Men's Soccer Preview:
San Jose State (7-5-2, 1-2-2 MPSF) heads east to the Rocky Mountains to face Air Force (4-9-0, 2-3-0 MPSF) on Friday, October 22 at 7:00 p.m. and Denver (5-5-3, 2-2-1 MPSF) on Sunday, October 24 at 2:30 p.m. The Spartans are currently third in the Pacific Division with a 1-2-2 conference record in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation standings.
Fans can follow both games via Live Stats at goairforcefalcons.com for Friday's match and SJSUSpartans.com for Sunday's match. Links can be found under the Live Stats button on the front page.
Scouting The Falcons:
Head coach Doug Hill enters his fourth season at the helm of the Falcons, coming off a frustrating 7-8-2 campaign that saw six one-goal defeats, including a shootout loss to Denver in the first round of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament. Seven of the 14 players that recorded at least one point last season return for the 2010 campaign. The Falcons split a pair at home this past week, blanking UNLV 2-0 on Friday, October 15, before losing late to New Mexico 1-0 on Sunday, October 17. Leading the way offensively are sophomore Kevin Durr and senior co-captain Kyle Moses. Durr, the only freshman to start all 17 games in 2009, is the team's leading scorer with three goals and seven points. Moses has posted two goals and seven points. Goalkeeper Matt Underwood holds a 1.77 goals-against average and a .714 save percentage.
The Series With Air Force:
Since the beginning of the 2000 season, the series between these teams is 11-4-1 in favor of the Spartans, including 5-2 in Colorado Springs. The Spartans won last year's meeting, 1-0, on a Dan Addiego strike. Ten meetings this decade, excluding a 1-1 tie in 2001, have been decided by one goal, with four overtime decisions and seven by the score of 1-0.
Scouting The Pioneers:
Denver advanced to the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament Semifinals in 2009, following a sixth-place, 5-10-4 season. Head coach Bobby Muuss returns for his fourth season bringing back five All-MPSF Pioneers, reining MPSF Newcomer of the Year Alex Tarnoczi, and first-team goalkeeper Joe Willis. Denver dropped a pair of 1-0 outcomes at home this past week, facing New Mexico on Friday, October 15 and UNLV on Sunday, October 17. Jarod Stigall leads the team in points with five goals and four assists. Goalkeeper Joe Willis (.909 Save Pct., 0.47 GAA) and Teale Stone (.735 Save Pct., 1.64 GAA) share the net for a combined 1095:00 total minutes.
The Series With Denver:
This decade, San Jose State holds a 9-7-1 series advantage, with a 5-3-1 lead in Denver. The Spartans beat the Pioneers at home in 2009, 1-0 in double-overtime. The Spartans last trip to Denver in 2008, ended in a 3-3 double-overtime draw.
Two Spartans Listed In Top 20 College Players To Watch:
Top Drawer Soccer lists weekly a "Conference Top 20 Players to Watch" list, and the most recent list (October 19) has two Spartans included. Senior Josh Boemecke ranked at No. 8 and senior Jonathan Lester ranked No. 10.
The 2010 MPSF Individual Statistics, through October 17, included Spartans' top performers. Senior Josh Boemecke shared the lead in total shots (42), points (14) and game-winning goals (3). Boemecke leads the conference in total goals (7) and goals per game (0.50).
Words From Head Coach:
"This is our most difficult trip of the season," explained head coach Gary St. Clair. "We are playing two very good teams who play very good at home. The conference is so good this year that it can arguably be the best on the west coast. Our first focus is at Air Force. We hope to get a great result and win both matches this weekend."
Last Week's Results:
San Jose State split a pair of 1-0 decisions, falling to CS Bakersfield on Friday, October 15 and defeating Seattle on Sunday, October 17 at home. Nick Cukar booted in the game-winner against the Redhawks in the 60th-minute on a cross from Dylan Murphy. Goalkeeper Jonathan Lester recorded nine saves in the complete game shutout.
SJSU will host two MPSF matches starting with UNLV on Friday, October 29 at 7:00 p.m. and New Mexico on Sunday, October 31 at 12:00 p.m. Sunday's match against New Mexico is a double-header with women's soccer, who will host Boise State at 2:30 p.m.