Men's Soccer Makes Push For WAC Tournament Spot

Greg Harte, whose four goals are tied for the most in conference play, leads the Spartans in a pair of road matches this week.
Oct. 29, 2014

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San Jose, Calif. -  With two weeks left in the regular season, the San José State men's soccer team heads out on the road for two games, which could have consequences on qualifying for and seeding in the WAC Championship Tournament.  The Spartans play at Grand Canyon of Friday, and the team at the top of the conference table, UNLV, on Sunday.

San José State (5-8-1, 3-2-1 WAC)

at Grand Canyon (4-9-2, 2-4-1 WAC)
Friday, October 31, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
GCU Soccer Field - Phoenix, Ariz.
Live stats and streaming video are available for free at www.sjsuspartans.com

at UNLV (12-3-1, 6-1-0 WAC)
Sunday, November 2, 2014, 1:00 p.m.
Johann Field - Las Vegas, Nev.
Live stats and streaming video are available for free at www.sjsuspartans.com

LIVE STATS
Fans can follow the action of all San José State home and most road contests by accessing the "Live Stats" feature on the men's soccer schedule page at www.sjsuspartans.com.  

VIDEO STREAMING
Spartan Digital is your ALL-ACCESS passport to Spartan Athletics.  For live and recorded video and audio of San José State men's soccer home games, go to the SPARTAN DIGITAL link on the home page at
www.sjsuspartans.com.

SOCIAL MEDIA
Keep up with all 19 San José State teams through social media sites Twitter and Facebook.  For Twitter go to @sjsuathletics and on Facebook become friends with Sammy Spartan.

MEN'S SOCCER TICKETS
Tickets for all San José State men's soccer home games are free for all SJSU students, faculty and staff with a valid Tower Card.  Adult tickets are $5.00, youth (12 years old and under) are $3.00 and any child wearing a jersey gets in for $1.00 on select match days.

Groups of 20 or more can purchase discounted tickets at $3.00 per person.  The Ticket Office opens one hour prior to kickoff at Spartan Soccer Field or can be purchased by calling the San José State Ticket Office at 408-924-SJTX (7589).

PETERMANN NAMED WAC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Junior Keeper Felix Petermann is the Western Athletic Conference's Defensive Player of the Week for October 20-26, it was announced on Monday in Denver, Colo.

Petermann, a native of Berlin, Germany, had four saves during a 2-0 victory against CSU Bakersfield, Sunday afternoon on Spartan Soccer Field. It is the second clean sheet for Petermann this season.

The victory moved the Spartans into a tie for third place in the WAC standings. The top six teams in the conference qualify for the WAC Championship Tournament, which begins on November 13 and is hosted by Seattle University.

This is the first WAC Player of the Week honor for Petermann, and the second for a Spartan in the 2014 season.

SEEING DOUBLE
Three players in the WAC have multiple multi-goal games in 2014..two of them are Spartans.  Greg Harte (Fr., F, Cork, Ireland) has done it three times; vs. Pacific (9/19), at Air Force (10/10) and most recently against CSU Bakersfield (10/26).  Harte is tied with CSUB's Julian Zamora for the most multi-goal games in the league this year.

Rory Knibbs (So., F, London, England) has two multi-goal games in 2014.  He recorded a hat-trick against UMass (9/2) and then had two goals at Air Force (10/10).

Knibbs and Harte each scored twice at Air Force (10/10).   It's the only game, among WAC teams this season, in which two or more players on a side scored multiple goals in the same game.

COLUNGA TOPS WAC FEEDERS
Johnathan Colunga (So. MF, Lindsay, Calif.) has eight assists in 13 games this season (0.62/game average).  Both the eight assists and 0.62 assists per game are tops in the WAC through nine weeks of competition.  

Nationally, Colunga ranks seventh with his 0.62 assists per game and 10th in total assist (8).

At his current pace, he would end the regular season with 10 assists and become just the fifth Spartan to reach double-digit assists in a season since 1990.  The last to reach the milestone in assists for SJSU was Lars Lyssand.  He had 10 in the 2001 season.

Colunga tops the WAC with five assists in league play and is the leader in assists per game at 0.83.

KNIBBS REMAINS AMONG THE NATIONS BEST
With eight goals this season, Rory Knibbs (So., F, London, England) ranks as one of the most dangerous strikers in the WAC and the nation.

Knibbs is tied for the lead in the conference in goals and his 18 points are one behind league leader UNLV's Salvador Bernal.  Nationally he ranks 27th in total goals and 45th in goals per game.  He is 42nd in total points and his 1.29 points per game is the 45th best in the nation.

ONE...TWO...THREE PUNCH
Spartan strikers Rory Knibbs (So., F, London, England) and Greg Harte (Fr., F, Cork, Ireland) have become one of the most dangerous scoring duos in the WAC in 2014.  When you add in midfielder Johnathan Colunga (So, MF, Lindsay, Calif.) the duo goes to a trio.

In conference play, Knibbs and Harte are tied for the goal scoring lead with four tallies each and their eight points apiece are tied for the second most in WAC play. 

Colunga leads league play with five assists and ranks seventh in total points with seven.

GAINING MOMENTUM WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT
San José State opened conference play with a 1-5 drubbing at CSU Bakersfield.  Since that game the side has a 3-1-1 record, including going 1-0-1 on the road. 

They have outscored their opponents 11-4 in the five-game stretch and have not allowed more than a single goal in any game.

OFFENSE IS BACK
Through 14 games the Spartans have scored 24 goals, third most in the the WAC.  In 2013 the side scored a total if 18 goals in 21 games.  This year's edition reached the 18-goal mark in 10 games.  In addition, San José State has 67 points to date.  Last year the team totaled 47 points, again in 2014 the team reached that total in its first 10 games.

At its current pace, San José State would end the regular season on 30 goals and 86 points.  The last time a Spartan men's soccer team scored as many as 30 goals in a season was in 2009 and the last time it reached at least 86 points was in 2007 (94).

SPARTANS CONTINUE SHEDDING MONIKER OF BEING NAUGHTY BOYS
In 2013, San José State led the Western Athletic Conference in both fouls (302) and yellow cards (44).  However in 2014, under first year head coach Simon Tobin, the Spartans are on the opposite end of the rankings in yellow cards and much improved in fouls committed.

Through 14 matches, the Spartans have only been booked 13 times for yellow cards, by far the fewest in the league, and are the only side in the WAC that are being issued less than a card a match. In four weeks of conference action, San José State has only been booked five times, the fewest in the WAC.

The team ranks fifth among the 10 teams in the WAC for fouls committed.  Being ranked first means you have committed the most fouls.  The Spartans have been whistled for 179 fouls through 14 matches.  That's 46 fewer fouls committed than through 14 games last year.

SCOUTING GRAND CANYON
The Antelopes enter the week with an overall record of 4-9-2, 2-4-1 in WAC play and in a tie for sixth place.  Grand Canyon is not eligible to participate in the WAC Championship Tournament.  Last week they played their last two road games of the year defeating Houston Baptist, 2-1, before falling to Incarnate Word, 1-3.  The match with the Spartans starts a five-game home stand for the `Lopes were they are 2-2-1 this year.

This will be the second meeting all-time between these programs and the first time they have faced each other in Phoenix.  The Spartans defeated Grand Canyon last year 3-1 in Spartan Stadium.

Alberto Sanchez Garcia, a junior midfielder, has five goals and two assists for a team-leading 12 points.  Freshman forward Niki Jackson behind Sanchez Garcia with three tallies and an assists for 7 points. Two other players have scored twice for the Lopes this year.

Luca Licciardi started both games last week in goal and for the year has 515:00 of field action.  In six games, he has allowed nine goals (1.57 GAA) and made 22 saves (.710 save%). His record is 1-3-1 and he as one clean sheet. Kendyl Day, a sophomore, has played the majority of the minutes (908:23) in goal for the side.  He has allowed 18 past his line for a GAA of 1.78, while stopping 27 (.600 save%).  His record is 3-6-1 and he has one shutout.

Head Coach Peter Draksin is in his 22nd season leading the Grand Canyon program.   Entering 2014 he has a Division I record of 4-14-1 and an overall record of 220-159-37.

LAST TIME AGAINST GRAND CANYON (10/4/14)
San Jose, Calif. - Freshman Rory Knibbs scored two second half goals for the Spartans in a 3-1 Western Athletic Conference win over the Grand Canyon Antelopes on Friday night in Spartans Stadium.

Knibbs' goals, in the 52nd and 88th minutes, bookended a successful Frankie Beauchamp penalty kick.  Beauchamp beat Antelopes keeper Joshua Zehring to the lower left corner at the 74:15 mark.  The goal would turn out to be the game winner.

SCOUTING UNLV
The Rebels enter the week with an overall record of 12-3-1, 6-1-0 in WAC play and sit at the top of the conference table.  Last week they went on the road and defeated Incarnate Word and then Houston Baptist, both by 3-2 scores  The match with the Spartans will be the last of the regular season on their home field where they are, entering this week,  6-2-1 this year.

This will be the 42nd meeting between these programs with the Rebels holding a 23-13-5 advantage in the all-time series. In games played in Las Vegas, the Spartans are 8-11-0.  The last meeting was in the opening round of the 2013 WAC Championship Tournament.  The sides tied the match 2-2, but the Spartans advanced in the tournament 9-8 in a shootout.

Salvador Bernal, a senior forward, has eight goals and three assists for a league-leading 19 points.  Danny Musovski, a freshman forward, and junior midfielder Rodrigo Fuentes have scored five goals each and have four and two assists, respectively.

Ryan Harding has played the vast majority of the minutes (1416:57) in goal for the Rebels.  He has allowed 19 past his line for a GAA of 1.21, while stopping 40 (.678 save%).  His record is 11-3-1 and he has seven shutouts.

Head Coach Rich Ryerson is in his fourth season leading the UNLV program.   Entering 2014 he has a Division I record of 22-49-5 as the Rebels top man.

LAST TIME AGAINST UNLV (11/14/13)
Colorado Springs, Colo. - Freshman Uriel Ayala scored the ninth goal of a shootout to propel the San José State men's soccer team into the semifinals of the 2013 Western Athletic Conference Championship Tournament on Thursday night.

The shootout, won by San José State 9-to-8 over the tournament's third seed UNLV, was the longest in records dating back to 1953.

In regulation, Frankie Beauchamp and Rory Knibbs scored for the Spartans in a game that ended in a 2-2 draw.
The Last Meeting
Grand Canyon1
San Jose State3
October 25, 2013
Spartan Stadium
Knibbs' Two Goals Power Men's Soccer Past Grand Canyon
Rory Knibbs scored two second half goals for the San José State men's soccer team in a 3-1 win over the Grand Canyon Antelopes.

The Last Meeting
San Jose State2
#3 UNLV2
November 14, 2013
Colorado Springs, Colo.
Men's Soccer Advances in WAC Tournament 9-8 In A Shootout
Freshman Uriel Ayala scored the ninth goal of a shootout to propel the San José State men's soccer team into the semifinals of the 2013 Western Athletic Conference Championship Tournament on Thursday night.