The victory gave the Spartans their first three-game win streak since they took three decisions in four days to notch their first and only conference title at the WAC Tournament in Fresno, Calif., in 2000. It also puts SJSU into a tie for first place in the league standings with Hawai’i, which went down to a 2-1 defeat at Utah State on Sunday.
San Jose State also tallied four goals for a second straight game after having not scored that many in a single match since 2002, and has now scored 10 goals during its win streak. The Spartans had managed nine goals over their first 12 games in 2005.
In the first meeting between the teams all-time, freshman Jessica Scott got SJSU on the board early, firing a long-distance shot which found the back of the Lady Techsters’ net just over two and a half minutes into the contest.
Despite the early goal, the Spartans struggled to find their rhythm throughout the first 45 minutes, but came alive following the break. Sophomores Kristin Krale (55:21) and Nicole Irwin (70:20), and freshman Liz Behlen (78:27), all notched goals for the 4-0 final. Behlen’s goal was her team-leading sixth, and fourth in three matches, while Irwin’s was her first of the season after pacing the team with four goals in 2004.
Senior tri-captain Adrienne Herbst earned her third shutout of 2005, making five saves. San Jose State outshot Louisiana Tech, 31-9, and kept the conference’s second-leading scorer, Emily Cleaveland of LTU (nine goals), without a shot.
“We started slow after a long, hard travel day, and it was hot and muggy,” said Spartan head coach Dave Siracusa. “(Jessica Scott) scored early and that gave us some life, but the entire first half was a struggle. We picked our heads up at halftime, and played better soccer, attacked a lot and took a lot of shots in the second half. We showed we were the better team. Our shots are finding the frame, and we are combining better. We are really starting to play some soccer.”
The win moves San Jose State’s record to 3-10-2 overall and 3-1 in WAC play. The three conference wins already surpasses SJSU’s 2004 WAC total of two (2-5-1), and already equals its best total since joining the WAC for the 1996 season. Louisiana Tech, a loser of three straight, falls to 7-6 overall and 0-3 in its first year in the league.
San Jose State returns home to host Hawai’i at Spartan Field on Friday, October 21. Kick-off for the battle between conference co-leaders is set for 1:00 p.m.
“The Hawai’i game is going to be huge,” remarked Siracusa. “The top two teams in the (final WAC) standings get a first-round bye in the WAC Tournament. We want one of those byes. That is what we are shooting for. You are automatically in the semifinals if you are in the top two, so this game looms large.”
San Jose State (3-10-2, 3-1 WAC) 1 3 - 4
Louisiana Tech (7-6, 0-3 WAC) 0 0 - 0
SJSU Scott (Unassisted), 2:38
SJSU Krale (Kaila Waitley), 55:21
SJSU Irwin (Behlen), 70:20
SJSU Behlen (Tasha Van Dixhorn), 78:27
SJSU - 31
LTU - 9
SJSU 5 (Herbst-5)
LTU 10 (Chrissy Haisler-9; Team-1)
LTU - 9