San Jose, Calif. - A second-period offensive onslaught by the Spartans (5-11-1) led them to a 2-1 victory over Sacramento State in a non-conference match at Spartan Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
"We deserved this win," said San Jose State head coach Jeff Leightman. "The majority of the game, we were all over them. We gave up an unlucky goal at the end of the first half. But at half time, we said that we just have to keep believing in what we are doing, and it went our way."
Josie Jogwe opened scoring for the Hornets (5-9-4) at the 40-minute mark, when her shot from 20 yards out in grazed Zoe Makrigiannis's left hand and bounced past her.
The Spartans returned from half-time with a renewed offensive spirit, outshooting the Hornets nine-to-three in the first 37 minutes of the second half.
One finally found the back of Sacramento State's net in the 83 minute when, during a scramble at the goal line, freshman Alyssa Montejo weaseled the ball past Shelby Tomasello for her first collegiate goal to knot the score at one.
"Alyssa is a great, elite player," Leightman said. "She got hurt on the second day of preseason, so we are just starting the see the tip of the iceberg with her."
Four minutes later, a cross pass by Megan Molina from Tomasello's far corner found Kelsey Lord in front of the Hornets' net. She easily tapped in the ball for the game-winner, and her first goal of the season.
The game-winning goal put Lord in the program's top spot for career game-winning goals (11).
"I have been waiting for this goal for a very long time," said Lord. "It was a great cross by Molina. I just stuck out my leg and hoped it went in, and it did. It was a very good moment for me, and a great win for the team."
Said Leightman of Lord, "She has been so dangerous and the ball has just not been going in. When that ball went in, you could see the relief and joy on her face. She deserved this goal."
San Jose State outshot Sacramento State 12-to-4 in the second half. Lord led the Spartans in shots taken with four.
Tomasello (3-7-4) made seven saves, while Makrigiannis and Emily Pryor (3-4-1) combined to make six saves.
"Our kids have worked really hard and deserved to win," said the Spartans' head coach. "We just wish it would have happened in some of the conference games that meant a bit more.
"Regardless, I am happy and hopefully, we can win again on Friday and hope that the scores of the other conference games go our way."
Lord noted what San Jose State has to do to secure a victory over Louisiana Tech on Friday, the team's final match of the season. "We have to come out hard," the senior said. "That game is a must-win, so we have to go out there and do what we did today."
The Spartans' final match of the season is Friday, October 26 at Spartan Stadium against Louisiana Tech. Kick-off is 7:30 p.m. San Jose State will honor its four seniors prior to the match, the second in a double-header.