San Jose, Calif. - Striker Allen La Spina scored both goals for the San Jose State men's soccer team in a 2-1 victory over the Seattle University Redhawks on Friday night in Spartan Stadium. The win is head coach Gary St. Clair's 200th in his 22-year career at the helm of the Spartans.
"I have an overwhelming feeling of being blessed," St. Clair said. "I have had great coaches and players over the years. In all my years and all these wins, I haven't scored a goal or made a save, so I give all the credit to those players, coaches and the Lord."
San Jose State is now 4-3-3 overall, 1-1-0 in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) action. The Seattle University is 1-6-2, 0-2-0 in conference play.
La Spina, along with Nick Cashmere and Steven Sanchez, led the Spartans with three shots each. Two of La Spina's shots were on frame and both found the back of the net.
The Spartans controlled the game for much of the first half outshooting Seattle 7-to-1, but the teams went to halftime tied 0-0.
At the 54:08 mark, La Spina took a pass in the box from Cashmere. From eight yards to the right of the goal, he fired a shot high to the far post for the first tally of his Spartan career. San Jose State led 1-0.
Three minutes later Cashmere crossed a ball to Sanchez who was 10 yards in front of an open Seattle net, but Sanchez's shot went high. In the 72nd minute Omri Brinner hammered a ball from the top of the 18 that Redhawks' keeper Jake Feeney parried away to preserve the one goal margin.
Seattle University's Race Sciabica got loose down the right side with the ball at the 73:24 mark. He dribbled to just inside 16 yards and took a shot that Jonathan Lester, the Spartans keeper, made a diving save on.
But, in the 79th minute Seattle tied the match at 1-1. Mikey Ramos picked up a ball, dribbled to the top of the 18 and fired a shot low to the left side for his first goal of the year.
The teams went to overtime and at the 93:14 mark La Spina put the game away with his second goal of the game and his career.
"(Nick Cashmere) played me a through ball down the left side. The defender took a long step and turned which allowed me to drive to the end of the field. I took the shot with my left foot and scored."
The shot was from a very tight angle and sailed to the top of the goal at the far post.
"This feels awesome," La Spina said. "I can't believe I scored two goals. I have been waiting for so long for this. I've had a couple of assists here and there, but the goals just weren't coming. I was getting a bit frustrated. I talked with the coaches and they told me to keep doing what I was doing and the goals would come. I scored twice. We won. I feel great."
For the match San Jose State outshot the Redhawks 19-to-9 including 8-to-6 in shots on goal. Seattle was led by Marshall Kosaka who took three shots, all on frame.
Jonathan Lester made five saves for the Spartans and now has 157 for his career, which moves him into ninth place on the programs career-saves list.
San Jose State returns to MPSF action on Sunday, October 9 at 1:00 p.m. in Spartan Stadium. They host the No. 25-ranked CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners.