Men's soccer meets two Bay Area teams in No. 2 Stanford and No. 19 California

Frank Sanfilippo's senior
leadership will be key to the
team's success this week.
SJSU at No. 2 Stanford–Thursday, Oct. 3, 7:30 p.m. at Stanford, Calif.
SJSU vs. California (Homecoming)–Sunday, Oct. 6, 7:00 p.m. at Spartan Stadium

SJSU at Saint Mary’s–Friday, Oct. 11, 3:30 p.m. at Moraga, Calif.
SJSU vs. Notre Dame de Namur–Monday, Oct. 14, 7:00 p.m.

The Spartans (4-5-0) split a pair of games this past week after securing a 2-1 win at Cal Poly on Thursday and then a 3-1 loss against Loyola Marymount at home. The team has a tough week ahead as they attempt to get their record back to .500. San Jose State starts the week with a trip to Stanford to face the No. 2 ranked Cardinal (8-1-0) this Thursday. The Cardinal are currently ranked as high as No. 2 in the adidas/NSCAA top-25 poll. The California Golden Bears (6-2-1) will be in town Sunday for the Spartans homecoming game. California entered the national rankings this week with a No. 19 position in the Soccer America top-25 poll.

Stanford was looked to defend its No. 1 ranking last week hosting the Nike Invitational with matches against Tulsa and Santa Clara. The Cardinal lost their opening match, 3-1, in the invitational to Tulsa before handing Santa Clara a 3-0 shutout. The three goals the Golden Hurricane scored against Stanford was the most the team has allowed all season. The Cardinal have outscored the opposition 27-7 in nine matches and have recorded six shutouts.

With a 2-1 victory over Santa Clara Thursday night, the Bears claimed their fourth straight victory, a feat that was last accomplished in 1996. Cal kept the ball rolling with a 2-0 win over Tulsa Sunday afternoon. The school record for the most consecutive wins is held by the 1986 team, which defeated eight straight opponents and reached the NCAA Midwest Regionals. Kevin Grimes' Bears rank 13th in the nation in team goals against average (.64) and 14th in the nation in shutout percentage (.56).

Dating back to 1954, the Spartans have a 25-24-5 record against Stanford. Last year, the Spartans were able to score the first goal of the match at The Farm, but eventually suffered a 4-1 loss. Before that, the teams tied the previous two games played. The teams met Spartan Stadium in 2000 where the match was knotted up 1-1 through double overtime to end in a tie.

San Jose leads the all-time series against Cal, 15-13-2. The last time the two teams met, the Bears edged the Spartans, 3-2, at Spartan Stadium last year. In 2000, the Spartans were on the winning side of a 3-2 score in a match played in Berkeley.

Several injuries have hampered the Spartans from playing at 100 percent this season. Most recently, the team was dealt a tough blow as the team’s starting goalkeeper, senior Dan Benton, suffered a lacerated kidney in practice late last week. Benton is progressing on schedule, but will be unable to begin practicing again for approximately two weeks. From that point a potential return date would be evaluated. Freshman goaltender Michael Lawrence also suffered an injury that is keeping him out of the lineup. In the LMU game, Francisco Martinez suffered a hamstring injury and will be out of action for at least a week.

Newcomer Andiry Budnyy scored both goals for the men’s soccer team to give the squad its second straight win with a 2-1 victory against Cal Poly at Mustang Stadium last Thursday. Despite taking a 1-0 lead into the half Cal Poly would fall to the Spartans after Budnyy scored his first two goals for San Jose State. Budnyy tied the game in the 52nd minute directing a cross pass from Richard Halvorsen 15 yards into the net. Less than 18 minutes later, Budnyy hammered another cross, this time from Fausto Villegas, into the left corner of the net from 20 yards out.

Despite having success penetrating the Lions’ defense on Sunday, the team was unable to take advantage of scoring situations in the team’s 3-1 loss against visiting Loyola Marymount. With a heavy offensive attack late in the second half, the Spartans were able to outshoot the undefeated Lions, 14-13, but managed just three shots on goal the entire game. The Lions scored halfway through the first half when Brian Vestal was able to catch the Spartan goalkeeper off balance and send a soft pass to Kevin Novak who directed it into the net at 22:17.
The score would remain the same until the 48th minute when LMU’s Matt Kovar drilled a rebound off a free kick to take a 2-1 lead. San Jose State cut the lead in half when Darin Domingo scored on a penalty kick in the 52nd minute. Less than two minutes later, the Lions added an insurance goal with Novak’s second goal of the night in the 53rd minute.

Seven different Spartans have scored a goal this season, but the only two players were able to score more than one. Freshman Randy Poggio has three on the season and is scoreless in the last five games. Junior Andiry Budnyy recorded his only two goals of the season against Cal Poly. Darin Domingo scored his first goal as a Spartan on a penalty kick against LMU. The Spartans have been outscored by the opposition 14-10 so far.

The 2002 season marks the 75th anniversary of men’s soccer at San Jose State University. The school first fielded a squad in 1927 and has been going strong since then. Over the years the Spartans have enjoyed success in many areas. The school has produced 24 All-Americans, a Hermann Award winner (Mani Hernandez, 1968), 35 winning seasons, a 20-win season in 2000, 13 NCAA tournament appearances including seven consecutive from 1966-71 and many other incredible memories. The 2002 Spartans will look to add another winning season, the fifth in a row, as the team hopes to challenge for the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation title and another appearance in the NCAA tournament.