Freshmen Combine For Late Soccer Winner Over Nevada

San Jose, Calif. - Kim Johnston netted her first college goal in the 84th minute with fellow freshman Lauren Ng-Pinkerton in on the assist as the San Jose State University women’s soccer team knocked off preseason Western Athletic Conference favorite and defending WAC Tournament champion University of Nevada, 2-1, at Spartan Field on Sunday, October 14.

With its second win in its last three games, both by identical scores, San Jose State improves to 3-9-2 overall and an even 1-1 in the WAC. The Spartans remain undefeated all-time against the Wolf Pack in San Jose at 3-0-1. Nevada, a 2006 NCAA Championship participant coming off a 3-0 loss at Hawai’i on Friday night, is left searching for its first league victory at 4-7-1 overall and 0-2 in conference play.

The visiting Wolf Pack had equalized at 1-1 at the 81:54 mark when just 92 seconds later, at 83:26, Johnston scored what proved to be the winner. Junior forward Jessica Scott flicked the ball on to the right flank for Ng-Pinkerton, who beat a couple of defenders toward the goalline and hit a cross into the center of the box. Nevada goalkeeper Sarah Hunt was not able to get a firm grasp of the incoming ball, with Johnston first to it to touch it home.

It was Johnston’s first collegiate goal on her first collegiate shot attempt, and the first collegiate assist for Ng-Pinkerton, who also produced her first two college shots on the day. The freshmen tandem from local high schools played against each other the past four years, with Johnston on the varsity squad at Leigh High School, and Ng-Pinkerton at Santa Teresa High School.

“It feels awesome,” said a jubilant Johnston standing next to her freshman teammate following the game. “I was more surprised that I scored, but it was a team effort all the way, and was extra special coming from Lo (Ng-Pinkerton), being two freshmen. We worked real hard, and wanted to score to show them what we (freshmen) can do.”

“It’s the best feeling,” added Ng-Pinkerton, whose older sister, Erica Ng-Pinkerton, is a fourth-year senior on the team. “I would love to pass to anybody for a goal, but for it to be Kim, somebody who has worked as hard as she has, was rewarding.

“I kind of crossed it and crossed my fingers,” went on Ng-Pinkerton, grinning. “I know that sounds kind of bad. You would like to say you were aiming for somebody. It was kind of just a slow roll.”

Scott was also credited with an assist on the game-winner, her first of the year. The reigning WAC Offensive Player of the Week had tallied the opening goal of the game at 7:54, curving a corner kick straight into the opposing goal for her team-leading fifth goal of the season. Scott now leads the team with 11 total points.

The game-tying Nevada score came on a shot from the top of the box into the upper right corner of the goal by senior midfielder Blaine Dugan in the 82nd minute. It was her third of the season, with an assist going to junior midfielder Jessica Thompson, her second.

The two teams each had 19 shots in the match, with freshman Cristen Drummond collecting a game-high five for Nevada and junior Liz Behlen providing four attempts to pace the Spartans.

Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Nina Butera made six saves in earning her third victory. Hunt, a junior making her first collegiate start for the Wolf Pack, stopped four shots.

San Jose State concludes the non-conference portion of its 2007 schedule this Wednesday, October 17, hosting UC Davis. The match is currently scheduled to be played at Spartan Stadium beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Nevada (4-7-1, 0-2 WAC) - 0 1 - 1
San Jose State (3-9-2, 1-1 WAC) - 1 1 - 2

SJSU - Jessica Scott (5) (unassisted), 7:54
NEV - Blaine Dugan (3) (Jessica Thompson), 81:54
SJSU - Kim Johnston (1) (Lauren Ng-Pinkerton, Jessica Scott), 83:26

NEV - 19
SJSU - 19

Goalkeeper Saves
NEV - 4 (Sarah Hunt-4)
SJSU - 6 (Nina Butera-6)

Corner Kicks
NEV - 4
SJSU - 6

NEV - 9
SJSU - 10