Easton, Pa. - It was coming.
After back-to-back narrow defeats to quality East Coast foes at the University of San Francisco odwalla Nike Classic last weekend, out-shooting its two opponents by a combined count of 31-24 with only a single goal to show for it, San Jose State University women's soccer head coach Jeff Leightman and his players were optimistic about what they were building toward.
That optimism came to fruition, in an emphatic way, in a 4-1 Spartan romp over Lafayette College in a non-conference match at Oaks Stadium on Friday afternoon, September 11.
The result puts the Spartans in the win column for 2009 at 1-4. Lafayette, of the Patriot League, falls to an identical 1-4. The game marked the first meeting between the schools.
Four different San Jose State players scored in the match, with two scores coming in each half, as the Spartans out-shot their opponent for a third straight game, 17-15.
"Obviously, I'm pleased with the result," remarked Leightman following the first triumph of his second season in charge at San Jose State. "Last week, I really felt that we played well, but we couldn't get a result. Today, we put a couple of goals on the board (early) and got the result. We had the wind behind us a bit in the first half and took it to them. They had it in the second. It created some havoc for us, and they out-shot us handily in the beginning (of the period).
"The wind was a factor for both teams. We weathered the storm and were able to get the third, which was a really important goal. I thought we responded well to the long travel and the heavy legs that go with that. Lafayette is a tough team to play. They are very hard-working and play with passion and energy, so I'm just really pleased to get this result and move on. Now we look at Sunday (at Howard) and hopefully get the result we want there. Each game is still a stepping stone for us toward where we want to go as a team."
San Jose State began the afternoon in much the same manner that it finished its previous game, when it out-shot Long Island, 13-4, after halftime but still allowed a pair of goals to fall to the Blackbirds, 2-0, in San Francisco. Against the Lafayette, the Spartans had shots by senior Emmy Belding and sophomore Amanda Martin saved by freshman goalie Caroline Shiel within the first 6:06, around a corner kick and a shot that went high by senior forward Roxy Kamal.
Lafayette's first scoring attempt came at 12:10, as junior Grace Fennell's shot went high.
San Jose State finally broke through in the 22nd minute, as Kamal tallied her first goal of the season and third of her career. The product of Presentation High School headed in a cross from sophomore defender and fellow San Jose native Michelle Haughey (Branham HS) into the back of the net at the near post for a 1-0 edge.
The Spartans increased their advantage in the 38th minute as redshirt junior Katie Bonadies also provided her first goal of 2009 and third of her career on another header, assisted by Kim Johnston. San Jose State almost scored again, with just four ticks left in the half, but junior forward Katie Knopp's effort hit the post, to keep it a 2-0 scoreline at the break.
The Spartans had 12 shots to five by Lafayette over the first 45 minutes, and five corner kicks, including three in succession within a little over a minute, to none by the Leopards.
San Jose State hardly wasted any time in producing its first shot on target in the second period, as freshman Kelsey Lord's attempt 40 seconds after the whistle, was denied by Shiel.
Lord notched her first collegiate goal later in the half, however, in the 69th minute, dribbling into the Leopard penalty area and shooting past Shiel from eight yards out.
Lafayette pulled one back less than a minute and a half later as sophomore Julia Bell put the home side on the board, with assists going to Nicole Brownell and Katie Roberts.
The Spartans capped the scoring by earning a penalty kick in the 73rd minute, with senior Hallsie Pacheco stepping up to bury the chance for her team-leading second goal on the year.
In her return to the Spartan goal following a two-game absence due to injury, junior Nina Butera made seven saves. Bonadies, Knopp and Lord led the team with three shots apiece.
Junior captain Mackenzie Moore had a game-high four shots for Lafayette. Shiel was credited with five stops.
San Jose State concludes a season-long four-game road stretch in the nation's capital this Sunday afternoon, September 13, taking on Howard University (0-4-1) at 1:00 p.m. Eastern.
San Jose State (1-4) - 2 2 - 4
Lafayette (1-4) - 0 1 - 1
SJSU - Roxy Kamal (1) (Michelle Haughey), 21:25
SJSU - Katie Bonadies (1) (Kim Johnston), 37:18
SJSU - Kelsey Lord (1) (unassisted), 68:32
LC - Julia Bell (1) (Nicole Brownell, Katie Roberts), 69:47
SJSU - Hallsie Pacheco (2) (penalty kick), 72:43
SJSU - 17
LC - 15
SJSU - 7 (Nina Butera-7)
LC - 5 (Caroline Shiel-5)
SJSU - 6
LC - 4
SJSU - 10
LC - 4