San Jose, Calif. - The San José State men's soccer team, the sixth seed, plays the third-seed UNLV Rebels on Thursday in the first match of the 2015 Western Athletic Conference Men’s Soccer Championship Tournament.
#6 San José State (6-10-2)
#3 UNLV (11-6-1)
WAC Championship Tournament
Thursday, November 12, 2015, 2:30 p.m. PT
Durwood Soccer Stadium – Kansas City, Mo.
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WAC CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT ON WAC DIGITAL NETWORK
Every match of the 2015 WAC Championship Tournament can be seen, with no cost, on the conference's digital network. To watch all the action log on to http://www.wacsports.com/sports/2015/3/27/GEN_0327151717.aspx
2015 WAC MEN’S SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP
Thursday, November 12
Match 1-#6 San José State vs. #3 UNLV, 2:30 p.m. PT (WDN)
Match 2-#5 CSU Bakersfield vs. #4 Houston Baptist, 5:30 p.m. PT (WDN)
Friday, November 13
Match 3-#2 Utah Valley vs. Winner Match 1, 2:30 p.m. PT (WDN)
Match 4-#1 Seattle U vs. Winner Match 2, 5:30 p.m. PT (WDN)
Sunday, November 15
Match 5 – Winner Match 3 vs. Winner Match 4, 11:00 a.m. PT (WDN)
ABOUT SAN JOSÉ STATE
The Spartans head into the 2015 WAC Men’s Soccer Tournament with a 6-10-1 record and the sixth seed.
Junior striker Rory Knibbs is the only player to start every match in 2015 for SJSU, and leads the team in virtually every offensive category including shots (57 which is #4 in the WAC), shots on goal (29), goals (11, #2 in the WAC), points (23, #3 in the WAC), game winners (4, #2 in the WAC) and penalty kicks (3-for-4).
First-year Spartan, junior midfielder Alex Alcaraz tops the side with four assists, eighth most in the conference. Junior mid Jonathan Colunga (4 goals), freshman striker Zach Penner (2) and junior defender Kyler McLaughlin (2) are the other Spartans who have found the back of the net multiple times.
Senior keeper Felix Petermann has started the last six games, appeared in the last seven, and has a goals against average of 0.91, which is second best in the WAC. His save percentage is .767, fifth best in conference, and with two shutouts, has posted a record of 2-4-2.
Head Coach Simon Tobin is in his second season leading the Spartans. Entering the 2015 season, his career record, in 28 seasons, was 311-200-56.
The Rebels enter the WAC Championship Tournament as the third-seed with an overall record of 11-6-1.
Thursday’s meeting between the Spartans and UNVL will be the 44th since 1984, with the Spartans trailing 13-24-6 in the series.
Sophomore forward Danny Musovski has a team-high 14 goals and four assists for 32 points. Kevin Partida, a junior midfielder, along with Musovski, has assisted on a team-leading four goals.
Richard Garness, a redshirt junior, has allowed 20 shots in for a GAA of 1.25, while stopping 54 (.730 save%). His record is 9-6-1 and he has four clean sheets as he has started in 16 of the Rebels 18 matches.
The Rebels won the WAC championship tournament last year to receive an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
Two years ago, the sixth seeded San José State beat third-seed UNLV making nine penalty kicks against eight.
Head Coach Rich Ryerson is in his sixth season leading his alma mater and is bringing a 47-60-10 record, all at UNLV, into the tournament.
LAST TIME AGAINST UNLV
Back on October 9, the San José State men’s soccer team lost to UNLV, 1-0, despite outshooting the Rebels 17-to-9, including 11-to-4 in the second half. The lone goal came in the 54th minute, off a long through ball, Danny Musovski split the Spartans defense. Dribbling into the box alone, he fired a shot from 12-yards out under an on-rushing Emmanuel Espinoza.
The teams played the first half evenly in virtually every way including on the scoreboard, which was 0-0 after 45 minutes. The Spartans held a 6-to-5 edge in shots and a 3-to-2 advantage in shots on frame.
The second half started with a flurry for San José State. Off a Jonathan Colunga corner kick, freshman Eddie Saydee crashed the back of the box and headed a ball that appeared to be all but in. But Garness made a diving save for UNLV. He failed to control the ball and Saydee pounced on the rebound. He tried to tuck it inside the post, but again was denied by Garness.
With the Rebels scoring in the 54th minute, the Spartans chased the equalizer taking eight shots to the Rebels three. With 15 seconds left in regulation, the Spartans had one last chance. It came off a free kick on the far right side of the 18. Colunga served the ball into the box where defender Kyle O’Mahoney headed it just outside the far post and the clock expired with the Spartans falling 1-0.
San Jose State’s Colunga and Rory Knibbs led the team with three shots. Saydee, Kyler McLaughlin, O’Mahoney and Victor Parra took two apiece and Eric Mendez, Zach Penner and Jonathan Partida produced one each. Espinoza made four saves in the loss.
For UNLV, Bradley Kamdem led the team with three shots and Garness had eight saves to earn the shutout victory.