“This is a really hard schedule,” said Siracusa, now entering his third season at the helm of the SJSU women’s soccer program. “Our first four games are away from home, first five if you include the exhibition. We only have seven home games, with 13 on the road.”
The Spartans will begin the 2006 slate with an exhibition contest at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, Calif., on Friday, August 18. San Jose State opens the regular season on Friday, August 25, kicking off a season-long four-game road swing at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, Calif.
The road stretch continues into the early part of September, with games at Cal Poly on Friday, September 1, at Bay Area rival University of San Francisco on Sunday, September 3, and at UC Davis on Wednesday, September 6.
IDAHO STATE IN FOR HOME OPENER SEPTEMBER 8
San Jose State plays its 2006 home opener on Friday, September 8, hosting Idaho State University at 5:00 p.m. at Spartan Field. The Spartans conclude the season-long three-game homestand by playing consecutive games inside Spartan Stadium, on Wednesday, September 13, against Sacramento State, and Friday, September 15, against Notre Dame de Namur.
Following trips to Moraga, Calif., on Wednesday, September 20, to take on Saint Mary’s College, and to Stockton, Calif., on Friday, September 22, to face the University of the Pacific, SJSU will return home to host UC Riverside at Spartan Stadium on Sunday, September 24.
The Spartans close out the non-conference portion of their schedule during the first week of October, traveling to UC Irvine on Sunday, October 1, prior to their annual “Rivalry Series” match-up with South Bay rival Santa Clara University on Wednesday, October 4. That game will be contested under the lights at 7:00 p.m. at Buck Shaw Stadium on the Santa Clara campus.
WAC SEASON STARTS OCTOBER 6
The 2006 Western Athletic Conference schedule starts up on Friday, October 6, as SJSU plays host to Boise State University at 7:00 p.m. at Spartan Stadium. The Spartans will then make their first trips as fellow members of the WAC to 2005 conference newcomers Idaho and Utah State on Sunday, October 8, and Friday, October 13, respectively.
San Jose State hosts Louisiana Tech, which held its inaugural season of women’s soccer in 2005, for the first time on Sunday, October 15, at 2:30 p.m. at Spartan Stadium. The Spartans next fly to Honolulu, Hawai’i, for a match-up with last season’s regular-season WAC champion, Hawai’i, on Sunday, October 22.
This year’s Senior Day opponent is 2005 WAC Tournament champion Fresno State. The Spartans will meet the rival Bulldogs at Spartan Field on Friday, October 27, in a 1:00 p.m. kick-off. SJSU concludes the 2006 regular season in Reno, Nev., against the Nevada Wolf Pack, on Sunday, October 29.
The 2006 WAC Tournament will be held Thursday through Saturday, November 2-4, at a location that is yet to be announced. The tournament champion gains an automatic berth into the 2006 NCAA Tournament, with this year’s Women’s College Cup scheduled for Cary, N.C., Friday and Sunday, December 1 and 3.
UC Riverside, Santa Clara and Fresno State all participated in the NCAA Tournament last season. Santa Clara, ranked seventh nationally in the final NSCAA/ adidas poll, knocked off Fresno State in the first round, 5-0, before advancing to the national quarterfinals.
“We played the whole Big West Conference in 2005,” commented Siracusa about having faced six Big West teams a season ago. “This year, we play Cal Poly, Pacific, UC Riverside and UC Irvine. That’s four against the Big West, which is a great conference. We also play four teams from the West Coast Conference in Loyola Marymount, San Francisco, Saint Mary’s and Santa Clara, to make it even tougher. Those are eight big non-conference games right off the bat.”
One of the highest-rated leagues in the country, West Coast Conference schools have won three of the last five national championships in women’s soccer.
“Getting into WAC play, we open with Boise State. This will be the third time that we play them since I got here, but the first time at home. The last three games (against Hawai’i, Nevada and Fresno State) will be huge.”
San Jose State returns 15 letterwinners and all but one starter from a team which finished 6-12-3 overall and second in the WAC with a 4-2-1 league record in 2005. The only three seniors on the current roster, Nicole Martinez, Cristin Murphy and Cynthia Pinkney, have been chosen to captain the team in 2006, with Pinkney now a two-time captain.