Women's soccer tops Idaho State in home opener, 2-1

San Jose, Calif. - A goal by junior defender Heather Oranje with just 2:12 remaining in regulation propelled the San Jose State University women’s soccer team to a 2-1 victory over Idaho State University in its 2006 home opener at Spartan Field on Friday, September 8.

Senior tri-captain Cynthia Pinkney began the play with a corner kick from the left side. Junior midfielder Jackie Zabek beat her marker to the ball and flicked a header to the right side, where Oranje corralled it and put a low shot into the left side of the Bengal goal at 87:48. It was the second goal of her Spartan career, with the previous one also a game-winner, as a freshman in a 2-1 win at Nevada on October 8, 2004. Zabek and Pinkney were each credited with assists.

“The ball came off Jackie’s (Zabek) head and I tried to half-volley it,” said Oranje. “Kristin (Krale) was in the (penalty) box, and I think she might have obstructed the goalkeeper’s view a little bit. We were a little unorganized at first, but it worked itself out. We were rushing, but got settled and won the game.”

Although San Jose State outshot the visitors in the first half, 9-5, Idaho State had the two best chances to score over the first 45 minutes. A shot by junior forward Natalie Graham in the sixth minute was cleared off the goal-line by sophomore defender Brittny Beshore, her second such clearance in three games. Then as the halftime break neared, a goal by senior Chantal Kim was disallowed due to a handball call by the match referee.

SCOTT STRIKES EARLY IN SECOND HALF

The Spartans got on the board almost immediately following the second-half whistle, as sophomore forward Jessica Scott stole the ball from a Bengal defender and cracked a shot from the right side from 20 yards out which hit off the left post and went into the goal just 51 seconds into the period. It was Scott’s team-leading second score of 2006.

“I was up against my defender and I won the tackle, came up with the ball and got around her,” explained Scott of her goal. “I thought (my shot) was going to hit off the post. I was just excited that it went in from there.”

Idaho State equalized at the 60:41 mark when, following a foul called inside the penalty box, junior midfielder Michelle Okumura converted the resulting penalty kick for her team-leading fourth goal of the season.

As the match looked as though it may go into overtime, Oranje’s strike settled matters. For the game, SJSU had 20 shots and six corner kicks to 14 and three, respectively, by Idaho State. Individually, freshman Bengal midfielder Annamarie Hofstetter and senior Spartan midfielder Cristin Murphy each had four shots for their teams.

Redshirt freshman Kelsea Scott made her second straight start in goal for San Jose State, making four saves in 90 minutes. Lindsay Gensler played the entire match and had four saves of her own for Idaho State.

"DESERVED VICTORY"

“I don’t think this game was very pleasing to the eye,” remarked San Jose State head coach Dave Siracusa. “It was a battle. I’m glad that we were able to come out on top. I told the girls that if we did that 15 more times (this season), great. Our soccer was better than (Idaho State’s). The girls came out on top. It was a deserved victory. Being able to win when you don’t play your best soccer is the mark of a pretty good team.

“Shots give us life,” Siracusa added about the nature of his team’s two goals against Idaho State, both of which came on shots from outside the opponent’s penalty box. “I like shooting. Good things can happen when you shoot, like deflections. Sometimes they go all the way through (and into the goal).”

“It was a big relief (to get this win),” said Pinkney, who’s assist off the bench on the game-winner was the second of her Spartan career and first this season. “We needed to get the ball rolling, and this is a good start. We let (Idaho State) in the game and beat ourselves a little bit in the first half, but we picked it up in the second half and found our rhythm.”

San Jose State’s first win of 2006 improves its record to 1-3-1. Idaho State falls to an even 3-3. The Bengals of Pocatello, Idaho, and the Big Sky Conference, wrap up a two-game California trip at UC Davis on Sunday.

HOMESTAND CONTINUES NEXT WEDNESDAY

The Spartans continue a season-long three-match homestand with a pair of non-conference games inside Spartan Stadium next week. San Jose State will host Sacramento State on Wednesday, September 13, and Notre Dame de Namur on Friday, September 15. Both games will begin at 7:00 p.m. Fans unable to attend can access live streaming video on a paid subscription basis, and live statistics free of charge, for both games at www.sjsuspartans.com.

SCORING SUMMARY
Idaho State (3-3) - 0 1 - 1
San Jose State (1-3-1) - 0 2 - 2

Scoring
SJSU - Jessica Scott (2) (unassisted), 45:51
ISU - Michelle Okumura (4) (Penalty kick), 60:41
SJSU - Heather Oranje (1) (Jackie Zabek, Cynthia Pinkney), 87:48

Shots
ISU - 14
SJSU - 20

Goalkeeper Saves
ISU - 4 (Lindsay Gensler-4)
SJSU - 5 (Kelsea Scott-4; Team-1)

Corner Kicks
ISU - 3
SJSU - 6

Fouls
ISU - 9
SJSU - 16