San Jose, Calif. --- Junior driver Keanu Martinez led the San José State Spartans with two goals in the 13-5 loss to the Long Beach State 49ers in the regular season finale on Sunday, November 15, at the Aquatic Center.
The Spartans (3-24, 0-9 MPSF) scored first against the 49ers on strike by freshman driver Zachary Scudder in the opening minute of the match. Long Beach State (11-14, 2-7 MPSF) proceeded to find the back of San José State's cage four times to take a 4-1 lead with a minute to go in the first period.
"Our young freshman made freshman mistakes," said Spartans' head coach Bruce Watson. "We're trying to play seven and they make mistakes. Our other guys don't handle the ball very well.
Cutting the 49ers lead to 4-3, Martinez scored with 44 seconds left in the first and again at the 5:25 mark in the second. San José State then gave up eight unanswered goals while being shutout in the third period. Long Beach State led 12-3 going into the final period of play.
"The biggest thing is we're are not physically very tough right now," Watson said.
San José State scored two goals in the fourth on shots by freshman driver Cade Baldridge and junior utility man Nick Serratos while limiting Long Beach State to one goal. In goal for the Spartans, sophomore goalkeeper Matej Matijevic made six saves and freshman goalkeeper Cole Williams had three saves in relief.
"We're starting to learn how to play press defense, now we have to stop allowing the 2-meter man to shoot the ball. We're counter attacking a little better and we need to figure out how to hit the free man," Watson said.
Leading Long Beach State in scoring was senior defender Josh Tice with four goals, two in the first and two in the third. Picking up three goal hat tricks for the 49ers were senior utility man Dimitrios Lappas and freshman attacker Chandler Kaltenbach.
Senior goalkeeper Pavo Ljepopio made seven saves in the three periods of action for Long Beach State. Playing the fourth quarter for the 49ers, Caleb Shultz made one save.
San José State opens the postseason with a play-in game at the MPSF Champions at the University of Southern California on Friday, November 20.
by Brian S. Stanley, SJSU athletics media relations student assistant