THIS WEEKEND - SPARTANS BEGIN CONFERENCE HOME SLATE
The San Jose State University women's soccer team finally opens the home portion of its 2009 Western Athletic Conference schedule with a pair of matches this weekend. The Spartans, 6-4-1 overall, 1-0 in WAC play and still on a school-record seven-game unbeaten streak, host Louisiana Tech (11-2-1, 0-2 WAC) on Friday night, October 9. Kick-off inside Spartan Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m. The Spartans then take on New Mexico State's (7-5, 2-0 WAC) first-year women's soccer program on Sunday afternoon, October 11, beginning at 1:00 p.m. San Jose State is 3-2 at Spartan Stadium thus far in 2009. The team is at or above the .500 mark through 11 games for just the fifth time in the 15-year history of the program.
SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY (6-4-1, 1-0 WAC)
vs. LOUISIANA TECH UNIVERSITY (11-2-1, 0-2 WAC)
SPARTAN STADIUM, SAN JOSE, CALIF.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 7:30 P.M.
SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY (6-4-1, 1-0 WAC)
vs. NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY (7-5, 2-0 WAC)
SPARTAN STADIUM, SAN JOSE, CALIF.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 11, 1:00 P.M.
Live stats for all San Jose State home soccer matches are available courtesy of JumpTV and NeuLion at SJSUSpartans.com. Live stats are also available for a majority of the team's road contests. Just click on Live Stats under Live from the top menu bar on the front page. Fans can also click on Schedule/Results from the women's soccer home page and access the live stats from there. There will be no audio or video coverage of the games this weekend.
SAN JOSE STATE (6-4-1, 1-0 WAC) vs. LOUISIANA TECH (11-2-1, 0-2 WAC)
(SJSU Leads Series, 3-0-1)
Louisiana Tech is coming off back-to-back 1-0 home losses after a blistering 12-game start to the 2009 season which saw the Lady Techsters go unbeaten with 49 goals scored and just six allowed. The stretch included a 12-0 drubbing of Delta State and a pair of 7-1 wins over Prairie View A&M and Centenary, all at home.
The Lady Techsters lost 1-0 in double overtime to Idaho last Friday, October 2, and again by that scoreline to Boise State two days later. They are an undefeated 3-0-1 away from home in 2009.
LA Tech is led by sophomore forward Rachel King, who has 24 points from 11 goals, including a pair of three-goal hat tricks, and two assists. A total of six players have over 10 points. Junior Kiva Greshman has 16 from five goals and a team-best six assists, while freshman Mo Rockwell also has five goals.
San Jose State leads the all-time series, 3-0-1, having met once each season since 2005, when LA Tech added a women's soccer program. San Jose State out-scored the Lady Techsters, 10-0, over three straight victories, prior to a 1-1 double-overtime draw at Spartan Field last October 24. The Spartans previously posted a 5-0 win over LA Tech in San Jose in 2006.
Kevin Sherry is in his third season in charge at Louisiana Tech. He is 23-21-7 at the helm there overall, and 0-11-5 in league matches.
SAN JOSE STATE (6-4-1, 1-0 WAC) vs. NEW MEXICO STATE (7-5, 2-0 WAC) (First Meeting)
New Mexico State has been far and away the surprise of the Western Athletic Conference this season. In just their first year as a women's soccer program, the Aggies have won four straight to move above the .500 mark overall at 7-5, and get out to a perfect 2-0 start in league play.
The Aggies edged Boise State in overtime, 1-0, on a goal by reigning WAC Offensive Player of the Week Lauren Cope in the 92nd minute last Friday, October 2. Cope, a freshman out of La Mirada, Calif., then also found the back of the net to tie Sunday's match with Idaho, 2-2, at 60:00. The Aggies grabbed the winner less than three and a half minutes later, courtesy of Yolanda McMillion. Jazmin Cardoso leads the team with four goals. Crystal Burns also has eight points from three goals and two assists. Katie Graul, a senior from San Clemente, Calif., and transfer from LMU, has seen most of the action in the NMSU net, posting a 1.35 goals-against-average, 79 saves and one shutout. The Aggies have six California natives.
Sunday's match will mark the first meeting between the schools in women's soccer. The first-year New Mexico State head coach is Michael Needham.
SPARTANS KEEP UNBEATEN STREAK INTACT ON ROAD
San Jose State most recently won one and tied one during a difficult two-match weekend road stretch, moving its unbeaten run to seven games. The Spartans first travelled all the way to Honolulu, Hawaii, to edge the University of Hawai'i, 1-0, in the 2009 conference opener for both teams, in front of 842 fans on Friday night, October 2. Shanelle Furner scored the lone goal, her first career game-winner, off an assist from fellow sophomore Angela Santoro, at 28:23. Nina Butera made seven saves for the shutout.
The Spartans then flew home all day Saturday before driving to the state capital for a 1-1 double-overtime draw with Sacramento State on Sunday afternoon, October 4. Emmy Belding's back-post header off a corner kick by fellow senior Hallsie Pacheco knotted the game at 18:26, and neither team could score again. Butera had seven more saves, including a pair in the second and final extra session. The Spartans went undefeated despite being out-shot by their opponents, 41-17.
San Jose State entered the National Collegiate Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) West Region poll for the first time this decade, at the No. 10 spot this week. The NSCAA is divided into eight regions for the first time in 2009, including both Pacific and West. The West includes the Western Athletic Conference, West Coast Conference and Big West Conference, while the Pacific consists of the Pacific-10 Conference, Mountain West Conference and Big Sky Conference.
San Jose State has gone unbeaten in seven consecutive games for the first time in program history. The Spartans previously had one other five-match unbeaten run in their 14-plus years, back in 2006, with a scoreless draw at Utah State sprinkled in between four league triumphs. They have gone 6-0-1 over their last seven, playing to a 1-1 tie at Sacramento State (10/4) to conclude a school-record six-game win streak.
With its results at Lafayette, Howard and Hawai'i, San Jose State also took three successive road matches for the first time since 2005. That year, the Spartans won at Louisiana Tech, 4-0 (October 16), at Fresno State, 1-0 (October 28), and against Nevada, 2-0 (November 4), at the WAC Tournament in Boise, Idaho. The current four-match road unbeaten stretch is their longest since a five-gamer in 1999.
San Jose State broke yet another program record recently with five consecutive shutouts, with all five of them victories. The Spartans broke the previous standard from 2006, when they opened the Western Athletic Conference season with four straight clean sheets, one of them a scoreless draw at Utah State. In all, the Spartans' shutout streak stretched all the way to a school-record 491:18, eclipsing the previous mark of 446:57 from that 2006 stretch. Sacramento State found the back of the Spartan net at the 10:31 mark of a 1-1 double-overtime draw in Sacramento, Calif., on Sunday afternoon, October 4.
Individually, redshirt junior Nina Butera notched four straight shutouts to match the school mark, with her personal-best shutout streak snapped ultimately at 446:18, a mere 39 seconds short of equalling former teammate Marissa Dayton's individual mark of 446:57.
Finally, San Jose State had gone 419:28 of first-half soccer without a goal allowed, between giving up a pair of strikes in quick succession late in the first period in the 2009 opener with Santa Clara (8/21), with the second one at 41:03, and the 11th-minute goal (10:31) that Sacramento State scored on October 4.
San Jose State, currently at 6-4-1 overall, is above the .500 mark through 11 games for the first time since opening the 1999 campaign at 7-4. The Spartans have been at .500 or above at this point in the season just four other times in its 15-year history, in 1999, 1997 (5-5-1), 1996 (7-4) and 1995 (7-4).