San Jose, Calif. - Lincoln High School product Ricky Dorrego provided two goals and two assists to lead San Jose State University over Sacramento State, 4-1, in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation men’s soccer match on Senior Night at Spartan Stadium on Saturday, November 15.
With its fourth straight victory to close out the 2008 regular season, San Jose State improves to 9-5-4 overall and 5-4-1 in the MPSF. Sacramento State ends its campaign at 8-9-2 overall and 3-7 in league play. The Spartans went unbeaten over their last six matches, finishing 5-0-1, with all six matches in conference play, and the only blemish a 3-3 draw at first-time MPSF champion Denver. Despite the incredible turnaround after dropping each of its first four league contests, each by narrow one-goal margins, with the first three away from home, San Jose State is not expected to receive an at-large bit into the NCAA Championship when the 48-team field is announced on Monday afternoon, November 17. The Spartans’ year is thus likely over.
The Spartans jumped all over the visiting Hornets early, scoring twice within the first 15 minutes. Dorrego notched the opener at 8:12, with assists going to Colby Moore and Hiroki Akiyama.
Nick Cukar, the reigning MPSF Brine Co-Player of the Week, added his team-leading ninth at 14:23, with Dorrego helping, to increase the Spartan advantage. The goal would ultimately become a conference-best seventh game-winner for the junior midfielder.
San Jose State headed into the locker room with a 3-0 bulge thanks to a 35th-minute strike from Dorrego, his fourth of 2008.
Both teams went down to 10 men at the 55:48 mark, with a red card issued to each side.
The game ended in a flurry with a pair of goals in the last three minutes. Sacramento State first pulled one back when Jason Duvall put the rebound in after senior goalkeeper Lewis Sweeney had saved an initial header attempt by Cody Shields.
Redshirt freshman Sky Cutler, a graduate of nearby Archbishop Mitty High School, closed out the scoring seconds later, turning a Moore cross into the lower right side of the net for his first collegiate goal. The assist was Moore’s second of the night and team-best eighth on the year, with Dorrego also gaining credit for his second helper of the match.
Richard Mann, a senior tri-captain and San Jose native, started in goal for the Spartans and made two saves. Sweeney took over for the second half and stopped six shots. Cukar collected a team-high four shots, three of them on target. All three of Dorrego’s shots were on goal.
Nick Gargiulo played the entire match between the pipes for the visitors, tallying four saves. Chris Bettencourt took a game-high six of the 18 Sacramento State shots, with three on goal.
San Jose State won for just the second time this season when getting out-shot, and the second time during its season-ending three-match homestand. The Spartans earned credit for 13 shots, to 18 by Sacramento State. They gained a season-high nine corner kicks.
Seniors Akiyama, Mann, Sweeney, Ed Brand, Sam Shore and Gavin Wenyon, were recognized prior to their final match as Spartans.
Sacramento State (8-9-2, 3-7 MPSF) - 0 1 - 1
San Jose State (9-5-4, 5-4-1 MPSF) - 3 1 - 4
SJSU - Ricky Dorrego (3) (Colby Moore, Hiroki Akiyama), 8:12
SJSU - Nick Cukar (9) (Ricky Dorrego), 14:23
SJSU - Ricky Dorrego (4) (Unassisted), 34:05
SAC - Jason Duvall (1) (Cody Shields), 87:00
SJSU - Sky Cutler (1) (Colby Moore, Ricky Dorrego), 88:07
SAC - 18
SJSU - 13
SAC - 4 (Nick Gargiulo-4)
SJSU - 8 (Richard Mann-2; Lewis Sweeney-6)
SAC - 7
SJSU - 9
SAC - 18
SJSU - 23