Bakersfield, Calif. - Striker Steven Sanchez scored his second game-winner in as many outings as the San Jose State men's soccer team (6-4-3. 3-2-0 MPSF) handed No. 19-ranked CSU Bakersfield (8-1-4, 4-1-0 MPSF) their first loss of the year, a 2-1 defeat on Sunday afternoon.
"This game, and really both games this weekend, were complete team wins," head coach Gary St. Clair said. "Anytime you go on the road and pick up six points, especially in this league, it's a tremendous accomplishment."
San Jose State is in second place in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation's Pacific Division with nine points, three behind Bakersfield. They trail only No. 6-ranked New Mexico (15 points) and Bakersfield (12 points) in the conference standings.
In the 47th minute, center-mid Diego Ochoa collected a long ball that Roadrunners' keeper Eric Shannon misplayed. Ochoa passed the ball on to Sanchez, who now leads the Spartans with four tallies. Sanchez slotted it in at the 46:13 mark for what would eventually be the game winner.
"We are playing with a lot of confidence," St. Clair said. "We're starting to score and put goals together. Plus, we've gotten good play from (keeper Jonathan) Lester."
San Jose State, who earned their first win over a ranked opponent and first consecutive conference road wins since 2009, struck first.
Just 6:32 in to the match, senior Craig Hertler collected a long flick from center-mid Roberto Casteneda and slotted it in from right on the door step of the 'Runners goal.
It was Hertler's second goal of the season and first since the opening game of the year. For Casteneda, he picked up his third assist of the year and joins Nick Cashmere and Dan Addiego atop the team's list in that category. Ochoa's assist on the Sanchez goal was his first and the first point of his collegiate career.
Bakersfield got the equalizer in the 11th minute off a direct kick by Lucas Dall'Orso.
For the day, the Spartans were outshot 17-to-13, but put 10 of their attempts on frame and twice found the back of the net. Lester made nine saves in earning his sixth win of the year (6-3-3) and moved within four of seventh-place Richard Mann (2005-08) on the San Jose State all-time saves. Mann made 185 saves in his career.
Cashmere led SJSU with six shots on the day. Hertler and Sanchez attempted three each. The game-winner by Sanchez was his team leading third of the year.
The Spartans continue conference play next Friday, October 23 at 5:00 p.m. as they host Air Force in Spartan Stadium.