Tallahassee, Fla. - San Jose State University’s Nick Cukar has been named to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week for the week of November 10-16.
Cukar, a native of Millbrae, Calif., and graduate of Capuchino High School, was one of 11 players around the nation in the NCAA Division I, to earn the weekly honor from the on-line publication. Cukar is the second Spartan ever to garner CSN National Team of the Week distinction. Gavin Wenyon, a fifth-year senior defender, was selected on October 1, 2007, after aiding in back-to-back shutout victories at home over Cal State Bakersfield (9/26) and College of Charleston (9/30), making a pair of goal-saving clearances off the line in the latter.
Cukar, a left-sided midfielder, scored what proved to be the game-winning goal as San Jose State closed out the 2008 season with a 4-1 home defeat of Mountain Pacific Sports Federation foe Sacramento State on Senior Night at Spartan Stadium on Saturday, November 15.
The goal, Cukar’s team-leading ninth of the year, with an MPSF-leading seven of them of the game-winning variety, came at 14:23, off a long through ball from sophomore teammate and fellow outside midfielder, Ricky Dorrego. Cukar tapped the ball into the lower right side.
For the game, three of Cukar’s team-high four shots were on goal. He played a season-long 90 minutes. Cukar was the only Spartan to start all 18 matches this year. He totaled a career-high 18 points, all from a career-best nine goals, leading the team in both categories. Cukar shared the top spot in the MPSF in goals scored with UNLV’s Lamar Neagle, and tied for second in total points. Of his 50 shots on the year, 24 were on goal.
The Spartans ended the season unbeaten in their last six matches after an 0-4 start to the MPSF slate via four one-goal losses, the first three of which were on the road. San Jose State won four in a row at the back end of that stretch, finishing with an above-.500 overall record for a second year in a row, at 9-5-4, and an above-.500 MPSF mark (5-4-1) for the first time since 2005. San Jose State wound up alone in third place with 16 points, behind first-time champion and the MPSF’s lone NCAA Championship representative, Denver, and New Mexico.
New Mexico, which had won the past four league crowns, and San Jose State, were left out of the field of 48 when the bracket announcement was made on Monday afternoon, November 17.