San Jose, Calif. - San Jose State University defeated the University of Idaho, 2-1, in a Western Athletic Conference game at Spartan Stadium on Friday evening, October 23.
The win stretches the Spartans' school-record unbeaten streak to 12 games, and moves them into sole possession of first-place in the WAC with just two games left in conference play.
The Spartans struck early at 7:36, with Emmy Belding's eighth goal of the season on a header from a brilliantly-struck free kick by Roxy Kamal. Belding would score again, netting her ninth in the 25th minute on another nifty pass from Kamal. The goal, which turned out to be the game-winner, made it 2-0, and gave Kamal a team-best seventh assist for her senior campaign. After the two early goals, Idaho goalie Liz Boyden settled down and made five saves in the game.
Idaho responded swiftly to Belding's second tally, scoring less than four minutes later in the 29th on reigning WAC Offensive Player of the Week Chelsea Small's team-leading eighth goal of the season on a breakaway down the left side of the field. The Vandal goal was the only blemish on Spartan goalie Nina Butera's big night in the net. Butera matched a career high with 12 saves, including a kick save on a left-footed rocket by Small in the first half following a cut move into the penalty area that brought the Spartan Stadium crowd to its feet, and single-handedly kept the Spartans ahead.
Both teams were turned away several times by the woodwork, but when the dust settled, the Spartans were 2-1 winners and in sole possession of first-place in the conference, thanks also to LA Tech's 2-1, double-overtime home win over the previously-undefeated first-year Aggies of New Mexico State earlier in the day, with only two league games left to play.
The Spartans will take a break from league play to travel south on Saturday for a final non-conference game at Cal State Bakersfield on Sunday, October 25, before returning to San Jose for the last home game of the season against the rival Bulldogs of Fresno State on Friday, October 30.
Idaho (9-8, 2-4 WAC) - 1 0 - 1
San Jose State (9-4-3, 4-0-2 WAC) - 2 0 - 2
SJSU - Emmy Belding (8) (Roxy Kamal), 7:36
SJSU - Emmy Belding (9) (Roxy Kamal), 24:46
UI - Chelsea Small (8) (Megan Lopez), 28:41
UI - 20
SJSU - 15
UI - 5 (Liz Boyden-5)
SJSU - 12 (Nina Butera-12)
UI - 1
SJSU - 3
UI - 11
SJSU - 10