San Jose, Calif. - San Jose State University men’s soccer takes to the road this weekend to take on the Rebels of UNLV and the Lobos of New Mexico. The Spartans will face the Rebels on Friday, November 9 at 7:00 p.m. and take on the Lobos at 12:00 p.m. on November 11. San Jose State is 8-8-0 on the season with a 3-4-0 conference mark. UNLV is 6-5-2 overall and 2-2-0 in the conference while the Lobos are the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation’s only ranked team, standing at No. 22 with a 9-4-1 overall record and a 4-1-1 MPSF record.
The Spartans boast two of the best offensive players in the conference in Ismael Ibarra and Julio Gonzalez. Ibarra has eight goals and three assists for 19 points, which is among the top-five in the MPSF. Gonzalez has scored six goals for 12 points. Colby Moore has been a spark off the bench for San Jose State with five goals over 13 games. The Spartans are ranked 16th in the nation in scoring offense with an average of two goals per game.
On defense, the Spartans are led by Ed Brand, Sam Shore, Oscar Monjaras and Brian McGuire. The squad of defenders have allowed just 26 goals, compared to the 32 San Jose State has tallied all year. The team has posted four shutouts this season, with two apiece going to Spartan keepers Richard Mann and Lewis Sweeney.
San Jose State opens the weekend of play at UNLV. The Rebels are coming off of an upset victory over the then-ranked No. 21 Lobos. UNLV defeated New Mexico 2-1 in double-overtime. The victory earned the Rebels’ Nicholas Paterson a pair of weekly honors as the junior was named Co-MPSF Player of the Week and was named to the College Soccer News Team of the Week.
The last time the Spartans battled UNLV was on October 14 on San Jose State’s home field. The Spartans came away with the victory with a 3-0 shutout. UNLV is looking to return the favor with a win at home. The Rebels are 5-2-1 at home this season.
Leading UNLV on offense is Lamar Neagle with eight goals and two assists for 18 points on the season. Running a close second is Daniel Cruz with four goals and four assists. Starting in goal for the Rebels is Calvin Bailey. Bailey has made 45 saves this season and allowed 19 goals.
The Lobos will be celebrating senior day as the Spartans roll into town. New Mexico will honor Diego Barrera, Blake Danaher, Mike Graczyk, David Gualdarama and Joey Vitagliano. This senior class will graduate with at least 58 wins, and has a chance to pass the school record of 61 wins (2002-05) for the most by any class at UNM. They also have a chance to be the first class to win four MPSF titles and make four trips to the NCAA Tournament.
Chris Wright is New Mexico’s and the MPSF’s offensive leader. Wright has notched eight goals and three assists for 19 points this season. In goal for the Lobos is Graczyk. The senior leads the MPSF with a goals allowed average of 0.85. The last time New Mexico and San Jose State squared off was on October 12 in a rain-soaked MPSF showdown. The Lobos came away with a 4-1 victory.
Following this weekend, the Spartans will once again be on the road with a game against Sacramento State on Sunday, November 18. The 1:00 p.m. game will be the final MSPF game of the season for San Jose State.