Men's Soccer Has Redemption On Its Mind This Week

Johnathan Colunga leads the WAC and the Spartans in assists.
Oct. 21, 2014

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San Jose, Calif. -  After suffering its worst defeat of the season, a 1-5 result at CSU Bakersfield on October 4, the San José State men's soccer team seeks redemption against the Roadrunners on Sunday afternoon on Spartan Soccer Field.

San José State (4-8-1, 2-2-1 WAC)

vs. CSU Bakersfield (8-5-1, 2-3-0 WAC)
Sunday, October 26, 2014, 3:00 p.m.
Spartan Soccer Field - San Jose, Calif.
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Tickets for all San José State men's soccer home games are free for all SJSU students, faculty and staff with a valid Tower Card.  Adult tickets are $5.00, youth (12 years old and under) are $3.00 and any child wearing a jersey gets in for $1.00 on select match days.

Groups of 20 or more can purchase discounted tickets at $3.00 per person.  The Ticket Office opens one hour prior to kickoff at Spartan Soccer Field or can be purchased by calling the San José State Ticket Office at 408-924-SJTX (7589).

Johnathan Colunga (So. MF, Lindsay, Calif.) has seven assists in 12 games this season.  That's a 0.58 assist per game average.  Both the seven assists and 0.58 assists per game are tops in the WAC through eight weeks of competition.  

Nationally, Colunga ranks eighth with his 0.58 assists per game and 12th in total assist (7)

At his current pace, he would end the regular season with 10 assists and become just the fifth Spartan to reach double-digit assists in a season since 1990.  The last to reach the milestone in assists for SJSU was Lars Lyssand.  He had 10 in the 2001 season.

Colunga tops the WAC with four assists in league play and among players who have played at least three conference games, is the leader in assists per game at 0.80.

When the Spartans and `Runners kickoff on Sunday, the match will feature the two top scorers in the Western Athletic Conference.  Spartan Rory Knibbs (So., F, London, England) and CSU Bakersfield's Julian Zamora have each scored eight goals.  The only thing separating the two snipers is that Knibbs has scored his goals in one less game than Zamora.

Knibbs' 18 points (8G, 2A) are one better than Zamora (8G, 1A) and Knibbs leads in goals per game 0.62-to-0.57.

After its victory over the Spartans in Bakersfield to open the WAC schedule, the Roadrunners record stood at 7-2-1 and they were at the top of the conference table.  However, since that meeting they are just 1-3-0 and have lost their last three in a row, including two at home.

On the other hand the Spartans are 2-1-1 since that meeting and have gone from the bottom of the standings to a game in front of the `Runners in the WAC standings.

With eight goals this season, Rory Knibbs (So., F, London, England) ranks as the most dangerous strikers in the WAC and the nation.

Knibbs is tied for the lead in the conference in goals and is first in points with 18.  Nationally he ranks 17th in total goals and 23rd in goals per game.  He is 28th in total points and his 1.38 points per game is the 37th best in the nation.

In 2013, San José State led the Western Athletic Conference in both fouls (302) and yellow cards (44).  However in 2014, under first year head coach Simon Tobin, the Spartans are on the opposite end of the rankings in yellow cards and much improved in fouls committed.

Through 12 matches, the Spartans have only been booked 10 times for yellow cards, by far the fewest in the league, and are the only side in the WAC that are being issued less than a card a match. In three weeks of conference action, San José State has only been booked twice.

The team ranks sixth among the 10 teams in the WAC for fouls committed.  Being ranked first means you have committed the most fouls.  The Spartans have been whistled for 139 fouls through 11 matches.  That's 46 fewer fouls committed than through 11 games last year.

The Roadrunners enter the week with an overall record of 8-5-1, 2-3-0 in WAC play. They sit on spot below the Spartans on the league table.  Last week they hosted and dropped games to Houston Baptist and Incarnate Word.  CSUB is 3-2-0 in road contests this season and have dropped two of their last three away from home.

In records since 1954, the Spartans hold a 7-6-0 advantage in the overall series.  In the last meeting between the programs, the San José State was hammered 5-1 in Bakersfield earlier this month.

Julian Zamora has eight goals and an assist for a team-leading 17 points.  Simon Doherty is right behind Zamora with six tallies and four assists for 16 points,  David Velasquez leads the side with five assists.

Nicholas Clever has played the vast majority of the minutes (1212:20) in goal for the Runners.  He has allowed 14 past his line for a GAA of 1.04, while stopping 42 (.750 save%).  His record is 8-4-1 and he has four clean sheets

Head Coach Richie Grant is in his first season leading the CSU Bakersfield program.   In 15 years at Memphis, he compiled a 135-116-22 record.

Bakersfield, Calif. - A four goal second half by the CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners, spelled disaster for the San José State men's soccer team as they dropped their conference opener 5-1 on Saturday night.

The Spartans out shot the `Runners 8-to-5 in the opening half, but saw CSU Bakersfield tally the first goal.  In the 13th minute, Joe Masumiya scored from 10 yards out after picking up a ball off an SJSU turnover.

Chasing the equalizer, San José State tied the match in the 40th minute.  Uriel Ayala took a pass from Johnathan Colunga and fired a shot, from the left side, to the top right corner.  It was his second goal of the year and second in the team's last three games.

Colunga played for the Roadrunners last year before transferring to San José State.  Due to injury, he played just 45 minutes in the last two matches.  In this his first match back, Colunga picked up his team-leading fourth assist.  The sides went to the half tied 1-1.

Three of San Jose State's eight first half shots were on frame, but just one of their six shots in the second half were on target.  For the `Runners, the opposite was the case.  Eight of their 10 second-half attempts were on goal and four got past Spartans' keeper Felix Petermann, who had five saves in the loss.

CSU Bakersfield got what turned out to be the game-winner in the 51st minute from Mario Iniguez.  He scored from 30 yards out.

The `Runners added goals in the 57th, 67th and 77th minute for the 5-1 result.

Colunga and Greg Harte led the Spartans with three shots.  Ayala, Ben Cowdrill and Carlos Valdovinos attempted two shots and Kyle O'Mahoney and Rory Knibbs took one shot each.

Julian Zamora led CSU Bakersfield with four shots.  He scored two of the team's four second-half goals.  Keeper Nicolas Clever had three saves in the win.

The Last Meeting
San Jose State1
CSU Bakersfield5
October 4, 2014
Bakersfield, Calif.
Ayala Scores But Men's Soccer Falls At Bakersfield
Uriel Ayala tallied the Spartans goal, but CSU Bakersfield came away with a 5-1 win in both team's Western Athletic Conference opener.