Men's Soccer Begins Postseason Push This Week

Scott Buskey and the Spartans host a pair of critical games for postseason seeding this week at Spartan Soccer Field.
Oct. 20, 2015

San Jose, Calif. – The San José State men’s soccer team begins its push for a Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Tournament bid this weekend playing the team just in front of them, UM-Kansas City, and the team they are tied with, Air Force, in the conference standings.

 

The Last Meeting
San Jose State0
UMKC3
November 13, 2014
Seattle, Wash.
Men's Soccer's Season Ends In WAC Quarterfinals
Spartans had a 16-to-11 advantage in shots, but UMKC made their opportunities count in defeated San José State 3-0.

The Last Meeting
San Jose State5
Air Force1
October 10, 2014
Colorado Springs, Colo.
Men's Soccer All Over Falcons In 5-1 Win
Spartans score four goals in the first half including three strikes in the first nine minutes en route to its first road win of the year.

San José State Spartans (4-9-0, 2-3-0 WAC)

vs.

UM-Kansas City Kangaroos (4-6-2, 2-2-1 WAC)

Friday, October 23, 2015, 2:00 p.m.

Spartan Soccer Field, San Jose, Calif.

Streaming video and live stats at www.sjsuspartans.com

 

vs.

Air Force Falcons (5-7-0, 2-3-0 WAC)

Sunday, October 25, 2015, 2:00 p.m.

Spartan Soccer Field, San Jose, Calif.

Streaming video and live stats at www.sjsuspartans.com

 

CRITICAL WEEKEND FOR THE SPARTANS

The top six teams in the WAC, at the end of the regular season, qualify for the conference tournament. Currently, the Spartans are tied with Air Force, Grand Canyon and Incarnate Word for the sixth spot. However, Grand Canyon and Incarnate Word are transitioning to Division I and are not eligible for postseason play.

The Spartans play UMKC on Friday, which with seven points sit one ahead of SJSU and then on Sunday host Air Force. With a pair of wins, San José State will go a long way to securing a bid to the tournament.

ABOUT SAN JOSÉ STATE

The Spartans battled a pair of ranked teams, in No. 24 Seattle and No. 3 in the NSCAA West Region, Utah Valley, last week, but ultimately lost both matches and find themselves in at tie for sixth place in the WAC standings.  

Rory Knibbs, one of three field players to start every match in 2015, leads the team in virtually every offensive category including shots (37), shots on goal (20), goals (8), game winners (4) and penalty kicks (2-for-3). Newcomer Alex Alcaraz tops the side with four assists. Keeper Felix Petermann played extended minutes at Utah Valley and the entire game at Seattle. His goals against average is 1.36 and his save percentage is .750. His record is 0-3-0.

 

Head Coach Simon Tobin is in his second season leading the Spartans and his 28th overall. His career record entering the 2015 season stood at 311-200-56.

ABOUT UMKC

The ‘Roos, with seven points, enter the week with a 4-6-0 overall record, 2-1-1 in conference action and are a point ahead of both the Spartans and Air Force for fifth in the WAC table. Last week, UMKC garnered four points by going on the road and earning a 2-2 draw at Houston Baptist before returning home and defeating UTRGV 3-2.

The ‘Roos have spread their 15 goals among nine players. Pandelis Popgeorgiev leads the side with eight points (3G, 2A). Wes White has also scored three times and has one assist. Felipe Cepeda has assisted on a team-leading three goals. Ryan Tome has played the majority of the minutes in goal (675:39). His goals against average is 1.87 and save percentage is .632. Tome’s record is 3-3-1 and he has one shutout.

Head Coach Rick Benben is in his 18th season leading the UNKC program. He brought a 124-158-35 career record into 2015.

THE SERIES

Friday’s meeting will be the fourth between these two programs with the series currently standing at 1-1-1. This will be the ‘Roos first visit to San Jose. The Spartans garnered a 3-1 result and earned a 1-1 draw in the first two meeting, both in Kansas City. The two met in the first round of the WAC Tournament last year in Seattle, Wash., and UMKC eliminated the Spartans 3-0.

ABOUT AIR FORCE

The Falcons enter the week ranked with a 5-7-0 record and are 2-3-0 in WAC play. Last week they split a pair of home matches defeating UTRGV 1-0 and then falling to Houston Baptist 2-1. The side is tied with the Spartans for sixth place in the WAC standings for the final bid to the WAC Tournament next month. Grand Canyon and Incarnate word also have six points, but are transitioning to Division I and are ineligible for the postseason.

Tucker Axhoj leads the team with four goals and a total of nine points. Gus Jensen has a team-high three assists. Keeper John Wendt has logged the majority of the minutes (756:59) this year, but Rob Blair has gotten the starting nod in the team’s most recent matches. His goals against average, in four games, is of 0.97 and his save percentage is .750. He has posted two shutouts and has a record of 2-2-0.

Head coach Doug Hill is in his ninth year leading the Air Force program. He brought a 57-78-19 career-record into the 2015 season.

Before the Falcons and Spartans meet on Sunday, Air Force is at CSU Bakersfield on Friday.

THE SERIES

This will be the 36th meeting between the Spartans and Falcons, with SJSU holding a 21-10-4 advantage in the all-time series. In games contested on the Spartans home field the SJSU are 10-3-2.