For the second year in a row, the San José State men's soccer team's Western Athletic Conference Tournament fate will be decided on Senior Day. The Spartans are riding on a two match winning streak and with a win against UTRGV on Saturday, November 5, SJSU will clinch a spot in the tournament.
San José State (4-12-2, 3-5-1 WAC) vs. UTRGV (5-8-3, 3-4-2 WAC)
Saturday, November 2, 2016, 2:00 p.m. PT
SJSU Football Practice Facility
San Jose, Calif.
The Spartans went on the road and won a pair at Air Force and at UMKC to earn six points, putting them in seventh place in the WAC standings. However, SJSU occupies the sixth and final berth of the WAC Tournament since Grand Canyon is ineligible due to their move from Division II to Division I.
WAC TOURNAMENT SCENARIOS:
A win against UTRGV on Saturday and the Spartans will clinch a WAC Tournament berth. SJSU can also make the tournament with a tie against UTRGV and CSU Bakersfield and Houston Baptist tie. The Spartans are eliminated with a loss to UTRGV OR ties UTRGV coupled with a CSU Bakersfield win or Houston Baptist win. The top six teams excluding Grand Canyon and UIW at the end of the regular season qualify for the WAC Tournament in Orem, Utah, which will be held Nov. 10-11, 13.
Jonathan Partida, who played the defensive center midfield position in a pair of road wins at Air Force and UMKC, was named the WAC Defensive Player of the Week for the week of October 24. Against Air Force, he helped lead the defense in shutting down a nationally ranked Falcon offense, holding them without a shot on goal. At UMKC, Partida and the Spartans limited the Roos to just six shots, including three on goal It was Partida’s first WAC Player of the Week honor in his SJSU career.
SPARTANS IN NATIONAL RANKINGS:
Goalkeeper Nedin Tucakovic is third in the NCAA in goalie minutes played with 1699:42, eighth in total saves (88) and 19th in saves per game (4.89).
With two assists last week, both leading to game winning goals against Air Force and UMKC, forward Suliman Khorami now has six assists on the year, good for 41st in the nation. His 0.40 assists per game mark is also 41st in the nation.
PENALTY KICK KILLER:
Tucakovic has stopped both penalty kick attempts this season, one against Pacific and the other against UC Riverside. Against Pacific, Tucakovic made his save with the score tied at 2-2, which the Spartans went on to win, 3-2. Against UCR, Tucakovic kept the score tied at 1-1 with his save and the game eventually ended in a 2-2 tie.
KNIBBS’ WAC CAREER SNAPSHOT
Three-time All-WAC honoree Rory Knibbs is tied with Tulsa’s Donivan Bradshaw (1996-99) and UNLV’s Danny Musovski (2014-current) for the most goals scored (19) in WAC play. Knibbs is four points back (40) of the all-time mark for points (44) in WAC matches, behind current UNLV Rebel, Danny Musovski.
COLUNGA’S WAC CAREER SNAPSHOT
Two-time ALL-WAC honoree Jonathan Colunga is tied for second with SMU’s Daniel Hernandez (1996-97) for the most career assists (11) in WAC matches. Current Utah Valley player, Aaron Meyer, is first with 12 assists.
SERIES HISTORY WITH UTRGV:
San José State and UTRGV has faced each other only once, in 2015, where the Spartans prevailed 3-1. Knibbs, Alcaraz and Colunga each scored a goal.
THE WORD ON UTRGV:
The Vaqueros come into this week 5-8-3 overall and 3-4-2 in WAC play, sitting in sixth place in the WAC standings (fifth in the WAC Tournament standings). A win against SJSU and they will clinch a WAC Tournament spot.