Albuquerque, N.M. - A headed goal just under two minutes into the first overtime period put San Jose State University down to a 1-0 defeat against four-time defending Mountain Pacific Sports Federation champion University of New Mexico in conference men’s soccer action at the UNM Soccer Complex on Friday night, October 10.
With its second straight 1-0 loss after a four-match unbeaten streak, San Jose State drops to 4-3-3 overall and 0-2 in the MPSF. New Mexico, a winner now of two consecutive shutout decisions, improves to 5-4-2 overall and 2-1 in league play. Both squads appeared in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/adidas Far West rankings, with the Spartans in 10th, two spots behind the Lobos.
At the 91:58 mark, a cross from senior midfielder Jack Smithson in front of the net was headed home past senior Spartan goalkeeper Lewis Sweeney by Justin Davis for the junior midfielder’s second goal of the season. Junior forward Stephen Brown was also credited with an assist. The Lobos had begun the extra session with a flurry, shots by freshman midfielder Michael Green and Brown going wide and being saved by Sweeney, respectively, in the first 90 seconds prior to the sudden-victory score.
The Spartans took the first two shots in the game, with an initial attempt by Efrain Burgos, Jr., blocked away for the night’s first corner kick, and Dan Addiego’s ensuing header forcing the night’s first goalkeeper save out of Lobo sophomore Eric Staver. Addiego, a redshirt freshman, made his first collegiate start on the San Jose State back line in place of senior Sam Shore.
The host Lobos produced their first effort on goal a short while later, when Sweeney got his hands on a shot by Brown.
The teams wound up even for the duration of the first 45 minutes at seven shots apiece, with one shot by each on goal accounting for the only saves from Sweeney and Staver. Burgos, Jr., led all players with four attempts in the half, including back-to-back efforts in the 42nd minute, when the sophomore’s long-range free kick was blocked by a defender, and he hit the rebound wide to the right.
New Mexico’s first corner kick of the night, taken by Davis in the 52nd minute, was headed by junior defender Simon Ejdemyr at the back post and saved by Sweeney. The action suddenly picked up from there, as the Spartans answered immediately with a counter-attack that resulted in a shot that went high from senior midfielder Hiroki Akiyama.
Sweeney went low to make a tough save less than a minute later on an attempt from the right side of the penalty area by Brown, and that was followed by a nice defensive play by Spartan right back Gavin Wenyon.
A second Lobo corner kick in the 69th minute, this one by Smithson, produced the same result, with Ejdemyr’s header getting collected by Sweeney.
San Jose State had arguably its best chance to score of the night at 75:53, when Addiego’s long throw-in from the left side reached Akiyama for a flashing header that appeared destined for the far netting, only for Staver to get a desperate hand on it and deflect it to a corner kick.
A shot by Burgos, Jr., in the 82nd minute went over the crossbar, with the native of San Bruno, Calif., fitting two more attempts into the final eight minutes of regulation. The first again went high. The second was saved by Staver and resigned the Spartans to the decisive overtime.
Sweeney finished with seven saves for San Jose State, while Burgos, Jr., provided a game-high seven shots. Akiyama added two shots. That duo, plus Addiego, accounted for the team’s three shots on goal. All three players remained in the game for the entire 92 minutes.
New Mexico ended up with the shot advantage on the night, 21-12. Brown and Davis led the way with four apiece. Staver collected three saves in picking up his third shutout of the year.
San Jose State now heads to Las Vegas, Nev., to conclude a season-long five-game road stretch against the UNLV Rebels on Sunday afternoon, October 12. Kick-off is at 1:00 p.m.
San Jose State (4-3-3, 0-2 MPSF) - 0 0 0 - 0
New Mexico (5-4-2, 2-1 MPSF) - 0 0 1 - 1
UNM - Justin Davis (2) (Jack Smithson, Stephen Brown), 91:58
SJSU - 12
UNM - 21
SJSU - 7 (Lewis Sweeney-7)
UNM - 3 (Eric Staver-3)
SJSU - 3
UNM - 4
SJSU - 7
UNM - 16