Men's Soccer To Play At Santa Clara, CSUB

THIS WEEK - SPARTANS HEAD TO SANTA CLARA, CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD
The San Jose State University men’s soccer team takes to the road this week for a pair of matches. Having played seven of their first eight games of 2008 at home, including two exhibition victories, the Spartans now face a season-long five-game road stretch.

The run of road activity begins at top area rival Santa Clara University this Wednesday night, September 24. Kick-off at Santa Clara’s Buck Shaw Stadium, renovated prior to this season due to the arrival of the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer, is set for 7:00 p.m. in this latest installment of the annual rivalry between the two South Bay programs.

Santa Clara, the perennial national and West Coast Conference power, began the year as high as fifth in the national polls, but has struggled with a road-heavy schedule out of the gate. The Broncos will enter Wednesday’s game at 1-4-1, coming off a 2-0 loss at UCLA on Saturday, September 20, while the Spartans are 3-1-2, having dropped their only road contest thus far in 2008, 2-0 at UC Davis on Sunday, September 14.

On Sunday, September 28, San Jose State travels to Bakersfield, Calif., to take on Cal State Bakersfield in a 1:00 p.m. match that will serve as the Roadrunners’ home opener at Main Soccer Field. The date with the Runners will mark a second Sunday in a row in which the Spartans will battle a new member of the NCAA Division I and a future Mountain Pacific Sports Federation foe. San Jose State defeated Seattle at home, 2-1, on Sunday, September 21. Seattle and Cal State Bakersfield each join the MPSF for the 2009 campaign, with all teams scheduled to play each other once during the regular season in a new, single round robin schedule format.

GAME #7
SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY (3-1-2, 0-0 MPSF)
at SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY (1-4-1, 0-0 WCC)
BUCK SHAW STADIUM, SANTA CLARA, CALIF.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 7:00 P.M.

GAME #8
SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY (3-1-2, 0-0 MPSF)
at CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD (2-6)
MAIN SOCCER FIELD, BAKERSFIELD, CALIF.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 1:00 P.M.


AUDIO/VIDEO
Live audio and video of the Santa Clara-San Jose State match on Wednesday night, September 24, will be available on a paid subscription basis ($6.95 monthly) through Broncos All-Access. The registration page can be accessed through SJSUSpartans.com.

LIVE STATS
Live stats are available free of charge for all San Jose State men’s and women’s soccer matches played inside Spartan Stadium throughout the 2008 season at SJSUSpartans.com. Just click on Live Stats under Live from the top menu bar on the front page. Fans can also click on Schedule/Results from each soccer home page and access the live stats from there. Links are also made available at the same locations for live stats for most road contests, including the Santa Clara and Cal State Bakersfield matches this week, the former courtesy of CSTV GameTracker.

AKIYAMA BICYCLE KICK HIGHLIGHTS UNDEFEATED WEEK
San Jose State went an undefeated 1-0-1 at home against tough Far West Region foes Cal Poly and Seattle last week. The Spartans first drew with Cal Poly, 2-2, on Thursday night, September 18, getting a goal from the penalty spot from Ed Brand with just under a minute left in regulation. Nick Cukar gave his side a 1-0 lead at 12:55 off an assist from Hiroki Akiyama.    

Akiyama scored the spectacular opener in the 2-1 defeat of Seattle on Sunday afternoon, September 21, on a rare bicycle kick at 33:15, with Stephen Cordova earning credit for an assist. The goal that proved to be the game-winner also came in highlight-reel fashion, this one serving to open Efrain Burgos Jr.’s scoring account for his sophomore season, on a laser into the corner from distance at 56:57. Boyah Kaar picked up his first collegiate assist on the play, having made the first start of his college career at left back in place of Oscar Monjaras, who is expected to miss the next several weeks. Burgos shared the game high with Cordova at four shots apiece against Seattle, after firing a single-game career-high 13 shots at the Cal Poly goal three nights before.

Lewis Sweeney produced five saves over 178 minutes in goal, while fellow senior Richard Mann made his 2008 season debut against Seattle and had a critical stop late to preserve the win.

HEAD COACH GARY ST. CLAIR ON...
...the Santa Clara match:
“Santa Clara has struggled away from home (so far this year), but they won’t be away from home on Wednesday night. We’ll enjoy this (Seattle victory) a little bit, and then we’ll go back to work. That game, I don’t care what the records say. In 2006, we had a team that was not our best, but we went over there and tied them, and that was an excellent Bronco team, so the records mean absolutely nothing to this group of people. We have to go over there on Wednesday and get a result, and that is what we are going to try to do.”

SAN JOSE STATE (3-1-2, 0-0 MPSF) at SANTA CLARA (1-4-1, 0-0 WCC)
San Jose State will be playing its second road match and Santa Clara just its second home game of the 2008 season when the rivals meet on Wednesday night, September 24. The Broncos, ranked as high as No. 1 in the nation by one poll (Top Drawer Soccer) in the preseason, is 1-4-1 with a 2-1 win over Wisconsin-Milwaukee (9/7) on the second day of the Middleton Sports & Fitness Invite in Madison, Wis., and a 1-1 draw in its home opener with then-fourth-ranked California on Friday, September 12.

Santa Clara is the second of two members from the always-tough West Coast Conference that the Spartans will face this season. San Jose State previously knocked off USF at home in double overtime, 1-0, on a Nick Cukar goal at 104:24. SCU is favored to win the WCC in 2008.

The Broncos are led by junior midfielder Jeff Cosgriff, who has six points from two goals and two assists. Forward Brian Martin has added a pair of goals, while fellow senior Kevin Klasila (1.38 GAA, 10 saves) and sophomore Jeremy Del Re (2.63 GAA) have each seen time in goal.

These teams, fellow members of the Pacific Soccer Conference (PSC) at one time in the 1980’s, have met once each season for at least 25 years since 1983, with Santa Clara holding a 21-19-2 all-time series edge. The first documented meeting took place in 1967. The Broncos will make a rare entrance into the annual contest unranked nationally. Information on when that last occured, was not available at press time. Santa Clara has also now fallen out of the NSCAA/adidas Far West Region poll following its defeat at the hands of the Bruins.

San Jose State has not beaten Santa Clara since a 2-1 decision inside Spartan Stadium on September 23, 2003, going 0-3-1 over the past four years. The Spartans have failed to score against the Broncos in their last three meetings, since then-third-ranked Santa Clara edged San Jose State, 2-1, at Buck Shaw on September 16, 2004, on a 50th-minute Spartan own goal that broke a 1-1 deadlock. Current first-year Spartan volunteer assistant coach Dan Benton made one save over 90 minutes in goal that day for SJSU.

San Jose State last won at Buck Shaw on October 15, 1985, 1-0, and has gone 0-10-1 there and been out-scored 33-6 in those 11 games since. The lone tie came in the Spartans’ most recent appearance at Santa Clara, a scoreless affair against a Bronco side that was ranked 15th nationally at the time, two seasons ago on September 22, 2006. Santa Clara out-shot San Jose State in that one, 23-8, and earned 18 corner kicks to just two by the Spartans over the 110 minutes, but senior tri-captain Richard Mann made eight saves, just one off his single-game career high, in goal to help shut them out.

In last year’s contest on September 20, two goals within the first 20 minutes by All-American Peter Lowry sent the No. 7 Broncos on to a 2-0 victory in front of a season-high home crowd of 952 at Spartan Stadium. Mann and Klasila each made four saves in their respective goals.

On September 29, 2005, then-eighth-ranked Santa Clara tallied a goal in each half for a 2-0 shutout. Mann, then a redshirt freshman, made six saves in goal for San Jose State, with seniors Ed Brand and Gavin Wenyon also starting the match. Hiroki Akiyama made his college debut off the bench that day, and has played in all 55 games since.

Besides 2004, the Spartans also came close to tipping the Broncos on their home turf in 2001 on November 14. Benton made three saves and San Jose State took a 1-0 lead at 87:35 on a Lars Lyssand goal, only to see the hosts tie it with just 34 seconds left in regulation, and win it 7:38 into the first overtime period, 2-1. In a second straight date there, Santa Clara posted a 2-0 home shutout on September 19, 2002. In the first meeting of the century, on October 8, 2000, San Jose State blanked the Broncos inside Spartan Stadium, 2-0, thanks to second-half goals by Ryan Suarez and Isaias “Chi” Bardales, Jr., both of whom went on to play in Major League Soccer.

Former Bronco playing standout Cameron Rast has produced an overall record of 84-33-18 in six-plus seasons in charge at his alma mater.

SAN JOSE STATE (3-1-2, 0-0 MPSF) at CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD (2-6)
Cal State Bakersfield is coming off a 1-0 loss at Gonzaga on Sunday, September 21, and has played each of its first eight matches away from home. The Runners’ wins have come over Cal State Northridge (3-2 OT) and Oregon State (1-0) on neutral fields.

This is the second year that Cal State Bakersfield is playing a Division I schedule after leaving Division II and the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). Manny Guzman and Towa Manda have tallied two goals apiece for the Runners. A third senior, Steve Trojanowski, has seen a bulk of the minutes in goal, and has a 2.11 goals-against-average with 38 saves and the shutout over Oregon State. Sophomore defender Wayne Lampart has a team-best three assists.

San Jose State and CSUB have had one common opponent thus far, with both losing at No. 21 UC Davis, the Spartans by the final of 2-0 and the Runners by just one goal at 1-0. CSUB also lost at the Spartans’ MPSF foe, Sacramento State, 1-0, to open the season.

On September 26, 2007, San Jose State blanked the Runners at Spartan Field, 2-0, behind goals by Ed Brand on a 48th-minute penalty kick and Colby Moore with the clincher off a Nick Cukar assist in the 81st. Lewis Sweeney made five saves to earn his first major college shutout in goal for the Spartans. Trojanowski stopped five shots and Manda had a game-high five scoring attempts for Cal State Bakersfield in the only previous match all-time between the sides.

The Runners still travel to play Big West Conference teams Cal Poly and No. 23 UC Irvine on Wednesday, September 24, and Friday, September 26, respectively, before hosting SJSU.

Cal State Bakersfield head coach Simon Tobin has compiled an overall record of 254-151-37 in his 21-plus seasons in charge of the Roadrunner men’s program.