San Jose, Calif. - San Jose State (4-10-1, 2-4-1 WAC) recorded its first multi-goal game since August 24 and put a notch in its win column, as the Spartans beat Seattle University, 2-1, in a Western Athletic Conference (WAC) match Sunday afternoon.
"Today, we finally scored first and playing with the lead made such a difference," said Spartans head coach Jeff Leightman. "It is so much easier than trying to play from behind."
After a scoreless first half, the Spartans returned to the field following intermission firing on all cylinders. Megan Molina was awarded a free kick in the 47 minute and her shot sailed past Brianna Smallidge. The goal was Molina's second of the season.
Freshman Rachel Docherty doubled San Jose State's lead at the 76-minute mark when Gabriella Stange took a corner kick and Docherty was able to slip the ball past Smallidge. Docherty's goal was her first collegiate tally.
Docherty said of the goal, "It feels great, but a win feels even better. We really needed that one and anything I can do to help feels awesome."
Julia Besagno put Seattle (7-7-1, 2-2-1 WAC) on the board, and closed out scoring in the match when, at 86:19, she was awarded a penalty kick. The ball soared over Makrigiannis's left shoulder for Besagno's first goal of the year.
Leightman commented on his team's play today. "We limited Seattle's chances," he said. "They are a very good team, but the bottom line is that we finished. That has been the missing piece the last two months."
Docherty added, "We kept it together a full 90 minutes," she said. "That is something we have been working on. Overall, I think our passion and heart was in this game and that is what did it for us in the end."
Makrigiannis (2-4-0) and Smallidge (6-7-1) each made four saves. San Jose State held an advantage in shots, 10-to-9.
Leightman discussed how his team has to prepare for its match on Friday, October 19, against Utah State, who is the best team in the WAC. "Hopefully, this game will give us some confidence," he said. "That is one of the things that we were lacking so hopefully, this gives us a spring in our step.
"We are a dangerous team and should be scoring, so this win is not a surprise," Leightman said. "It is more of a relief that it finally happened."
The Spartans head to Logan, Utah on October 19 for their final road match of the season against the Utah State Aggies.