San Jose, Calif. - The San Jose State University women’s soccer team defeated visiting Cal State Stanislaus, 4-3, in its final home date of the 2008 spring season at Spartan Field on Saturday, April 12.
Cal State Stanislaus, located in Turlock, Calif., and a member of the NCAA Division II and California Collegiate Athletic Association, opened the scoring midway through the first of three 30-minute periods on a semi-breakaway.
San Jose State tied it toward the end of the opening period as senior-to-be Liz Behlen took a shot from approximately 25 yards out that hit the crossbar and bounced straight down. With it unclear as to whether the ball had entirely crossed the goalline or not, Katie Bonadies put the ball in the back of the net to make sure of the goal.
Early in the second period, the Spartans took their first lead on a well-worked goal by Behlen. Emmy Belding, a junior transfer from Cabrillo College, got control of the ball around the corner of the penalty area on the right side, dribbled toward the goalline and cut a cross in that Behlen ran onto and shot in at the near post.
Behlen almost made it a 3-1 Spartan advantage a short time later, reaching out toward a ball played to her from the left flank and expertly touching it down first time toward goal with the outside of her foot to set herself up one-on-one against the Warrior goalkeeper. Her shot was saved, however, to keep it a 2-1 game.
Cal State Stanislaus knotted the score again late in the second period, taking advantage of a three-on-three counterattack following an unsuccessful Spartan scoring opportunity.
The Spartans came out at the start of the final period, tallying back-to-back goals to take a commanding 4-2 lead. The first came as a result of a right-sided run and cross from sophomore-to-be Lauren Ng-Pinkerton that Belding shot into the corner from about 12 yards out. It was a second goal in as many spring games for Belding.
The third San Jose State goal came from Bonadies, who was a redshirt freshman during the 2007 season. She gathered a ball that went from right to left, took a shot that hit off the near post, continued her run and put in the rebound.
The visitors scored once more with less than five minutes remaining to make the final score 4-3.
Nina Butera, who was the Spartans’ starting goalkeeper for much of the 2007 season as a redshirt freshman, played the first 30 minutes and most of the second period, before giving way to sophomore walk-on Sarah Wisotsky for the remainder of the afternoon. San Jose State had 14 players in uniform and available to play in the game.
“We didn’t have our best effort,” said first-year San Jose State head coach Jeff Leightman. “I expect more out of our team than what we showed on Saturday. We were happy to score some goals and get the win, but we can’t be content with winning ugly. We have to build toward something better and hold ourselves to a higher standard.
“In terms of highlights from the day, our second goal was a really nice job by Liz (Behlen) and Emmy (Belding). It was technically and tactically sound, and finished off very well. Liz also had a world-class touch (later in the second period), but was unable to finish. I was happy with Brittny Beshore. She played very well despite having to miss some practice during the week.”
The Spartans will next take part in a pair of seven-versus-seven tournaments on the road at UC Davis and the University of California, on Sunday, April 20, and Sunday, April 27, respectively.
This Sunday’s tournament at UC Davis’ Howard Field will feature two groups of five teams, with the participating squads contesting four games each of 30-minute length with a pair of 15-minute halves. The Spartans will compete in the Gold Bracket on Field #1, and begin the day against last Saturday’s opponent, Cal State Stanislaus, at 9:40 a.m.
San Jose State will then take on Diablo Valley College at 11:40 a.m., East Bay Power at 1:00 p.m. and the host Aggies of UC Davis at 2:20 p.m. The Blue Bracket consists of the UC Davis Alumni, the San Francisco Nighthawks of the Women’s Premier Soccer League, Chico State, San Jose State’s Western Athletic Conference rival University of Nevada and Santa Cruz FC.
The teams that finish in first or second place in either bracket advance to the semifinal round at 3:40 p.m., with the tournament final set for a 4:20 p.m. start. First and second place during bracket play is determined by points, with three points for a win, one for a tie, zero for a loss, one for each goal scored (up to four) and one for a shutout (not including scoreless draws). One point is deducted from a team’s total for each red card attained.
San Jose State’s spring training schedule is expected to conclude by Saturday, May 3.