Diaz scores twice in Spartans' win over Sacramento State

Sacramento, Calif.---The San Jose State University men's soccer team (11-5-3, 7-2-1 MPSF) handed Sacramento State (9-7-2, 4-5-1 MPSF) its only home loss of 2005 by defeating the Hornets, 2-1, at Hornet Field on Sunday, November 13.

"It was a big game for us against a difficult team," head coach Gary St. Clair said.

Senior Nelson Diaz scored both goals to cinch the win after the visitors got down 1-0 early via a 20th-minute goal by Eliot Ricks-Chambers, with assists going to Ryan Rhoads and Jeff Buddenbohn. The strikes, coming at 37:29 and 71:14, increased Diaz's team-leading season total to 10.

"I was more focused today than I was last Sunday against UNLV," Diaz said. "We came out kinda slow, but our defense played great and we got it going."

Senior Dan Oka had the assists on both goals, giving him seven assists on the season.

"It was important for us to get this win and take care of business," Oka said. "I had full confidence that we would come back today and win because we have great heart."

Goalkeeper Richard Mann and the Spartan backline defended several scoring attempts by the Hornets throughout the match. Mann finished with three saves. Mann also said that he was confident despite getting down after the early goal.

"I was proud of the whole team," Mann said. "The keepers and the defenders have a great bond and we play really well together."

St. Clair said the second half was one of the best halves his team has played all year.

"It was brilliant," St. Clair said. "We stepped it up and took over midfield. Everybody played their hearts out. They have great desire and great character. That's innate--you can't coach that."

The win gave the Spartans 22 points in the MPSF standings, only one short of New Mexico's 23, who clinched the title and the league's automatic NCAA Tournament berth by defeating Air Force, 1-0, in overtime.

The Spartans finish the regular season in second place in the MPSF and will await the possibility of an at-large berth into the NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament. The brackets and seedings will be announced by the NCAA on Monday, November 14. The bracket announcement will be carried live by ESPNews beginning at 1:00 p.m. PST.

San Jose State (11-5-3, 7-2-1) 1 1 - 2
Sacramento State (9-7-2, 4-5-1) 1 0 - 1

SAC - Eliot Ricks-Chambers (Ryan Rhoads, Jeff Buddenbohn), 19:40
SJSU - Nelson Diaz (Dan Oka), 37:29
SJSU - Nelson Diaz (Dan Oka), 71:14

SJSU - 19
SAC - 14

Goalkeeper Saves
SJSU - 4 (Richard Mann-3; Team-1)
SAC - 7 (Matt McDougall-7)

Corner Kicks
SJSU - 2
SAC - 8

SJSU - 19
SAC - 26