SAN JOSE, Calif. - The 2011 Western Athletic Conference season began Sunday for the SJSU women's soccer team the same way it has the past two seasons - with a win. Kelsey Lord's goal in the 83rd minute capped a 2-1 come-from-behind victory for the Spartans Sunday against Idaho at Spartan Stadium.
Lord received a long, crossing pass from Abigail Hernandez as she ran down the sideline. Lord had one defender to beat, and as she dribbled into the penalty box she shot high past Idaho 'keeper Caroline Towles for the game-winner. The goal is Lord's 18th of her career, tying her for third all-time at San Jose State with Emmy Belding (2008-09). Her seventh game-winning goal also ties her for third on the all-time SJSU career list with Belding.
"I had pressure on me but I just shot it and hoped it went in, and it did," said Lord about her game-winning goal. "I was trying all game long and it finally came for me. That had a lot to do with my teammates believing in me. That goal was really special."
After holding their opponent scoreless in the first half for the fourth straight game and sixth time this season, the Spartans (2-9, 1-0 WAC) fell behind 1-0 after halftime on a defensive miscue. Goalkeeper Meghan Maiwald came all the way out of the penalty box to clear the ball. The Spartan defense let the ball go by, and at the same time let Idaho forward Chelsea Small slip through. Small found the ball after Maiwald tried to clear it, and scored on a wide-open net from 20 yards out to put the Vandals ahead.
"I'm very pleased, I'm very proud of our effort," San Jose State head coach Jeff Leightman said. "We had a lot of players who were given a different opportunity to play a different role and they seized it and made the most of it."
It only took 38 seconds for the Spartans to score an equalizer. Angela Santoro played the ball into the box, where Stephanie Bales leaped from a crowd of Vandals defenders to head the ball towards the goal. With Towles out of position, Kayla Santacruz easily followed the header in for her first goal of the season and a 1-1 score.
"It felt great. It's been a long road and it felt great to get that one back after they scored on us," said Santacruz.
"I'm very proud of Stephanie Bales," Leightman said. "She put herself in a dangerous spot and really sold out and it created the goal."
The Spartans saw a scoring opportunity go to the wayside less than three minutes into the game when Lord chased down a loose ball inside the box that was casually being approached by Towles. Lord went around the Idaho goalkeeper and took a shot on the open net, but it went high.
Idaho (4-8-2, 0-2 WAC) actually put a ball in the net in the first half, but it was waved off because time had expired. As the seconds ticked down, Idaho brought the ball into the corner and sent a cross into the box. Christina Boddie put a foot on it and found the left side of the goal, but the referee ruled no goal as the buzzer had already sounded.
The Spartans dominated most of the possession in the first 20 minutes, but the momentum quickly shifted to Idaho after Erica Hart received a yellow card in the 23rd minute. The Vandals would control possession for the next 10 minutes before play evened out for the final 10 minutes of the half.
San Jose State continues its stretch of three home games in seven days with a non-conference match against Dominican (Calif.) at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The Spartans resume WAC play under the lights at 7 p.m. Saturday against Fresno State.
Scoring by Periods
1 2 F
Idaho (4-8-2, 0-2 WAC) 0 1 - 1
San Jose State (2-9, 1-0 WAC) 0 2 - 2
Idaho -- 17
SJSU -- 19
Idaho -- 2
SJSU -- 3
Caroline Towles (Idaho) -- 7
Meghan Maiwald (SJSU) -- 4