San Jose, Calif. - The San Jose State women's soccer team scored early and late to secure a 3-1 Friday night victory in the conference home opener over visiting Louisiana Tech at Spartan Stadium.
The win gives the Spartans a 2-0 start to WAC play for the first time since 2006 and extends the team's unbeaten streak to eight games (7-0-1). It also puts the team at 7-4-1 and a perfect 2-0 in the WAC, dropping visiting LA Tech to 11-3-1 on the season with all three losses coming in conference play. The victory sets up a battle for the top spot in the conference when first-place New Mexico State (8-5, 3-0 in WAC) visits Spartan Stadium on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
The opportunistic Spartans struck first on Emmy Belding's fourth-minute header off the fingertips of LA Tech's starting goalie, Cat Buchanan, from a long free kick by sophomore center back Jessica Ingram. Belding's team-best sixth goal of the season brought Friday night's crowd of more than 330 patrons to their feet, and less than 10 minutes later, the Spartans extended the lead to 2-0 on Roxy Kamal's unassisted blast from 25 yards away.
Kamal's goal, which proved to be the game-winner, helped make it a short night for Buchanan, who exited in the 21st minute with one save and two goals allowed. Aly Dicker took over the net duties and made two saves in her 69 minutes of work. Kat McCullough scored LA Tech's only goal of the night on a penalty kick in the 39th minute, closing the gap to 2-1.
Spartan goalkeeper Nina Butera, who has been the goalie of record in all eight games of the current unbeaten streak, was not called upon to make any saves. Freshman forward Kelsey Lord tacked on an insurance goal in the 77th minute off Kamal's team-best fifth assist, giving the Spartans the 3-1 triumph.
The Spartans will be going after their first 3-0 league start in team history on Sunday when the undefeated first-place New Mexico State Aggies (8-5, 3-0 WAC) visit Spartan Stadium for the 1:00 p.m. afternoon matinee.
Louisiana Tech (11-3-1, 0-3 WAC) - 1 0 - 1
San Jose State (7-4-1, 2-0 WAC) - 2 1 - 3
SJSU - Emmy Belding (6) (Jessica Ingram), 3:57
SJSU - Roxy Kamal (5) (unassisted), 15:29
LATECH - Kat McCullough (4) (Penalty kick), 38:32
SJSU - Kelsey Lord (4) (Roxy Kamal), 76:27
LATECH - 7
SJSU - 15
LATECH - 3 (Cat Buchanan-1; Aly Dicker-2)
SJSU - 0 (Nina Butera-0)
LATECH - 3
SJSU - 3
LATECH - 4
SJSU - 9