Women's soccer heads into final stretch of spring season

San Jose, Calif. The San Jose State University women’s soccer team, which resumed training during the first week of February, is nearing the completion of its spring season.

The Spartans are set to play Notre Dame de Namur University at Evergreen Valley College in San Jose at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 15. The teams will play a pair of regulation 45-minute halves. Admission to the event is free of charge.

San Jose State began its spring competitive season on Sunday, March 19, taking on area rival University of California and the California Storm amateur team of the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) in a pair of games which featured 40-minute halves. At home on Spartan Field, SJSU first dropped a 4-0 decision to the Cal Bears, allowing a pair of goals on either side of the halftime break.

In game two, midfielder Nicole Martinez, who will be one of three seniors on the 2006 Spartan squad, scored a second-half goal to send San Jose State to an impressive 1-0 victory over the Storm. The Storm counts Brazilian national team player Sissi among its high-powered roster of former college and Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA) stars.

Following home rainouts against Sonoma State University and the California Storm on Saturday, March 25, the Spartans were back in action on Saturday, April 8, at the University of San Francisco. Playing 35-minute halves, San Jose State blanked Sonoma State, 2-0, to begin the day, with both goals coming in the second half via set-piece free kicks, by juniors-to-be Jackie Cruz and Nicole Irwin.

Later in the day, the Spartans gave up an early goal to the host Dons of USF, before equalizing through a Jessica Scott goal with just minutes to go before the intermission. There was no further scoring in the second half as the game ended in a 1-1 deadlock.

Throughout the spring season, SJSU goalkeeping duties have been split between a pair of redshirt freshmen in Marissa Dayton and Kelsea Scott.

“It’s been great,” said San Jose State head coach Dave Siracusa about spring training thus far. “(Games and practices) have been high-energy affairs. The girls have been working hard. There has been lots of spirit at practice, even though the rain has given us some limitations.

“Generally, the soccer has been good (in the games). We played well in the loss to Cal, and played some great defense against the Storm. They were pounding us late, but we held on. We played very well in that game. We attacked at will, and maybe should have scored a couple more goals. Against USF, we let them score real early, but after that, we dictated most of the play.”

Following Saturday’s meeting with Notre Dame de Namur, the Spartans will take part in the inaugural Stanford University KICKS Against Breast Cancer Soccer Tournament. The six-team event will take place at Maloney Field on the Stanford campus on Saturday, April 22. San Jose State will face South Bay rival Santa Clara University at 9:00 a.m. and Cal at 10:15 a.m., in games with 25-minute halves. Money raised through the tournament will benefit Stanford University Breast Cancer Research, the Community Breast Health Project and the Claudia Mayer Foundation.