Men's Soccer Opens WAC Play At CSU Bakersfield

Head Coach Simon Tobin will lead Greg Harte and the Spartans against CSU Bakersfield, where he coached for 27 years before coming to San José State.
Oct. 1, 2014

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San Jose, Calif. -  The San José State men's soccer team opens the 2014 Western Athletic Conference portion of its schedule with a match at CSU Bakersfield.  It was the home of first-year Spartans head coach Simon Tobin for 27 years and the match will be broadcast over the internet on

San José State (2-6-0)

at CSU Bakersfield (6-2-1)
Saturday, October 4, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
Main Soccer Field - Bakersfield, Calif.
Live stats and streaming video are available for free at

Fans can follow the action of all San José State home and most road contests by accessing the "Live Stats" feature on the men's soccer schedule page at  

Spartan Digital is your ALL-ACCESS passport to Spartan Athletics.  For live and recorded video and audio of San José State men's soccer home games, go to the SPARTAN DIGITAL link on the home page at

Keep up with all 19 San José State teams through social media sites Twitter and Facebook.  For Twitter go to @sjsuathletics and on Facebook become friends with Sammy Spartan.

Tickets for all San José State men's soccer home games are free for all SJSU students, faculty and staff with a valid Tower Card.  Adult tickets are $5.00, youth (12 years old and under) are $3.00 and any child wearing a jersey gets in for $1.00 on select match days.

Groups of 20 or more can purchase discounted tickets at $3.00 per person.  The Ticket Office opens one hour prior to kickoff at Spartan Soccer Field or can be purchased by calling the San José State Ticket Office at 408-924-SJTX (7589).

Spartan men's soccer fans who can't attend home matches have become used to seeing them streamed live on the Spartan Digital Network. 

This week, the NSCAA is broadcasting the SJSU vs. CSUB match on its digital network,  Spartan fans, who will not be making the trip, can view the game on their computers at and going to the game on the men's soccer schedule page.
In the 12 meetings between the Spartans and Roadrunners, six have occurred in Bakersfield.  In games on the Runners' Main Soccer Field the Spartans have a 4-2-0 record.  San José State has tallied 10 goals in those six matches and allowed six.  The last four meetings in Bakersfield (2-2-0), the games were decided by a single goal.  Both SJSU wins were by a 2-1 score while its two losses were both 0-1 outcomes.

The Spartans haven't won a conference opener since a 2-1 victory over Sacramento State in the 2009 season (MPSF).  That match was contested in San Jose.  The last conference opener which the Spartans won was in the 2006 season, a 1-0 defeat of Sacramento State in Sacramento, Calif.

Rory Knibbs (So., F, London, England) led the Spartans in goals in 2013 with eight tallies in 20 games.  In just eight matches in 2014 Knibbs has already found the back of the net four times and ranks fifth in the WAC in both goals and points (10).

Rory Knibbs' three goals and seven total points against UMass (9/2) tie him with UNLV's Salvador Bernal for single game highs  in the WAC this year.  Bernal did it against Bradley (8/31).

Knibbs also unleashed seven shots against UMass, also a single game high in the conference in 2014.

When the Spartans take the Main Soccer Field, it will be the first time in 27 years that Spartans head coach Simon Tobin will head to the visitors bench.  In 27 years as a men's head coach, all at CSU Bakersfield, Tobin has a 305-189-54 win-loss record.  In 1997 his squad won the NCAA Division II Men's Soccer Championship as part of eight NCAA Division I and II championship appearances for his teams. Of the seven conference titles he has guided his teams to, three were in the last four seasons (2010, 2011 and 2012) as the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation's (MPSF) Pacific Division winner. Tobin's teams posted .500 or better win-loss records 22 out of 27 seasons and 17 times won 10 or more matches in a season.

Jonathan Colunga (So, MF, Lindsay, Calif.) is a transfer from CSU Bakersfield, where he competed for the Roadrunners in 2013.  Colunga has played in seven games, leads the side with three assists and has established himself as the person through who the offense will flow.

When Simon Tobin agreed to lead San José State's men's soccer team, he became just the third head coach to lead the program since 1954.  Julius Menendez guided the Spartans for 36 years (1954-89) and compiled a 295-205-45 record.  Gary St. Clair was at the helm from 1990-2013, (24 years) and finished with a career record of 217-211-41. 

Against Massachusetts (9/2) Rory Knibbs (So., F, London, England) did what no Spartan has done since the 2000 season, he scored three goals in a match.  Knibbs' is the first San José State men's soccer player to accomplish the feat since Jorge Martinez scored four goals in the first game of the 2000 season.  His three tallies, all coming in the second half, led the Spartans to a 4-1 win over the Minutemen on Spartan Soccer Field. Knibbs was also in the first score of the game, with an assist on Ruben Want's goal in the 26th minute.

The Roadrunners enter the week with a 6-2-1 record  and sit atop the conference table.  Last week they lost in double-overtime 1-2 at Cal State Northridge before pounding Sacramento State 5-0.

In records since 1954, the Spartans hold a 7-5-0 advantage in the overall series.  In the last meeting between the programs, the San José State took a 1-0 decision in the semifinal match of the 2013 WAC Championship Tournament.

Simon Doherty, the reigning WAC Player of the Week, leads the Runners attack with a team-high six goals, an assist and 14 points.  Julian Zamora has five tallies and an assist for 11 points.  A total of eight players have found the back of the net for CSU Bakersfield.  David Velasquez leads the side with four assists.

Nicholas Clever has played the vast majority of the minutes in goal for the Runners.  He has allowed seven past his line for a GAA of 0.73, while stopping 22 (.759 save%).  His record is 6-2-1 and he has three clean sheets

Head Coach Richie Grant is in his first season leading the CSU Bakersfield program.   In 15 years at Memphis, he compiled a 135-116-22 record.

Freshman striker Eric Mendez scored an unassisted goal in the 77th minute and the Spartans defense made the goal stand up as the San José State men's soccer team defeated the CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners 1-0 on Friday night to advance to the championship match of Western Athletic Conference Tournament.

Mendez picked up a loose ball from 10 yards out and fired through a me-lee in front of the goal at the 76:08 mark. It is his first goal of the tournament and the year.

For the match, third-seed CSU Bakersfield out shot the Spartans 19-to-15, but in the first half each side attempted nine shots.  San José State, the sixth seed, got off to a quick start with three shots in the first four minutes, two of which reached Roadrunners' keeper Anthony Perez.

The best opportunity for the Spartans in the first half came in the 36th minute.  Andy Moya picked up a loose ball on the near right side and fired a ball across to the far post.  Perez just managed to parry the ball away and maintain a 0-0 score.

Coming out in the second half, the teams traded shots before Mendez put San José State up 1-0.  CSUB made a final push in the last 13 minutes taking five shots with three of them reaching Spartans' keeper Emmanuel Espinosa's line, but he turned them all away.

Espinosa made a total of seven saves in the win.  Ben Cowdrill led the Spartans shot output with four attempts.  Kyle O'Mahoney, Rory Knibbs, Jamison Loveless and Moya took two shots each.  Frankie Beauchamp, Thomas Ryan and Mendez got off a single shot each.

LAST TIME OUT - 0-3 (L) to San Francisco (9/28)
Starting from the kickoff, the San Jose State men's soccer team felt the pressure from the San Francisco Dons and dropped its non-conference finale 0-3 on Spartan Soccer Field.

San Francisco (5-2-1) out shot the Spartans in the first half, 11-to-5, and got on the board in the 18th minute.  The goal came from Davi Ramos after he took a cross from Manny Padilla and tucked it inside the right post for a 1-0 USF.

The Dons struck again at the 28:34 mark.  Miguel Aguilar picked up a loose ball 35 yards out, dribbled to just inside the 18 and scored to the top shelf against Spartans keeper Felix Petermann.  It was Aguilar's fourth goal of the season and the sides went to the half with USF holding a 2-0 lead.

SJSU's best chance to score in the first half came in the fifth minute when striker Rory Knibbs unleashed a shot from close on the right wing that sailed just over the crossbar and the open half of the goal.  Knibbs, the Spartans leading scorer, would play only 15 minutes before coming out of the match.

The Spartans (2-6-0) had the better statistical half in the second 45 minutes, but failed to crack the Dons defense. They had two dangerous chances, but couldn't get the ball on frame.  The first came on a corner kick from Uriel Ayala.  The ball was served into the six.  In a scramble in front of the net, Ruben Want was inches from tapping it into an open goal, but the ball was just out of his reach and was cleared by the Dons.

Andy Moya had the Spartans last good opportunity.  In the 57th minute his shot from close on the left wing was just outside of the near post.

San Francisco finished the scoring in the 72nd minute with a Jonathan Fabulich tally for the final score of 3-0.

Knibbs, in just 15 minutes of play led the team with two shots.  Want, Dylan West, Frankie Beauchamp, Victor Parra, Darren Sinclair, Moya and Eric Mendez attempted one shot each.  Petermann made two saves in the loss.  His record now stands at 1-3-0.

USF had four players with two shots led by Ramos and Aguilar.  Chase Hauser made three saves and earned the win.  His record is now 5-2-1.
The Last Meeting
San Jose State1
#2 CSU Bakersfield0
November 15, 2013
Colorado Springs, Colo.
Mendez's Strike Propels Men's Soccer To Championship Match
Freshman striker Eric Mendez scored an unassisted goal in the 77th minute and the Spartans defense made it stand up as the San José State men's soccer team defeated the Bakersfield 1-0 in the WAC Championship Tournament.