San Jose, Calif. - When the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Men's Soccer Tournament opens this Thursday, the Spartans will face a familiar foe, Sacramento State (#4 seed). The teams met on Saturday, November 5 in Sacramento with the Hornets taking an 3-2 overtime win. That loss combined with Air Force's defeat of Denver on Friday dropped the Spartans into the tournament's fifth seed.
SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY (8-7-3) - Fifth Seed
vs. SACRAMENTO STATE (9-7-2) - Fourth Seed
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 5:00 P.M.
CIBER FIELD, DENVER, COLO.
All MPSF Tournament matches will be available through the live stats link on the Spartans website www.sjsuspartans.com. Click on the "Live Stats" link on Spartans home page to navigate to the live stats page.
All MPSF Tournament matches will be streamed live and are available by subscription through the Denver University web site, www.denverpioneers.com.
Follow the Spartans men's soccer team and all San Jose State athletics teams on the web by becoming friends with Sammy Spartan on Facebook. Get the latest Spartans tweets on Twitter@SJSUAthletics.
TOURNAMENT TICKETS AVAILABLE
Tickets for the 2011 MPSF Men's Soccer Tournament are on sale through the Denver University ticket office.
Single day, all-session and group tickets are available through the web site www.denverpioneers.com, by emailing Darren Duplechin (email@example.com) or calling (303) 871-3573.
Group tickets can be secured through Adam Sizemore at (303) 871-2389 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Single day seats are $10 and $12. All-session passes are $25. Students can attend single games for $5 and groups can get seats for as low as $6 per game.
SPARTANS AGAINST THE HORNETS
Since the 2005-06 season the Spartans and Hornets have met 14 times with San Jose State holding a 7-6-1 advantage.
This year the Hornets have gotten the best of the Spartans twice. On October 2, Chris Bettencourt got an unassisted, 96th-minute goal to defeat San Jose State 1-0 in Spartan Stadium. Then last Saturday in Sacramento, trailing the Hornets 2-1, a tally by striker Nick Cashmere sent the game to overtime. In the 100th minute Sac State's Isaac Ikyurav found the back of the net for the game winner.
SPARTANS IN THE MPSF TOURNAMENT
San Jose State has won the MPSF Tournament twice in its five appearances, being crowned champions in 2000 and again in 2003.
Overall, the Spartans have a 5-3-1 record in MPSF Tournament play and have advanced to beyond their first match in four of their five appearances. Their only defeat in an opening match came in 2009, a 4-2 loss to UNLV.
FEAST OR FAMINE
When it comes to winning and losing games for San Jose State this season, it had been either a goal-scoring feast or famine...until Saturday's 3-2 loss at Sac State.
Prior to the Sac State match, when the Spartans scored in 2011, their record was 8-0-2. However, they had been shutout in each of their six losses and one of their three ties.
The Sac State loss was the first this season in which the team scored a goal, but didn't earn any points in the standings.
A NEUTRAL SITE MATCH...THAT'S NEW
The Spartans have a winning road record, 4-3-2, including a victory on Ciber Field in Denver, site of the 2011 MPSF Tournament. But, the matches in the MPSF Tournament will be the first neutral site affairs for this year's team.
DENVER NOT KIND TO SPARTANS
Since the 2005 season, San Jose State has played at Denver's Ciber Field six times and come away with just one win, a 2-1 overtime victory in 2005. Since then the Spartans have a 0-4-1 record including losing to UNLV in the opening round of the 2009 MPSF Tournament.
LESTER CONTINUES UP THE SAVES LIST(S)
At Sacramento State on Saturday, senior keeper Jonathan Lester made seven saves. He now has 96 saves on the season, 216 for his career and has moved into fifth place on the San Jose State all-time saves list behind Joe Gangale (1985-86) who had 219 career stops.
Lester's 96 saves this season ties him slots him into eighth place on the Spartans single-season saves list. Next up is Paul Coffee (1978) at 98 and then Head Coach Gary St. Clair who stopped 102 shots in 1974.
SANCHEZ TOPS MPSF IN GAME WINNERS
Among all the goal scorers in the MPSF, Steven Sanchez is the man when you need to win a match. He currently leads the conference with four game winning goals among his five tallies.
SANCHEZ TIES FOR SPARTANS ASSIST LEADER
With his assist on Nick Cashmere's equalizer at Sac State (11/5),` striker Steven Sanchez has tied center mid Roberto Casteneda for the team lead with four assists on the season.