots. Each player had one attempt on goal, both coming in the second half.
The shutout was the first suffered by the Spartans this season, and the first since a 2-0 home defeat to South Bay rival Santa Clara on September 20, 2007, a span of 16 matches with at least one goal in all.
With his third two-assist game already this season and second in a row, Curtis, a senior, now has six on the year for the Aggies. Amarikwa collected a game-high five shots. Anibaba, Curtis and Miles Hadley added two apiece. UC Davis out-shot San Jose State on the day, 14-11.
“Today’s game was a tale of two halves for us,” said San Jose State head coach Gary St. Clair. “We did not match up very well individually with UC Davis in the first half. We played tentatively and poorly, and dug ourselves a hole. We made some adjustments at halftime, and were far better in the second half. We were unlucky to not score one or two goals.
“We never gave up after going down 2-0 early, and thus have some positives to take away from this game. We have work to do on our one-on-one defending and matching up individually with other teams, but we finished strong and that was very important for us today.”
San Jose State now returns home for two more non-conference matches this week against nationally-regarded Cal Poly on Thursday night, September 18, and Seattle on Sunday, September 21, with kick-offs at Spartan Stadium set for 7:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., respectively.
“Cal Poly is another top-20 team, another Big West (Conference) team (like UC Davis) and another big team,” concluded St. Clair about Thursday night’s match-up. “Davis is a hard place to play, with the heat, and the conditions of the field. It will be good to get back into Spartan Stadium, under the lights, and I have no doubt that our guys will be prepared to play.”
San Jose State (2-1-1) - 0 0 - 0
No. 29 UC Davis (4-1) - 2 0 - 2
UCD - Sule Anibaba (2) (Dylan Curtis), 21:39
UCD - Quincy Amarikwa (5) (Dylan Curtis), 28:31
SJSU - 11
UCD - 14
SJSU - 2 (Lewis Sweeney-2)
UCD - 2 (Ryan McCowan-2)
SJSU - 1
UCD - 5
SJSU - 14
UCD - 21