Men's Soccer Takes On Pair Of Old Area Rivals

The San Jose State University men's soccer team plays twice against old Bay Area rivals this week, both from the West Coast Conference. The Spartans, now 2-5 following, first travels up the freeway to Negoesco Stadium on the campus of the University of San Francisco (2-3) on Friday night, September 25. Kick-off is set for 7:00 p.m. as the Spartans look for their first win away from San Jose this season. San Jose State then hosts South Bay rival Santa Clara University (2-4), also in primetime, on Sunday, September 27, at Spartan Stadium, beginning at 7:00 p.m. San Jose State is a perfect 2-0 at home in 2009.



Live stats are available for all San Jose State home soccer matches, as well as for most road contests, at Just click on Live Stats under Live from the top menu bar on the front page. Fans can also click on Schedule/Results from the men's soccer home page and access the live stats from there. Live stats for Friday's match at USF will be available courtesy of GameTracker by CBS College Sports.

San Jose State's game on Friday night, September 25, at the University of San Francisco, will have live streaming video, with audio, on-line for free at The broadcast is courtesy of and Yahoo! Sports. Windows Media Player 9.0 (Win/Mac) or better, with a broadband connection, is recommended. The link is also accessible through

On Sunday night, September 27, against Santa Clara, will provide on-line audio coverage, free of charge, live from Spartan Stadium, with the first of several select Gold Zone broadcasts during the remainder of the 2009 men's soccer season. Former KSJS 90.5 FM sports director and current Spartan Athletics sports information assistant Shawn Murphy will call the play-by-play, with Harvey Rañola providing color commentary. Air time is 6:45 p.m.

SAN JOSE STATE (2-5, 0-0 MPSF) at SAN FRANCISCO (2-3, 0-0 WCC)
USF is coming off a pair of losses to two other Bay Area rivals, California and Stanford, last week during the 2009 Bay Area Soccer Classic. The Dons dropped a 3-0 decision at home to No. 7 California on Thursday, September 17, prior to suffering another shutout defeat, this time 1-0 in overtime, at Stanford on Sunday, September 20. They have now lost three in a row. Earlier in the season, USF pinned San Jose State's Mountain Pacific Sports Federation rival, New Mexico, with a rare home loss, getting an 87th-minute strike from senior forward Conor Chinn for the 1-0 triumph on Saturday, September 5.

USF, which took the 2008 WCC crown after a slow start that featured four straight 1-0 losses, and thus earned an automatic NCAA Championship berth, is favored to repeat its league title.

Chinn, the 2008 WCC Player of the Year and a 2009 M.A.C. Hermann Trophy candidate and preseason All-American, has five points from two goals and one assist, while fellow senior Jonathan Levi has two goals to go with two assists. Junior forward Bryan Burke has accumulated six points as well, from one goal and a team-best four assists. Freshman Brendan Roslund (1.29 GAA, 11 saves), who put together the shutout at UNM, and senior Franco Carotenuto (1.50 GAA, one save), have each seen time in the Don net.

During USF's poor early run a year ago, one of its 1-0 defeats came at Spartan Stadium, when San Jose State standout Nick Cukar tallied the dramatic game-winner in the 105th minute with the second overtime session nearing a close and a scoreless draw seeming imminent. These teams have played once each year this decade, with USF holding a 6-3 advantage, including 3-1 at Negoesco Stadium. San Jose State's last win in the City was a 2-0 affair on September 15, 2000.

Erik Visser, who garnered WCC Coach of the Year honors in 2008 for the third time in five seasons, is 81-69-11 in his ninth campaign in charge of the Dons. He is in his 32nd year in all at his alma mater.

SAN JOSE STATE (2-5, 0-0 MPSF) vs. SANTA CLARA (2-4, 0-0 WCC)
Like USF, Santa Clara also came away with a pair of losses during the 2009 Bay Area Soccer Classic. The Broncos were blanked at home by Stanford, 2-0, on Thursday, September 17, before getting pinned with a 3-1 loss at then-seventh-ranked Cal on Sunday, September 20. Santa Clara opened the year with a 3-2 double-overtime home loss to then-15th-ranked UC Irvine on September 1. The Broncos' last victory was a 1-0 decision at home over San Jose State's league foe, Sacramento State, on September 13.

Freshman forward Erik Hurtado leads Santa Clara offensively with five points from two goals and one assist. Eric Masch, out of San Jose's Bellarmine College Prep, and fellow sophomore defender Mykell Bates, also have two goals apiece. Sophomore midfielder Brandon Zimmerman has assisted on three scores. Larry Jackson, a freshman out of East Palo Alto, has played every minute in goal for the Broncos. He is 2-4 with a 1.62 goals-against-average, 14 saves and one individual shutout.

Santa Clara leads the all-time series, 21-19-3, since it's first year of intercollegiate soccer in 1967. The teams have met once each year this decade, with the Broncos holding a 5-2-2 advantage. They have split their past four meetings inside Spartan Stadium, though Santa Clara has won the past two matches in San Jose, each by the final score of 2-0, in 2005 and 2007. Last year, the result was a 1-1 draw after two overtimes at Buck Shaw Stadium on September 24. San Jose State's last win over Santa Clara was a 2-1 home triumph on September 23, 2003. SJSU is 0-3-2 against Santa Clara since then.

Former Bronco playing standout Cameron Rast is in his eighth season in charge at his alma mater.

On Wednesday, September 16, San Jose State ran past Notre Dame de Namur, 5-0, in its first home match since the September 1 opener against UC Davis. Five different Spartans registered goals, with Colby Moore and Ricky Dorrego each opening their 2009 scoring accounts, Nick Cukar providing his team-best third, and fellow senior co-captain Oscar Monjaras contributing his second penalty-kick strike in as many home games. Justin Castro capped the scoring in the 56th minute. Sophomore Jonathan Lester earned his first individual shutout in the Spartan goal without having to stop a single shot, as the Argos did not have an attempt on goal among their 11 total shots. San Jose State finished with 19.

The Spartans travelled to San Luis Obispo, Calif., over the weekend, and were edged by 2008 NCAA Championship second-round team, Cal Poly, 2-1. Monjaras had another goal from the penalty spot to knot the match at 1-1 in the first half, but later received a red-card ejection which forced the Spartans to play a man short for the final 24 minutes. Cal Poly eventually took advantage with a 77th-minute goal.

After this weekend's games, San Jose State heads to Houston, Texas, for the Houston Baptist University Tournament. The Spartans will take on the host Huskies of HBU for a second time this season on Friday, October 2, prior to facing Howard University two days later.

San Jose State is a perfect 2-0 through its first two home matches on the new FieldTurf inside Spartan Stadium this season, out-scoring then-24th-ranked UC Davis and NCAA Division II program Notre Dame de Namur, 9-1, in those contests. Conversely, however, the Spartans have struggled outside of San Jose. They enter this Friday night's match at USF still searching for a road victory, now 0-5 away from home, having managed just three goals over 450 minutes of play.

Entering this Sunday night's match with Santa Clara, the Spartans have won six straight home contests since 2008, by a combined score of 17-3. San Jose State had a five-match win streak and seven-match unbeaten run, dating back to late last season, snapped at the OSU/Nike Challenge with a 3-1 loss to host Oregon State on Friday, September 4. The Spartans concluded the 2008 campaign on a tear following four straight one-goal losses (two in overtime) to begin the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation slate. The streak included wins at Air Force and at home over UNLV, New Mexico and Sacramento State after a 1-0 home defeat of Air Force and a 3-3 tie at first-time MPSF champion Denver. The Spartans got off to a 1-0 start in 2009 with a 4-1 home triumph over UC Davis on Tuesday night, September 1.

Nick Cukar has found the back of the opposing net in six consecutive home matches, with seven strikes in those contests. He had his streak of six straight regular-season matches with at least one goal, dating back to the 2008 season, snapped following the Spartans' 1-0 loss to Houston Baptist in Corvallis, Ore., on Sunday, September 6. The Spartans were an undefeated 13-0-1 all-time in games in which he scores, prior to the OSU loss, and are now 14-1-1.