THIS WEEKEND - SPARTANS TRAVEL TO FACE TWO NEW CONFERENCE FOES
The first-place San Jose State University men's soccer team takes a five-match winning and six-match unbeaten streak into a pair of critical Mountain Pacific Sports Federation road matches this weekend. Having closed a season-long three-game homestand a perfect 3-0 last weekend, the Spartans flew to Burbank, Calif., on Thursday afternoon, October 22. From there, they moved on to Bakersfield, Calif., via ground transportation, to face the Roadrunners of Cal State Bakersfield (6-4-2, 1-1 MPSF) on Friday night, October 23. Kick-off at Main Soccer Field is set for 7:00 p.m. The Spartans, now above the .500 mark at 7-6-1 overall, and a perfect 2-0 in the conference, then head back to Burbank to fly through San Jose and on to Seattle, Wash., for a Sunday afternoon date with the Seattle University Redhawks beginning at 1:00 p.m. on Championship Field. Cal State Bakersfield and Seattle are both former NCAA Division II programs and first-year members of the MPSF.
SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY (7-6-1, 2-0 MPSF)
at CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD (6-4-2, 1-1 MPSF)
MAIN SOCCER FIELD, BAKERSFIELD, CALIF.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23, 7:00 P.M.
SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY (7-6-1, 2-0 MPSF)
at SEATTLE UNIVERSITY (2-8-1, 1-1 MPSF)
CHAMPIONSHIP FIELD, SEATTLE, WASH.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 25, 1:00 P.M.
Live stats for all San Jose State home soccer matches are available courtesy of JumpTV and NeuLion at SJSUSpartans.com. Live stats are available for a majority of the team's road contests as well, including both of this weekend's games at Cal State Bakersfield and SeattleU, also through JumpTV and NeuLion. Just click on Live Stats under Live from the top menu bar on the front page, or on Schedule/Results from the men's soccer home page, and access the live stats from there.
SJSUSpartans.com is providing free on-line audio coverage, live from Spartan Stadium, for seven matches in 2009. The men's draw with Santa Clara on Sunday, September 27, marked the premiere. For the remainder of the 2009 men's soccer season, an on-line audio broadcast will be available for the key Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match with the rival Lobos of New Mexico on Senior Day on Sunday, November 1. Former KSJS (90.5 FM) sports director and current Spartan Athletics sports information assistant Shawn Murphy calls the play-by-play. Air time is slated for 12:45 p.m. against New Mexico. There is no audio or video coverage of this weekend's road matches.
SAN JOSE STATE (7-6-1, 2-0 MPSF) at CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD (6-4-2, 1-1 MPSF)
Cal State Bakersfield split its first two MPSF matches on the road last weekend, handing the UNLV Rebels a 3-1 defeat on Friday night, October 16, before suffering a tough 2-1 overtime loss in front of 1,745 spectators at New Mexico. The 'Runners were a mere 38 seconds away from pulling off the big upset, before allowing the equalizer, and then the deciding goal at 98:36 of the first overtime period. The narrow defeat snapped a five-game unbeaten stretch for CSUB.
The 'Runners are an undefeated 3-0-2 on their home field this season, including a 1-0 defeat of then-20th-ranked LMU on September 27, and a scoreless draw with 2008 NCAA Championship participant Cal Poly on October 10, both of whom the Spartans have played away from home in 2009. CSUB is led offensively by junior forward Robbie Gouk with eight points from a team-best four goals. Freshman forward Evan Fassler has three goals, while freshman midfielder Jesus Sanchez has a team-best four assists. Senior Matt Shaxton is second in points with seven from two goals and three assists. Freshman Eric Shannon (1.21 GAA, 40 saves, four shutouts) has played all but 90 minutes in the 'Runner net thus far in 2009.
San Jose State is 2-0 this decade against CSUB, having posted identical 2-0 victories in each of the past two seasons. Last September 28, the Spartans got a game-winning opener from Nick Cukar in Bakersfield. On September 26, 2007, a 48th-minute penalty-kick goal by former captain Ed Brand, and an 81st-minute insurance strike by Colby Moore off a Cukar assist, earned the result at Spartan Field.
Simon Tobin is in his 23rd year as head coach of the Cal State Bakersfield men's program.
SAN JOSE STATE (7-6-1, 2-0 MPSF) at SEATTLE (2-8-1, 1-1 MPSF)
Seattle is a former member of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, winning six titles between 2001-07. The Redhawks play their first home conference game since 2007, this Friday, October 23, when Sacramento State pays Championship Field a visit, prior to the Spartans two days later. The team did not lose a home conference match during its seven seasons in the GNAC.
The Redhawks' 2-1 win at UNLV last Sunday, October 18, snapped their four-game losing skid, which included an MPSF-opening 1-0 defeat at New Mexico on Friday night. Senior forward Ian Walsh broke a 1-1 tie with just 47 seconds left to play in regulation against the Rebels, heading in a right-sided cross from freshman teammate Troy Bratten. Junior midfielder Ed Walugembe had notched the 19th-minute opener.
The Redhawks had managed only three goals in 10 matches prior to the UNLV triumph. Junior midfielder Sean Morris scored two of them and assisted on the other, for a current team-leading total of five points on the year. Senior Emerson DeOliveira (2.07 GAA, 28 saves, one shutout) and junior Ivan Dizdar (1.33 GAA, 14 saves) have both seen time in the SeattleU net. The team has posted just a single shutout.
Last season on September 21, San Jose State defeated Seattle, 2-1, inside Spartan Stadium, getting a first-half bicycle-kick goal from Hiroki Akiyama and a winner by Efrain Burgos, Jr., before a late Walsh strike made it a tense final 20-plus minutes. That was the first known meeting between the programs.
Brad Agoos is in his fourth season in charge at SeattleU.
SPARTANS GET OFF TO PERFECT LEAGUE START
San Jose State posted consecutive 1-0 victories at home to open the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation portion of its 2009 schedule last weekend. The Spartans first produced a dramatic double-overtime triumph on Friday night against defending league champion Denver, with Justin Castro's spectacular free kick sending Spartan fans home happy with just 37 seconds remaining in the second and final 10-minute, sudden-victory overtime period. On Sunday afternoon, it was another redshirt sophomore, this time right back Dan Addiego, who was the hero, with an early strike, the first of his college career, at 6:25 off a corner kick to down Air Force. Ricky Dorrego and Colby Moore each picked up assists on the goal. Jonathan Lester made seven saves over 199:23 of action for two individual shutouts in the Spartan net.
San Jose State has a season-long and current league-best five-match win streak heading into this weekend's Mountain Pacific Sports Federation road games. The Spartans are unbeaten over their last six in all, going 5-0-1 during this stretch, with five of the six results coming in shutout fashion. San Jose State has out-scored its opponents, 7-1, over the last six games, for a miniscule 0.16 goals-against-average. The Spartans ended the 2008 season on a six-game unbeaten run, with five victories and a road draw. The current five-match win streak is the program's longest since a six-game run late in the 2002 season.
The Spartans also still maintain a 10-match home unbeaten streak since late in the 2008 season, going 9-0-1 and out-scoring opponents, 21-4, during that stretch. They are 5-0-1 at Spartan Stadium in 2009, after concluding the 2008 campaign with home wins over MPSF foes Air Force, UNLV, New Mexico and Sacramento State. The Spartans, who finished an impressive 7-1-2 in San Jose in 2008, picked up right where they left off in 2009, with a 4-1 home triumph over then-No. 24 UC Davis on Opening Night on September 1. A 5-0 demolition of Notre Dame de Namur (9/16), a scoreless draw with Santa Clara (9/27), a 2-1 win over Sacramento State (10/8), and back-to-back 1-0 defeats of Denver (10/16) and Air Force (10/18) have since followed. San Jose State has gone a full calender year since its last home loss, a 3-2 overtime heartbreaker against eventual league champion Denver on October 17, 2008.
LESTER NAMED MPSF CO-PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Sophomore San Jose State goalkeeper Jonathan Lester was named the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Co-Player of the Week for the week of October 12-18. It was his first career weekly conference award, and the first for a Spartan in 2009. Lester posted back-to-back shutouts in 1-0 home victories over league foes Denver and Air Force to earn the distinction, collecting a total of seven saves over 199:23.
Following its dramatic 1-0 double-overtime defeat of Denver on Friday, October 16, San Jose State is 7-3 in MPSF openers this decade, including a perfect 5-0 at home. The Spartans have begun the league slate against Denver three times, now 2-1 in those games. They previously topped the Pioneers, also 1-0 in overtime, in San Jose on October 18, 2002, and dropped a 3-1 decision in Denver on October 1, 2004.
The Spartans return to San Jose late on Sunday, October 25, to prepare for two final home matches for this 2009 season, next weekend. San Jose State will host UNLV on Friday night, October 30, following the women's game against Fresno State, which begins at 5:00 p.m. New Mexico will be the opponent on Senior Day on Sunday afternoon, November 1, with kick-off set for 1:00 p.m. inside Spartan Stadium.
SPARTAN SOCCER SUCCESS!
The San Jose State men's and women's soccer programs have been on a great run of success in recent weeks, combining on 17 games and 73 days of unbeaten activity through Thursday, October 22. Together, the teams are 8-0-3 in the month of October, with the men at a perfect 5-0, and the women at 3-0-3. The women are unbeaten since September 6, at 8-0-3 since then, with the men 5-0-1 since a September 25 loss.