Men's soccer falls to No. 9 New Mexico, 3-1

San Jose, Calif. - Colby Moore scored his team-leading fourth goal of the season in the opening minutes of action, but San Jose State was ultimately edged by ninth-ranked New Mexico, 3-1, in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation men’s soccer match on Sunday, October 29, at Spartan Stadium.

Moore received a long through ball from Diego Soto, beat his defender, and fired the ball past Lobo goalkeeper Mike Graczyk to give the Spartans an early lead at the 3:06 mark. It was the first major college assist for Soto, a second-year Spartan and team tri-captain.

UNM tied the game just 12 seconds later, when the 2005 national runners-up earned an own goal that was kicked in by a San Jose State defender off a cross from the right.

“We were able to get the momentum right away,” said goalkeeper Richard Mann, who made two saves in the match for the Spartans. “They got the soft own goal right after our goal, and that killed our confidence.”

The Lobos took a one-goal lead at the 24:12 mark when Joey Vitagliano received a crossing pass from Mike Porter which he shot past Mann at the far post. San Jose State hung in the rest of the half, as it out-shot UNM, 6-4.

New Mexico added an insurance goal just over 10 minutes into the second half, when Jack Smithson scored on a free kick from the top of the Spartan penalty box which went low to the near side and into the net.

Rodrigo Baptista saw his first action as a Spartan when he replaced Mann in net in the 61st minute. He wasted no time in making his presence felt, making four saves over the last 30 minutes, including three from close range.

“It was great to get my first action in this stadium,” said Baptista. “(New Mexico is) a good team, and got some aggressive goals early on. I was just trying to keep us in the match to have a chance to come back.”

The Spartans came back with effort and scoring chances, but could not solve Graczyk, who picked up his 13th win of the season. Yousef Samy led the Spartans with three shots, including two on goal, as SJSU out-shot New Mexico, 14-11 in the contest.

San Jose State will close out the 2006 season against MPSF foe Sacramento State on Friday, November 3, at 7:00 p.m. in Spartan Stadium. It will be Senior Night for the Spartans, as Baptista, Soto, Chad Gleave, Daniel Perez and Patrick Scheufler will all be honored in a pre-game ceremony.

#9 New Mexico (11-3-3, 6-1-1 MPSF) - 2 1 - 3
San Jose State (7-9-1, 4-5 MPSF) - 1 0 - 1

SJSU - Colby Moore (4) (Diego Soto), 3:06
UNM - Own goal, 3:18
UNM - Joey Vitagliano (3) (Mike Porter), 24:12
UNM - Jack Smithson (2) (unassisted), 55:20

UNM - 11
SJSU - 14

Goalkeeper Saves
UNM - 5 (Mike Graczyk-5)
SJSU - 6 (Richard Mann-2; Rodrigo Baptista-4)

Corner Kicks
UNM - 7
SJSU - 4

UNM - 15
SJSU - 3