Women's soccer set for first-place showdown with Hawai'i

Click on the links at the bottom for this week's complete release and updated statistics in PDF format.

THIS WEEK
San Jose State (3-10-2, 3-1 WAC) continues the 2005 Western Athletic Conference slate with just a single game in the week ahead. The Spartans host Hawai’i (7-7-2, 3-1) on Friday, October 21, in a match beginning at 12:30 p.m. at Spartan Field.


SAN JOSE STATE (3-10-2, 3-1 WAC) vs. HAWAI’I (7-7-2, 3-1 WAC)
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21, 12:30 PM
SPARTAN FIELD, SAN JOSE, CALIF.

SAN JOSE STATE vs. HAWAI’I (Hawai’i Leads Series, 5-4-1)
Hawai’i (7-7-2, 3-1), the preseason conference favorite and current co-leader with SJSU, is coming off a 1-0 non-conference win at Utah Valley State on Monday, October 17. The Rainbow Wahine had a weekend in which they earned a 3-0 victory at Louisiana Tech on Friday, but dropped a 2-1 decision at Utah State on Sunday.

Senior forward Natasha Kai has been resetting both the Hawai’i and WAC record books. The two-time WAC “Player of the Year” holds no fewer than 20 school and five conference marks. Kai is a two-time Xbox Live WAC “Offensive Player of the Week” this season. On October 10, she earned the distinction while her sister Krisha grabbed “Defensive Player of the Week” honors. The elder Kai now has 11 goals and three assists for a team-leading 25 points in 2005. Junior Adria Campbell has eight assists to lead the conference. Senior Mahie Atay and freshman Kori Lu have each seen 135 minutes of action in goal over the first three games of UH’s current road trip.

Hawai’i leads the all-time series, 5-4-1. After San Jose State dominated the early portion of this rivalry, taking each of the first four meetings since the program’s inaugural 1995 season, the Rainbow Wahine have turned the tide of late, going an undefeated 5-0-1 since, including four straight wins. The teams have played once each season since 1995. UH won in 2004, 1-0, in double overtime in San Jose.

SPARTAN HEAD COACH DAVE SIRACUSA ON HAWAI'I
“The Hawai’i game is going to be huge. 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.”

LAST WEEK
The San Jose State University women’s soccer team went a perfect 2-0 in a pair of Western Athletic Conference games in the past week to stretch its winning streak to three.

SPARTANS TOP AGGIES AT HOME, 4-2
The Spartans rolled over Utah State at home on Friday, October 14, trotting out to a 3-0 lead in the first 50 minutes and eventually producing a 4-2 victory. Freshman Liz Behlen scored the first and fourth goals for SJSU, with sophomores Kristin Krale and Jackie Cruz tallying goals in between. Cruz’s goal was the first of her collegiate career, a spectacular long-distance strike into the upper corner after beating a couple of defenders on the left side. Adrienne Herbst made six saves.

SAN JOSE STATE BLANKS LADY TECHSTERS ON ROAD, 4-0
San Jose State got on the board early and poured it on in the second half in a 4-0 shutout at Louisiana Tech on Sunday, October 16. Jessica Scott’s blast from over 25 yards away gave the Spartans a 1-0 advantage just 2:38 into the contest. Following the break, Krale, Nicole Irwin and Behlen scored in succession for the final margin. Irwin’s goal was her first of the campaign after leading the team in that category in 2004. Herbst stopped five shots in earning her third shutout of the year. SJSU outshot La. Tech, 31-9 on the day, and held the WAC’s second-leading scorer without a shot.

UPCOMING
SJSU will contest three games to close out the 2005 regular season the following week, beginning with a 3:00 p.m. non-conference home game against Saint Mary’s College at Spartan Stadium on Wednesday, October 26. The Spartans will then conclude regular-season play with WAC games at Fresno State on Friday, October 28, and home against Nevada on Senior Day on Sunday, October 30, at 1:00 p.m. inside Spartan Stadium. Should SJSU qualify, the WAC Tournament is set for November 3-5.

BEHLEN WAC’S “OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK”
Liz Behlen became the first Spartan player in 2005 to earn weekly conference honors. She was named WAC “Offensive Player of the Week” on Monday, October 17, following a weekend performance in which she scored three goals and added an assist for seven total points, helping to lead SJSU to a pair of important league victories. Behlen is now in the top six in the WAC in six offensive categories.

SPARTAN TEAM SUPERLATIVES
San Jose State’s run the last three games has equalled or bettered a number of milestones for the program. The three-game win streak is the Spartans’ first since they won three games in four days to take their one and only WAC Tournament title in Fresno, Calif., in November, 2000. The three conference triumphs not only surpass the 2004 total of two (2-5-1), but also equals the mark of most single-season league wins since the program’s inaugural year in the WAC, 1996.

STREAKING SPARTANS
SJSU’s three-game win streak is the longest current unbeaten string among the eight WAC teams.

ROAD WOES CURBED
The 4-0 win over Louisiana Tech in Ruston, La., on Sunday, October 16, was San Jose State’s first road triumph of the 2005 season. The Spartans’ last win on the road came at UC Davis, 1-0, on October 22, 2004. They had gone winless in nine road games since. SJSU’s previous road WAC win came at Nevada, 2-1, on October 8, 2004.

FOUR-BY-FOUR
San Jose State has scored four goals in consecutive games. The only other time in Spartan women’s soccer history that SJSU has scored four or more goals in back-to-back contests was at the very start of the program’s existence. SJSU defeated UC Santa Cruz, 5-2, and Azusa Pacific, 8-0, to open the 1995 season, its first year. The Spartans have now scored 10 goals during their three-game win streak after managing just nine through their first 12 games of 2005. SJSU has equalled its scoring output for the entire 2004 campaign already, having reached 19 goals scored as a team with four regular-season matches left.

THE ROAD TO BOISE
San Jose State is looking to make a second trip to Boise, Idaho, this season, as the 2005 WAC Tournament will be held there at the Boas Soccer Complex. The Spartans opened the 2005 WAC season with a tough 2-1 overtime defeat in Boise.

For the first time this year, the WAC Tournament field will be based on points, with the top six teams at the end of a single round-robin (total of seven league games each), advancing to the event. Each team receives three points for a win and one point for a tie. San Jose State is currently in a two-way tie for the top spot with Hawai’i, Friday’s opponent, at nine points apiece from three wins. The top two teams in the final regular-season league standings, get byes into the semifinal round at the WAC tourney.

The WAC Tournament will be held Thursday through Saturday, November 3-5.

HERBST ON WAC CAREER SAVES CHART
With her six saves in the home victory over Utah State last Friday night, October 14, Adrienne Herbst moved into 10th place on the all-time WAC saves chart. Herbst now has 205 saves in two-plus years in a Spartan uniform. Former Hawai’i goalkeeper Amanda Paterson is in ninth with 238 career saves.

LINEUP LOOKS SET
The Spartans have used the exact same lineup for each of their first four WAC games. That lineup has included Herbst in goal, Villa, Cruz and Beshore from left to right on the defensive line, Irwin, Martinez, Guadagnolo, Zabek and Krale in midfield, and the freshman tandem of Behlen and Jessica Scott at the forward spots.

MORE LINEUP NOTES
Only five Spartan players have started all 15 games thus far on the year. Those players are sophomores Jackie Cruz, Nicole Irwin and Kristin Krale, redshirt freshman Amanda Villa, and senior goalkeeper Adrienne Herbst.

FIRST 45 KEY
San Jose State’s record is just 3-4-1 when it scores first this season. When the Spartans are able to hang on to their advantage until the halftime break, however, the story is different, as they are undefeated at 3-0-1 when ahead at the intermission.

HOME FIELD NUMBERS
San Jose State is 2-5-1 at home this season. Of those eight games in San Jose, three have been at Spartan Field, and five inside Spartan Stadium. SJSU has gone 0-3 at Spartan Field, site of Friday’s match with Hawai’i, and 2-2-1 inside Spartan Stadium. All-time, SJSU is now 44-39-3 in 10-plus years at Spartan Stadium, and 3-10 in two-plus years of also using the Spartan Field venue.

YOUNG SPARTANS LEARNING ON THE RUN
Over its first 15 matches this season, San Jose State has had a minimum of seven first- or second-year players in its starting lineup each time out. Those seven have included sophomores Jackie Cruz, Nicole Irwin, Kristin Krale, Tasha Van Dixhorn, Heidi Romswinckel-Guise and Jackie Zabek, freshmen Liz Behlen, Brittny Beshore, Angela Dohrmann, Jennifer Guadagnolo and Jessica Scott, and redshirt freshmen Kelly Madej and Amanda Villa. In addition, the Spartans have had one or two juniors competing in their first year of major college soccer, starting in each game thus far. They have been Cristin Murphy, Nicole Martinez and tri-captain Cynthia Pinkney. The only veteran upperclassmen who have been on the field at the starting whistle have been senior tri-captains Adrienne Herbst and Amy Bauelos, and junior midfielder Andrea Puljiz.

BEHLEN ATOP SCORING CHART
Liz Behlen, a freshman midfielder out of St. Francis High School and Sunnyvale, Calif., leads the team in goals scored (6), assists (3) and total points (15). Sophomore Kristin Krale and freshman Jessica Scott have three goals apiece, with Scott and Behlen sharing the shots lead at 34. Juniors Nicole Martinez, Cristin Murphy and Andrea Puljiz, sophomores Jackie Cruz, Nicole Irwin and Jackie Zabek, and freshman Jennifer Guadagnolo have accounted for the Spartans’ other seven goals. Irwin, sophomore Erica Ng-Pinkerton and freshman Kaila Waitley have two assists each.

HERBST AMONG WAC LEADERS
Adrienne Herbst is now third in the conference in goalie saves with 67, third in saves per game at 4.47 per game and fourth in shutouts with three. Herbst finished the 2004 season as the league leader in both save categories. She is ninth in save percentage (.677). The Spartans as a team are third in the WAC in saves, with 74 (4.93 per game).

SPARTANS PICKED TO FINISH THIRD IN WAC
San Jose State was voted by league coaches to finish third this season in the eight-team Western Athletic Conference. The Spartans finished eighth among nine members in 2004, falling one win short of a trip to the WAC Tournament. SJSU’s last appearance at the WAC Tournament was in 2000, when it won the championship.

SPARTAN PAIR NAMED PRESEASON ALL-WAC
SJSU sophomores Jackie Cruz and Nicole Irwin were named to the 11-player preseason All-WAC team by league head coaches. Cruz anchors the defense while Irwin is the Spartans’ leading returning scorer (four goals in 2004).

2005 SCHEDULE A TOUGH ONE
San Jose State has three teams on its 2005 schedule which participated in the NCAA Tournament a year ago. The game September 2 at Stanford marked the Spartans’ first test against such an opponent. San Jose State also hosted Cal Poly on September 9, and Santa Clara on September 28.

HEAD COACH DAVE SIRACUSA
Dave Siracusa is in his second season as the San Jose State University women's soccer coach. He was named the Spartan head coach on December 2, 2003.

In his first season with the Spartans, he directed the team to a 5-13-1 win-loss record, more than twice the number of wins than the season before his arrival, and one victory away from qualifying for the Western Athletic Conference Tournament. He came to San Jose State after spending three seasons as an assistant coach for the San Diego State men's soccer team and the associate director of soccer operations for the Aztec Soccer Academy.

Prior to San Diego State, Siracusa worked at Cal State Stanislaus as the head men's and women's coach. He took over the dual coaching duties in 1999 after being hired in June, 1998, to become the first head women’s coach in school history.