Men's soccer celebrates 75th anniversary: Hosts two games and are looking for first win this week

75th Years of Men's Soccer:
Mani Hernandez,
1968 Hermann Award winner.
SJSU vs. CS Monterey Bay – Friday, Sept. 6, 5:00 p.m. at Spartan Stadium
SJSU vs. CS Northridge – Sunday, Sept. 8, 1:00 p.m. at Spartan Stadium

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

The Spartans got off to a sluggish start losing in overtime, 3-2, to UC Riverside this past Sunday. The team is looking to solidify the defensive backfield and continue to produce goals. Senior captain midfielder Frank Sanfillipo and senior midfielder Fausto Villegas were back in the line-up this past weekend after both were sidelined with injuries. Two newcomers, junior Kohta Gaines and freshman Randy Poggio each had a goal against the Highlanders. The month of September will be challenging for the team as the schedule includes tough matches against San Francisco, Santa Clara, Loyola Marymount before heading into Mountain Pacific Sports Federation action in mid-October.

CS Monterey Bay

The Otters are off to an 0-2 start after opening the season with a 1-0 loss to CS Stanislaus and then a 6-0 loss to Fresno-Pacific. Last season the Otters posted a 6-14 record and have lost just three starters from last year’s squad. Key returnees with the team include first-team All-Conference members senior forward Erik Supnet and sophomore midfielder Nathan Northrup. Supnet recorded seven goals and three assists while Northrup notched five goals and an assist.

CS Northridge
Against 22nd-ranked Cal on Friday, the Matadors allowed only three shots on their way to a 3-0 shutout. Northridge followed that up by recording its second shutout of the young season in a 3-0 win over the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Sunday at Loyola Marymount. The Matador defense overpowered Wisconsin-Green Bay, holding the Phoenix to only three shots for the entire match. Freshman Daniel Paladini leads the team with two goals and an assist.

CS Monterey Bay

With two losses on the season, the Otters will be challenged to get the team’s first win of the season against San Jose State. Last year the two teams met in the first match of the season for the Spartans. San Jose State won after posting a 6-0 shutout with six different Spartans scoring in the match.

CS Northridge
The Spartans are looking for revenge after losing 4-1 at Northridge last season. The three-point margin of victory is the largest the Matadors have had against the Spartans. San Jose State leads the all-time series 6-3-1 and have outscored the Matadors, 23-14.

Despite trailing 1-0 at halftime and taking the game lead in the second period, the Spartans lost, 3-2, in overtime to UC Riverside on a hot Sunday afternoon at the UCR Lower Fields with a 105 game time temperature. The Highlanders’ Ben Davies handed the Spartans a loss with his header goal in the 99th minute of the game. The game was the Spartans’ first game of the season and the Highlanders second of the year. The Spartans out shot UC Riverside, 7-6, in the first half, but it was the Highlanders scoring first. Steven Vasquez took a pass from Jordan Arias and scored to take a 1-0 lead.

The score remained the same until two minutes in the second half when freshman Randy Poggio scored an unassisted goal to tie the game. The Spartans continued to pressure the defense and took the lead when another first year player, junior Kohta Gaines outplayed the goalkeeper, pulling him off the net to score an unassisted goal in the 68th minute. The Spartans kept high pressure in the defensive zone trying to protect the lead, but in 80th minute the Highlanders’ Juan Gutierrez was able to squeeze a free kick over the defense and over the head of the Spartan goalkeep, Dan Benton.

Hernandez is No. 1 In Collegiate Soccer-By Wes Mathis from The Sporting News, April 12, 1969

SAN JOSE, Calif.—"I just can’t believe it!"

That was the reaction of San Jose State sophomore Mani Hernandez when informed he had been voted the college soccer Player-of-the-Year for the past season in a poll conducted by The Sporting News.

Hernandez will receive the Robert. R. Hermann Award, a gold-plated soccer trophy named for the chairman of the board on the St. Louis soccer stars. San Jose State will receive a $500 unrestricted grant from the North American Soccer league.

"I was already thinking about next season, so this comes as a great surprise to me," said the 20-year-old Spartan star. "Naturally I’m thrilled about it."

Hernandez matriculated at San Jose State because Spartan Coach Julie Menendez moved quickly when he saw opportunity knocking.

"I was watching a preliminary game four years ago when I saw Mani and I was impressed with his play I walked right out on the field during the action and grabbed him by the arm," Menendez explained.

"I found out he couldn’t speak English very well, but fortunately I speak Spanish, so we were able to communicate very well. I found he was only a sophomore in high school. I asked him to be sure and look me up when he graduated, and he did."

Menendez, who coached San Jose State to three consecutive NCAA boxing championships in the early 1960s and then concentrated on soccer when the school dropped the ring sport, rated Hernandez as outstanding prospect.

"Mani has tremendous speed with or without the ball," Menendez said, "and he uses either foot equally well. He’s what we call a ‘one-touch’ soccer player in that he traps the ball and with the same movement gets off a tremendous shot at the goal.

"Not too many players have this ability, even at the pro level."