San Jose, Calif. - Spartan fans, you have three final opportunities this coming weekend to show your support for the red-hot San Jose State University men's and women's soccer programs, which have now combined on a remarkable 21-game, 81-day unbeaten stretch as of Tuesday, October 27.
The women take their 13-match undefeated run up against Western Athletic Conference rival Fresno State this Friday, October 30, with kick-off slated for approximately 5:00 p.m. on Senior Night at Spartan Stadium. Emmy Belding, Brittany Boehm, Katie Bonadies, Nina Butera, Roxy Kamal, Angela Nuñez and Hallsie Pacheco will be recognized prior to the start. A San Jose State win, coupled with a New Mexico State loss at home against Nevada, would clinch a first-ever regular-season conference crown for the first-place Spartans, who have already assured themselves of a fifth straight WAC Tournament berth. A victory alone over Fresno State would wrap up a top-two seed and subsequent first-day bye at next month's event in Boise, Idaho.
This Friday's Spartan Soccer doubleheader will be capped by Mountain Pacific Sports Federation men's action between a San Jose State squad unbeaten over its last eight, and the UNLV Rebels. The Spartan men then take on perennial power New Mexico on Senior Day on Sunday, November 1, with Nick Cukar, Brian McGuire, Oscar Monjaras and Colby Moore making their final home appearances. That match is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m.
Individual game tickets for Spartan Soccer are $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for youth aged 12 and under, and $1.00 for youth in soccer jerseys. Those prices are good for both ends of Friday's twin bill. San Jose State students can attend matches for free with a valid Tower ID card. Groups of 20 or more receive a discounted rate. Gates open one hour prior to the start.
In just his second year at San Jose State, head coach Jeff Leightman has turned the Spartan women into winners. With a 2-1 home triumph over Idaho last Friday night, October 23, they clinched the program's first winning campaign this decade, since finishing 12-7-1 in 1999.
The Spartans, now at 10-4-3 overall, have gone 10-0-3 since an 0-4 start. They have more than doubled San Jose State's best previous unbeaten stretch of five games. The streak is tied for the third-longest nationally in the NCAA Division I. Top-ranked Stanford (17-0) and Dayton (12-0-5) each have active 17-game runs, while Central Michigan has matched the Spartans' total by going 12-0-1 of late with 13 straight shutout results. Four squads, Notre Dame (11-0-1), BYU (11-0-1), Charlotte (11-0-1) and San Diego State (8-0-4), are on 12-game unbeaten streaks.
San Jose State moved into sole possession of first-place in the WAC standings with Friday night's result against Idaho, combined with New Mexico State's 2-1 loss in double overtime at Louisiana Tech earlier that day. The Spartans head into the final weekend of the regular season atop the league chart with 14 points from an undefeated 4-0-2 league mark, one point ahead of New Mexico State (9-6-1, 4-1-1 WAC). They own a share of the 10th spot in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) West Region poll for a fourth week in a row.
Gary St. Clair, in his 20th campaign, has his men's team on an eight-game unbeaten streak, the last seven of which have all been victories. They are now 9-6-1, and sit in a two-way tie for first-place atop the MPSF standings through the first two weeks of league play. The Spartans are on equal points, 12, each at a perfect 4-0, with Northern California rival Sacramento State. They play at Sacramento State on Saturday afternoon, November 7, in a match-up that could very well decide the MPSF regular-season championship. San Jose State is off to its first 4-0 league start since 2003. The Spartans' unbeaten and win streaks are both their longest since 2000. They are listed for the first time this year among teams also receiving votes, in the latest NSCAA Far West regional rankings.
The San Jose State soccer teams are without a blemish thus far in October, with the men a perfect 7-0, out-scoring opponents, 12-3, and the women at 5-0-3. Along the way, the women have eclipsed program standards for longest win streak (six games), most consecutive shutouts (five games), longest shutout streak (491:18) and longest road unbeaten stretch (seven games). They have also equaled the program record for most shutouts in a season, now with seven.
Defensively, the Spartan men have allowed three goals over their past eight games, with six shutouts, for a goals-against-average of 0.36 as a team and for sophomore goalkeeper Jonathan Lester individually. Lester, a sophomore native of Fort Worth, Texas, is in his first season in the program after a transfer from Southern Methodist University, and leads the MPSF with a 0.75 goals-against-average.
The Spartan women have given up just six goals over their last 13 matches, with seven clean sheets, for a goals-against-average of 0.44, with all but 73:41 being played by Butera, a San Jose product out of Presentation High School. Danielle Anderson played the second half of the 8-0 rout at Howard on September 13, and the final 28:41 to combine on another shutout at Cal State Bakersfield on October 25. Butera, who earned her second WAC Defensive Player of the Week honor of the season on Monday, October 26, is on pace to break her own single-season school record with a league-best 0.74 goals-against-average.
Combined, the two teams have posted a 0.41 goals-against-average during their runs. They have gone 10-2-2 together on the brand-new FieldTurf inside Spartan Stadium, with the men an undefeated 5-0-1. In fact, the men have not lost in San Jose in over a year, going 9-0-1 since their last home loss on October 17, 2008.
The critical rivalry meeting for the women on Senior Night with the Fresno State Bulldogs, as well as the men's team's Senior Day match-up with the New Mexico Lobos on Sunday will both have live on-line audio, free of charge, available at SJSUSpartans.com. Shawn Murphy handles the commentary. Air time is slated for 4:45 p.m. on Friday and 12:45 p.m. on Sunday. Please click here to access the broadcasts. As is the case for every match at Spartan Stadium, live stats for all three contests are available here.