For video highlights of this game, click here, and under Sports Videos, navigate to the clip entitled Ryan Foran Sports: Sunday September 20.
San Luis Obispo, Calif. - Playing a man short for the better part of the second half, San Jose State University finally surrendered the decisive goal to break a 1-1 deadlock with just over 13 minutes to go in a 2-1 loss to Cal Poly in a non-conference men's soccer match in front of 1,468 at Alex G. Spanos Stadium on Sunday afternoon, September 20.
The result moves San Jose State's record to 2-5 as the Spartans drop to 0-5 away from home in 2009. Cal Poly improves to 2-4 with a second straight home defeat of a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation foe. The Mustangs, who reached the second round of the NCAA Division I Championship in 2008 for the first time in program history, blanked Sacramento State, 4-0, on Friday night, September 18.
An odd first half featured a pair of penalty-kick goals, one for each team, around the stadium sprinklers coming on several times, causing at least one short delay prior to the opening score.
Cal Poly was the recipient of the first spot-kick, with junior forward David Zamora finding the lower left corner as sophomore Spartan goalkeeper Jonathan Lester dove to the opposite side, for an early 1-0 advantage at 12:06.
In the 19th minute, a poor back pass from a Mustang defender hung goalkeeper Brett Finkelstein out to dry, with the freshman having to commit a foul on Colby Moore after the senior striker got into the passing lane. Oscar Monjaras put his shot into the lower right corner behind Finkelstein, for a 1-1 deadlock and the center back's third goal of the season, all coming on penalty kicks. He now shares the team lead with fellow senior co-captain Nick Cukar.
Cal Poly had a good chance to re-take the lead with over 11 minutes remaining in the first period. Zamora was the architect, but sophomore midfielder Evan Richter's diving header was off target. Jacob Hustedt's free kick from 25 yards away went wide to the right later in the half.
Redshirt sophomore midfielder Justin Castro's shot with less than two minutes left before the intermission, went narrowly high.
Twelve minutes into the second half, a Zamora flick set up fellow junior Ryan Anderson with a shot which Lester was able to get his hands on. Moments later, Hustedt went high with a shot.
The Spartans were forced to play the final 24 minutes short a man, due to a red-card ejection issued at 65:56 to Monjaras, who was judged to have committed a foul as the last defender, just outside the penalty box. Zamora put the ensuing free kick above the bar. Monjaras must now miss the next match.
In the 76th minute, Cal Poly had a go-ahead goal waved off for the second time in the match for offsides. The Mustangs had also seen a goal by Zamora disallowed in the first period.
The 10-men Spartans could not hold the home side off for much longer, however, as senior Daniel Cumming found the right-side netting over a minute later for a 2-1 Cal Poly edge. The goal was assisted by defender Patrick Sigler with a cross for the 2008 Freshman All-American.
Cal Poly came close to making it 3-1 with two minutes remaining when freshman Chris Gaschen connected with Tim White, but the junior's shot went just wide of the target.
Cukar and Ricky Dorrego had two shots apiece for the Spartans, with one each on goal. Lester was credited with two stops.
Zamora led the Mustangs with a game-high four shots on the afternoon, two of them on goal, including his penalty. Hustedt had three attempts, none on target. Finkelstein had two saves.
"This was one of those rare circumstances when the referee really has an influence and impact on the game," said San Jose State head coach Gary St. Clair. "We were forced to play a man down, and that posed a real problem for us. At 1-1, we had every opportunity to win it, but that's why this game can be a bit cruel at times.
"Having said that, I was extremely pleased with the fight, heart and effort our players put forward. Never once did they give in to the big crowd and the physical play. They just kept their minds on what they had to do. I was happy with our performance."
San Jose State plays a second straight road match against an NCAA Championship participant from a year ago when it heads up the freeway bound for Negoesco Stadium, home of the University of San Francisco Dons, on Friday night, September 25. Game time is 7:00 p.m.
San Jose State (2-5) - 1 0 - 1
Cal Poly (2-4) - 1 1 - 2
CP - David Zamora (2) (Penalty kick), 12:06
SJSU - Oscar Monjaras (3) (Penalty kick), 18:31
CP - Daniel Cumming (1) (Patrick Sigler), 76:56
SJSU - 8
CP - 17
SJSU - 2 (Jonathan Lester-2)
CP - 2 (Brett Finkelstein-2)
SJSU - 1
CP - 4
SJSU - 15
CP - 8