Spartans Begin WAC Play Sunday Against Idaho

The two-time defending Western Athletic Conference champion San Jose State women’s soccer team begins its title defense at 1:00 p.m. Sunday against Idaho in Spartan Stadium.
SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY (1-9, 0-0 WAC)
Sunday vs. Idaho (4-6-2, 0-0 WAC), 1:00 p.m.
BROADCAST ON KSJS The Spartans' WAC opener against Idaho will be broadcast live by SJSU student radio KSJS, with Andy Dickerson and Alexander Scott on the call. The broadcast will begin with a pregame show approximately 30 minutes before kickoff. Tune to 90.5 FM on your radios, or head to http://ksjs.org/ksjs_live.html online to listen live from anywhere in the world.
LIVE STATS Live stats are available free of charge on www.sjsuspartans.com for all San Jose State home matches and select road contests. Click on the Live Stats icon at the top of the San Jose State Athletics web page and select the game by clicking on the camera icon.  Fans can also access the live stats from the Schedule/Results section of the women's soccer home page.
SPARTANS TICKETS Tickets to all home women’s soccer games are available at the gate starting one hour before kickoff. Fans can also call the San Jose State Spartans Ticket Office for advance group purchases by calling 408-924-SJTX.
ABOUT SAN JOSE STATE The Spartans (1-9) dropped two road contests last week, falling 2-0 at Pacific on Sept. 23, then taking a 3-0 loss at St. Mary’s on Sept. 25. The two losses followed the Spartans’ first win of the season on Sept. 18, a 1-0 victory over Portland State at Spartan Stadium.
Kelsey Lord remains the Spartans’ leading scorer in 2011 with two goals and an assist for five points. Lord is also the team’s top shooter with 18 shots and seven shots on goal. Maiwald has recorded 57 saves and a 2.17 goals against average in 10 games.
SERIES HISTORY San Jose State leads the all-time series over the Vandals, 4-2-1. The teams have split their last four meetings. Idaho won last year’s match, 2-1, in Moscow, Idaho. The Spartans’ wins in the series have come in pairs, winning back-to-back in 2005-06, and winning two in a row again from 2008-09. The teams first met on Sept. 27, 2002, in Idaho and tied, 1-1.
ABOUT IDAHO The Vandals (4-6-2) snapped their three-match losing streak in their last game with a 1-0 victory over Eastern Washington on Sept. 25. The Vandals have played two teams the Spartans have faced in 2011, tying UC Riverside, 1-1, in a neutral site game on Aug. 21, and losing to Portland State, 2-1, on Aug. 28. The Vandals will face Fresno State in both teams’ WAC opener Friday, Sept. 30, before coming to San Jose State Sunday.
Chelsea Small is the team’s leading scorer with six goals and an assist for 13 points. Small was last year’s WAC Offensive Player of the Year. Idaho’s 15 goals this season have come from six different players, its 13 assists have come from eight players and all four game-winners have come from a different player. The Vandals are looking to improve upon last year’s 5-3-0 WAC record and third-place conference finish, both of which were program bests.
HOW IT BEGAN IN 2010 San Jose State began the 2010 WAC season with a 2-1 overtime win at Fresno State. The Spartans would march on to a 5-2-1 WAC record and clinch their second straight conference title and WAC Tournament No. 1 seed.
WAC LEADERS IN 2010 Kelsey Lord ranked in the top three during WAC play in six different offensive categories for the Spartans in 2010. Lord led the conference in assists with 11 and assists per game at a 1.00 clip. Meghan Maiwald was the conference’s leader in saves with 43. Kayla Santacruz was the WAC leader in goals during conference play with eight scores on her way to WAC Freshman of the Year.
WAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK The Spartans’ first 2011 player of the week recognition came when senior Lauren Sanchez was named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week for the week of Sept. 12-18.
Sanchez, a midfielder from San Jose, Calif. (Archbishop Mitty HS), scored the lone goal in the Spartans’ 1-0 victory over Portland State, Sept. 18. The goal, which came in the 70th minute, allowed the Spartans to capture their first win of the season. Teammate Kayla Santacruz took the ball all the way into the box and shot to the far post. The ball went wide and got past the Vikings goalkeeper, but Sanchez was in the right place at the right time to put it home for the 1-0 lead.
The goal was Sanchez’s first of the season. In addition to the game-winner, Sanchez added another shot in the contest, and added two more shots in the Spartans’ 1-0 defeat at Sacramento State on Sept. 16.
ASCENDING THE CAREER RANKS Kelsey Lord and Meghan Maiwald have already made moves in the Spartans’ career records list early in 2011, and the two are poised to continue climbing. Lord’s five points this season has pushed her career total to 49, allowing her to claim sole possession of third place in career points at SJSU, passing Julie Brum (45), who played from 1997-2000. Lord’s two goals this season have also moved her into a tie for third all-time in career goals at SJSU with 17. Jessica Scott also scored 17 goals from 2005-07.   Maiwald’s 57 saves so far this season has given her 153 in her career, allowing her to pass Marissa Dayton (110) and move into sixth all-time. Next in Maiwald’s view is Erin Meyer, who recorded 156 saves from 2000-02.
MORE RECORD PACE FOR MAIWALD Maiwald’s 57 saves through 10 games puts her on pace for 103 stops in 2011, which would be the third-best single season total ever at San Jose State. Amee Brown recorded 111 saves in 1997. The Spartans’ single-season saves record is 113, held by Erin Lavey from the 2002 campaign.
Finally, Maiwald’s shutout of Portland State Sept. 18 was the seventh of her career, tying her for third all-time with Adrienne Herbst, who had seven shutouts from 2003-05
SPREADING THE SCORING San Jose State has received seven of its eight goals this season from seven different players. Kelsey Lord scored in the season opener versus No. 15 Santa Clara, Aug. 19, and got her second of the season Sept. 9 at CSU Bakersfield.Catherine Ruder scored her first collegiate goal on Aug. 26 against No. 13 UC Irvine, and McColl Matthews got her first collegiate score Sept. 9 at CSU Bakersfield. Jessica Ingram tallied a goal Aug. 28 at UC Riverside, whileShanelle Furner and Kelsy Holm both notched scores Sept. 6 against UC Davis. Lauren Sanchez got on the board with a goal Sept. 18 against Portland State, a game-winner in a 1-0 Spartans victory.
SLOW STARTS EQUAL SUCCESS San Jose State won back-to-back Western Athletic Conference regular season titles in 2009-10 and reached two WAC postseason tournaments, despite beginning the ’09 campaign 1-4 and the 2010 season at 1-5. The last time San Jose State began a season with at least a .500 record after four games was 2000, when the Spartans started 2-2, won their first WAC championship, and eventually made their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
HEAD COACH JEFF LEIGHTMAN Jeff Leightman is in his fourth season leading the San Jose State women’s soccer program. Leightman has collected a 29-33-9 record at the helm of the Spartans while winning back-to-back Western Athletic Conference regular season titles in 2009-10.
UP NEXT The Spartans continue their stretch of three games in seven days with a non-conference game against Dominican (Calif.) at 7 p.m. Tuesday night. Fresno State comes to Spartan Stadium for a WAC showdown under the lights at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8.