Irwin lifts women's soccer to 3-0 win in WAC opener

San Jose, Calif. - Nicole Irwin produced two goals and one assist to lead the San Jose State University women’s soccer team to a 3-0 shutout of Boise State University in the 2006 Western Athletic Conference opener for both teams at Spartan Stadium on Friday, October 6.

With the victory, San Jose State improves to 4-8-1 overall and 1-0 in the WAC. Boise State falls to 5-5-1 overall and 0-1 in league play. The win was the first for the Spartans over the Broncos since the 2002 season.

The Spartans dominated play for the majority of the game, out-shooting the Broncos 28-9 on the evening, including 16-5 in the second half, when Boise State goalkeeper Michaela Morrison was forced to make nine saves.

IRWIN BLAST OPENS SCORING MIDWAY THROUGH FIRST HALF

Irwin put San Jose State on the board at the 27:07 mark, stealing the ball, dribbling past a couple of defenders and launching a 25-yard shot that went over Morrison’s head and into the top netting for the unassisted goal.

Following the halftime intermission, the Spartans came out and continued to fire at the Boise State net, getting back-to-back shots on goal from Roxy Kamal, a freshman forward out of nearby Presentation High School and native of San Jose.

The Spartans were finally able to get the insurance goal they needed in the 73rd minute. Kamal’s header was knocked back to her by a Bronco defender near the top of the penalty box in the center of the field. This time, Kamal tapped a short header away from the goal, where an on-rushing Irwin hit a perfectly-placed one-time shot into the right corner of the net as Morrison briefly lost her footing trying to reach it. The score gave Irwin the first two-goal game of her career and Kamal her first collegiate assist.

Irwin was not finished. Her corner kick to the back post in the 83rd minute was headed into the back of the net by Jackie Zabek for the 3-0 scoreline. The goal was Zabek’s first of 2006 and third of her career.

FIRST SHUTOUT OF SEASON FOR SPARTANS

With San Jose State’s first clean sheet as a team of the season, goalkeeper Marissa Dayton also earned her first collegiate shutout. The redshirt freshman needed to make just two saves to earn the shutout, but they each were critical saves on either side of halftime. Dayton dove to her right to save Nicole Coleman’s attempt with six minutes to go in the first period, and also blocked a close-range effort by Kristin Hall at the near post in the 72nd minute.

Kamal and fellow freshman Hallsie Pacheco finished with four shots apiece, with two each on goal. Jessica Scott, the Spartan shots leader heading into the match, registered a team-high six, including one of her trademark efforts from distance that went just high late in the first half. A game-high four of Irwin’s five shots, and 13 of SJSU’s total of 28, were on goal. The Spartans were playing without the services of regulars Liz Behlen, Jackie Cruz, Jennifer Guadagnolo and Cristin Murphy.

"MUCH-NEEDED" WIN

“Getting our first shutout was really big," said San Jose State head coach Dave Siracusa. "Nicole Irwin stepped up and she was a key. Kristin Krale was great for us in the back. We had a bunch of players out of position, but everybody stepped up.”

Added Irwin, “The way this game felt, there are no words to describe it. This was much needed. It felt good. Every player busted her tail. The work rate was better than it had been. This was something we needed after the Santa Clara game.”

Commenting on the shutout, Dayton said, "When we had won, we were winning 2-1 or in overtime. It was great to get a shutout, but it goes hand-in-hand with the attack. Getting a shutout tonight went along with the quality of our attack.”

For Boise State, Morrison finished with 10 saves in goal. Hall had a team-high three shots.

San Jose State next travels to Moscow, Idaho, early Saturday morning, to take on league foe University of Idaho this Sunday, October 8, at 1:00 p.m.

SCORING SUMMARY
Boise State (5-5-1, 0-1 WAC) - 0 0 - 0
San Jose State (4-8-1, 1-0 WAC) - 1 2 - 3

Scoring
SJSU - Nicole Irwin (2) (unassisted), 27:07
SJSU - Nicole Irwin (3) (Roxy Kamal), 72:43
SJSU - Jackie Zabek (1) (Nicole Irwin), 82:48

Shots
BSU - 9
SJSU - 28

Goalkeeper Saves
BSU - 10 (Michaela Morrison-10)
SJSU - 2 (Marissa Dayton-2)

Corner Kicks
BSU - 3
SJSU - 4

Fouls
BSU - 11
SJSU - 15