San Jose, Calif. - Emmy Belding headed into the empty net at the far post off a throw-in by Shannon Righetti and overhead flick by fellow San Jose product Roxy Kamal at the 100:34 mark, to give the San Jose State University women's soccer team a thrilling double-overtime triumph, 1-0, at Spartan Stadium on Friday night, September 18.
The result gives San Jose State three straight wins for the first time since 2005, with the last two in shutout fashion, as the Spartans improve to 3-4 on the year. In losing its first match of the season, UC Davis drops to 4-1-1. The Aggies entered the match ranked No. 10 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) West Region Poll, and on a four-match win streak. UC Davis had out-scored its last three opponents, 16-2, during the four-game road stretch that concluded with tonight's defeat.
Just 34 seconds into the second and final 10-minute sudden-victory period of play, Righetti, a true freshman from Pioneer High School, threw the ball in from the right side. Kamal, a fourth-year senior and team co-captain out of Presentation High School, flicked it with her foot, over her head, toward the far post, where Belding was waiting to put in the game-winner. It was the fourth goal this season, and fourth goal in two matches, for the senior striker from Aptos, Calif. Belding now has two game-winners in 2009, and five for her two-year major college career.
Kamal and Righetti both picked up assists on the score, with Kamal's her team-leading fourth, all coming in the last two matches for the reigning Western Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week, and Righetti's the second of her young college career.
In goal, another San Jose native, Nina Butera of Presentation, made seven saves to earn her first clean sheet of the year and sixth of her career. It was a save that the junior didn't receive credit for, however, that preserved the match for the Spartans. Late in the first overtime, around the 97th minute, Marisa Boge took a through pass from fellow senior forward Jordan Martin that put her one-on-one with Butera. The junior goalkeeper came out to cut the path near the top of the penalty box, and as Boge tried to dribble around her, Butera took the ball off her feet and prevented the goal.
The Spartans managed to keep the prolific UC Davis forward tandem of Boge and senior Rochelle VanBuskirk scoreless for just the second time this season. They had combined for 12 goals and six assists during the Aggies' four-game string of victories. Boge had a game-high four shots on the night, but none were on target, though UCD out-shot San Jose State for the match, 18-13. Junior Sarah Peters wound up with five stops between the pipes.
Both teams had other opportunities to score throughout the evening. The first half of play featured dueling offsides positions, as the teams combined for nine such calls, with one goal disallowed for each side. San Jose State's came in the 10th minute, on a deep free kick down the middle of the field by sophomore center back Jessica Ingram that Belding latched onto and headed into the net, only to be judged to have been ahead of the final Aggie defender.
Approximately 17 minutes later, Lisa Kemp threaded a through ball to VanBuskirk, who finished the chance, but the assistant referee's flag was raised.
Moments after Belding's initial threat on goal, Boge got into a good spot diagonally on the right of the Spartan penalty area, and put the first UCD shot of the night just wide to the left.
In the 40th minute, Stephanie Righetti, a redshirt sophomore and the older sister of Shannon, put a glancing near-post header on a left-sided corner kick from fourth-year senior midfielder Hallsie Pacheco, but the ball smacked off the far post and was cleared away.
The 49th minute saw UC Davis find the woodwork. Freshman forward Alexis Knudtson gained possession down the left flank and cut her defender into the penalty box, only for her hard shot to be denied by the post.
At 52:11, Kamal put a perfect through ball in to Kelsey Lord. The freshman forward's shot looked like it might be headed for the upper right corner, but Peters was up to the task with a finger-tip save to a corner kick. In the 66th minute, Lord's left-sided cross was met by Belding at the near post, but the Aggie defender blocked her attempt. Pacheco later launched a shot from around 25 yards that found the crossbar above Peters' reach.
San Jose State continues this season-long three-match homestand against Notre Dame de Namur University on Tuesday, September 22. Kick-off at Spartan Stadium is set for 7:00 p.m.
UC Davis (4-1-1) - 0 0 0 0 - 0
San Jose State (3-4) - 0 0 0 1 - 1
SJSU - Emmy Belding (4) (Roxy Kamal, Shannon Righetti), 100:34
UCD - 18
SJSU - 13
UCD - 5 (Sarah Peters-5)
SJSU - 7 (Nina Butera-7)
UCD - 9
SJSU - 7
UCD - 5
SJSU - 9