Men's soccer looking for three wins in a row

The Spartans are hoping for
three consecutive wins.
SJSU vs. Alabama A&M – Friday, Sept. 13, 7:00 p.m. at Spartan Stadium
SJSU at San Francisco – Sunday, Sept. 15, 7:00 p.m. at USF

SJSU at Santa Clara – Thursday, Sept. 19, 7:00 p.m. at Buck Shaw Stadium
SJSU at UC Irvine – Sunday, Sept. 22, 2:00 p.m. at UC Irvine

After losing the first game of the season, the San Jose State men’s soccer team (2-1) produced two shutouts this past weekend. The Spartans opened the week with a 1-0 double-overtime win against the visiting CS Monterey Bay Otters. The team then played a tough game against CS Northridge on Sunday. The Spartans were able to notch a goal in the first half and hold on for a 1-0 win despite being out shot, 17-8. The Spartans are starting to play a more solid game behind senior captain Frank Sanfilippo who is anchoring the defense. Senior goalkeeper Dan Benton recorded both shutouts for the team and has five career shutouts under his belt. Freshman forward Randy Poggio has scored at least a point in all three games this season. He leads the team with three goals and an assist.

Alabama A&M has been a mystery to the Spartans. This is the first meeting between the teams and may prove to be quite a challenge. The Bulldogs are off to a 3-0-1 start. After opening with three straight wins over Indiana University-Purdue University Indianaopolis, Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne and Vanderbilt before tying Wright State this past Sunday. Eugene Sepuya leads the team in scoring with five goals this season.

The University of San Francisco (2-1) split a pair of games this past week. The Dons lost a tough match to Memphis, 2-1, in double-overtime on Friday then beat Drury, 3-2, on Saturday. The Dons scoring leader is Josh Hansen with four goals and two assists. Gabe Sturm is second on the team with two goals and two assists. In net, Mark Muleady started the first two games recording a 1-1 record. Hideki Nakada started the last game for the Dons in goal, recording the win.

It is the first meeting between the teams.

The Dons always seem to have the Spartans’ number. San Francisco leads the all-time series, 14-40-4, including a 5-2 loss last season at Spartan Stadium. In the last six meetings it has been a seesaw battle. Every year since 1996 there has been a different winner. San Jose State enjoyed a three-game win streak from 1994-96, the longest winning streak against the team.

The Spartans needed double-overtime to record the team’s first win of the season, 1-0, over visiting CS Monterey Bay (0-3) on Friday evening at Spartan Stadium. Both teams’s played scoreless soccer through regulation and one overtime period before freshman Randy Poggio was able to score his second goal of the season in the 102nd minute off a corner kick by the Spartans’ Francisco Martinez.

The team beat CS Northridge, 1-0, Sunday afternoon. Frank Sanfilippo scored his first goal of the season in the 24th minute handing the Matadors (2-1) their first loss of the season. Sophomore Frank Mata connected with freshman Randy Poggio who fed it to Sanfilippo to score the eventual game winner. San Jose State recorded eight shots with three shots on goal in the match. It was a tough, physical game with 40 fouls called, plus seven yellow cards and one red card issued between the teams. The Spartans’ senior goalkeeper Dan Benton (2-1) recorded five saves on 17 shots faced, notching his second shutout of the season. The Matadors’ Joe Barton (2-1) faced eight shots and made two saves.

The Spartans have scored just four goals so far and just three players have a found the back of the net. Freshman Randy Poggio leads the team with two goals and an assist. This past weekend he factored into two game winners. On Friday he nailed the game winner in overtime and then assisted on the game winner on Sunday. Newcomer Kohta Gaines recorded his lone goal to tie UC Riverside in the season opener, but the team could not hand on and lost in overtime. Frank Sanfilippo drilled the game winner on Sunday with assists by Poggio and Frank Mata.

Senior goalkeep Dan Benton looks to be back to last year’s late-season form. In 12 games and nine starts last season, he had three shutouts and a 1.08 goals against average. In two games this season, he has two shutouts and a .093 goals against average in three starts.

San Jose State is looking to win three in a row this Friday. Last season, the team started out with a 3-0 record, but were unable to string together more than one win the remainder of the year. In 2000, the team went unbeaten in regular season with winning streaks of seven and 12 games.

Excerpts from the 1978 San Jose State Men’s Soccer media guide:
One of the few teams in the country that can boast that all of its players come from its own backyard, the 1978 edition of the soccer Spartans will be just that home-grown and ready to sprout into a first-rate unit.
This being Coach Julie Menendez’ ‘silver anniversary’, the team will be going for the gold, meaning an NCAA playoff berth and hopefully a trip to Dallas in December for the championship at Ownby Stadium on the SMU campus.
To do this, the Spartans must improve on last year’s 9-8 record. The Chances for this happening are very good considering that the two leading scorers from last year are back as well as a healthy defensive corps and a solid midfield....If they can keep away from the injury bug and perform well on the East Coast trip in September, it is likely that the Spartans will return to the playoffs for the first time since 1976.
Note: The 1978 team went 19-3 but did not advance to the postseason.