San Jose, Calif. The stellar defense of the San Jose State University men’s soccer team earned the Spartans their second-straight victory of the week on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 30. The Spartans, and goalkeeper Lewis Sweeney, picked up their second shutout of the week with a 4-0 win over the Cougars of the College of Charleston. Two goals by Nick Cukar helped earned the victory that improves the Spartans’ record to 5-4-0 on the season while the Cougars drop to 6-2-1.
San Jose State recorded three goals in the game, but it was defense that won the game. Sweeney made seven saves on the day while the team recorded three. Junior Gavin Wenyon made two saves for the Spartans on crucial play in the first half. The Cougars were looking to tie the game when Zach Prince and Kareem Yearwood attacked the San Jose State goal. Prince took the first shot that was saved by Sweeney. Prince’s second shot of the attacked rolled passed Sweeney, but was saved by Wenyon. The deflection of Wenyon’s save found an open Yearwood whose first shot was saved by Wenyon and his second shot stopped by Sweeney.
“He was in the right place at the right time,” said head coach Gary St. Clair regarding Wenyon. “I feel like we were due for that kind of stuff to happen for us. Performance was excellent from each and every player. We are developing competition in every position.”
The Cougars’ assault on the goal continued throughout the game as the team recorded 21 shots on the day, but it was the Spartans who found success on offense.
Cukar opened the game with his third goal of the season at the 4:50 mark of the game. Senior Ismael Ibarra took the initial shot of the play, hitting the post. Cukar scooped up the deflection and scored on the open net to give the Spartans a 1-0 lead.
The remainder of the first half was all about defense. The Cougars took 11 shots on the Spartans, two of which were on goal. San Jose State’s offensive attacks continued as they took seven shots in the half, but did not find the back of the net again until the second half.
Ibarra tallied the Spartans’ second goal at the 54:18 mark. The senior accepted a pass from classmate Savio Carrijo and found the lower right corner from the top of the box.
Cukar and Ibarra teamed up for the team’s third goal of the game at the 76:09 mark. Ibarra took a shot that was saved by the Cougars’ goalkeeper Corbin Waller and bounced back into play. Cukar settled the ball and notched his second goal of the game.
The fourth goal of the game came in the final minutes of play. Junior Sam Shore served the ball up to a streaking Julio Gonazalez who found the back of the net from 10 yards out.
This was the third shutout of the season for the Spartans. The team blanked the Highlanders and UC Riverside earlier in the season and the Roadrunners of CS Bakersfield earlier this week.
The Spartans are back in action on Sunday, Oct. 7 when they host Sacramento State in their Mountain Pacific Sports Federation opener. The game is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. in Spartan Stadium.
COFC (6-2-1) vs. San Jose State (5-4-0)
Date: Sep 30, 2007 Attendance:
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
COFC................ 0 0 - 0
San Jose State...... 1 3 - 4
1. 4:50 SJSU CUKAR, Nick (3) (IBARRA, Ismael) - shot by 9 from right side, hit right post, deflect to 13
2. 54:18 SJSU IBARRA, Ismael (4) (CARRIJO, Savio) - shot from the top of the box to the lower right corner
3. 76:09 SJSU CUKAR, Nick (4) (IBARRA, Ismael)
4. 88:23 SJSU GONZALEZ, Julio (SHORE, Sam) - 3 serves ball up to 16 who breaks down middle
SHOTS: COFC 21, San Jose State 20
SAVES: COFC 8 (Corbin Waller 8), San Jose State 10 (SWEENEY, Lewis 7; Team 3)