Men's Soccer To Host Broncos In Home Opener

San Jose State will be opening the 2007 home season this week with Bay Area rival Santa Clara University. The Spartans and Broncos have a long history in men’s soccer dating back to 1967. In those years, the two teams have battled each other to a near even series of 20-19-2.

The men’s soccer game against Santa Clara is the second match-up of the 2007-08 Rivalry Series. The Broncos currently lead the series with a 3-0 edge following a win in women’s soccer. With a victory Thursday, the Spartans could tie the yearly series at 3-3.

After the home opener, the Spartans will travel to St. Mary’s to face the Gaels. The two teams have met 24 times. San Jose State leads the series with a 16-8 advantage. In their last meeting, the Spartans came away with a 1-0 victory.

The Spartans are coming off of a 1-1 weekend following a win at UC Riverside and a loss to nationally-ranked UC Irvine. San Jose State shutout the Highlanders 3-0. Seniors Julio Gonzalez and Ismael Ibarra and freshman Efrain Burgos, Jr. each notched their second goals of the season.

Against the then-ranked No. 20 Anteaters, the Spartans battled into overtime before falling 3-2. San Jose State rallied in the second half to come back and tie the score at 2-2 before heading into overtime.

Following their return from St. Mary’s the Spartans will being a five-game homestand, including the start of conference play. San Jose State will host to two final non-conference games against Cal State Bakersfield and the College of Charleston before opening MPSF play with Sacramento State, New Mexico and UNLV.

The Spartans are currently tied for first place in the MPSF with a 3-2-0 overall record. San Jose State is tied with Denver. In third place is New Mexico, followed by UNLV, Air Force and Sacramento State.

SAN JOSE STATE (3-2-0)

The Spartans are currently 3-2-0 on the season. They are coming off of a 1-1 weekend with a victory over UC Riverside and a loss to No. 20 UC Irvine in overtime. SJSU will face No. 7 ranked Santa Clara on Sept. 20 before heading to St. Mary’s on Sept. 23. As a team, the San Jose State has tallied 12 goals and allowed nine. The Spartans’ 12 goals are just three shy of the team’s total for the entire 2006 season.

Senior Ismael Ibarra and sophomore Colby Moore lead San Jose State on offense. Both forwards have three goals and six points on the season. In goal, junior co-captain Richard Mann has started all but one game of the season thus far and has made 19 saves. He posted his 10th career shutout against UC Riverside last weekend.

he Broncos and Spartans have a long history in men’s soccer. The two schools first played each other in 1967 and SCU holds a slim 20-19-2 all-time edge in the series. Santa Clara is unbeaten in the last three meetings between the two schools, including a 0-0 tie in 2006.

San Jose State and St. Mary’s have met 24 times with SJSU holding a 16-8 all-time advantage. The two teams met last season in San Jose where the Spartans won 1-0. SMC has dropped its last six to SJSU.

SANTA CLARA (3-1-2)

Santa Clara picked up two ties last weekend against Bay Rivals, Stanford and California. On Sept. 14, Peter Lowry scored with 40 seconds left to help the Broncos earn a 1-1 tie with the Stanford Cardinal at Buck Shaw Stadium. SCU had two great chances in overtime to win the game, but neither chance found the net. Two days later, the Broncos split the points with Cal at Edwards Stadium in Berkeley in a 0-0 draw. SCU held the advantage in possession and shots, 18-7, but the Broncos could not put one into the goal, as the Bears held on for the tie. Freshman Kevin Klasila earned his first career shutout against the Bears.

Klasila had a memorable first start for the Broncos against the Cal Bears on Sept. 16. The U-18 national team goalkeeper recorded his first career shutout in the match against one of SCU’s biggest rivals.

Lowry tied the game against Stanford with his second goal of the season with only 40 seconds remaining. Throughout his career, he has been a clutch performer. Of his 15 career goals at SCU, nine have been game-winners.

Junior Jide Ogunbiyi had his three-game goal scoring streak snappedon Sept. 14 against Stanford. The junior forward had scored against Vermont, Brown and Boston University, but was unable to find the net against the Cardinal.

ST. MARY’S (2-2-0)

Saint Mary’s (2-2-0) took care of its lone contest of the week by dropping Wright State by the score of 2-1. Senior Erik Robert tallied the game-winner on his first collegiate goal. Junior Brian Siu tallied his first SMC goal in the first half.

Robert has had a stellar start to his senior campaign. The Inglewood native recorded his first career goal in impressive fashion by tallying the game-winner against Wright State on Sunday. On the season, Robert is tied for the team lead in points with three.

Senior goalkeeper Brian Mason continues to climb up the SMC record books. In three years in net, Mason has put together quite the resume. Mason ranks 1st all-time with a 1.27 career GAA and added another shutout to have 14.5 on his career. Mason moved to second all-time with 5373 minutes played in goal. Randell Smith (1983-86) leads the category with 5,530 minutes played. Mason ranks fourth all-time with 257 career saves, 13 behind Steve Reardon (1995-99), who ranks third all-time. The senior also sits second all time with 58 matches played and is tied for third with 19 wins in net. Smith ranks first with 67 matches played and Kellen Wilson (1999-01, 03) holds the mark with 22 wins.