First-place women's soccer hosts Fresno State on Senior Day

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THIS WEEK - RIVALS BATTLE FOR FIRST PLACE
The San Jose State University women’s soccer team wraps up the 2006 regular season with a pair of Western Athletic Conference games this week. The Spartans first host the rival Bulldogs of Fresno State on Senior Day on Friday, October 27. Kick-off at Spartan Field is set for 1:00 p.m. Senior tri-captains Nicole Martinez, Cristin Murphy and Cynthia Pinkney will be recognized prior to the start. Admission is free of charge. The Spartans and the Bulldogs are currently tied atop the WAC standings at 13 points apiece with identical unbeaten 4-0-1 league marks. A WAC regular-season title and WAC Tournament first-round bye will be at stake. San Jose State then travels to Reno, Nev., to battle the host Wolf Pack of the University of Nevada in the regular-season finale for both teams on Sunday, October 29. The game will begin at 1:00 p.m. at Mackay Stadium, site of the 2006 WAC Tournament the following week.

SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY (7-8-2, 4-0-1 WAC)
vs. FRESNO STATE (10-5-2, 4-0-1 WAC)
SPARTAN FIELD, SAN JOSE, CALIF.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27, 1:00 P.M.
SENIOR DAY 2006

at UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA (9-4-3, 2-2-1 WAC)
MACKAY STADIUM, RENO, NEV.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29, 1:00 P.M.


SAN JOSE STATE (7-8-2, 4-0-1 WAC) vs. FRESNO STATE (10-5-2, 4-0-1)
(FS Leads Series, 9-4-1)
Fresno State is coming off a 0-0 tie at Utah State on Sunday, October 22, which kept the Bulldogs unbeaten in league play but ended their perfect four-game start to the WAC season. The tie followed four straight 2-0 victories to open conference play. Fresno State has yet to allow a goal in a WAC contest this season, having out-scored opponents 8-0 in its five games.

Cortney Sobrero, the WAC preseason “Offensive Player of the Year,” leads Fresno State with 11 points from five goals and one assist. Antonea Lugo and Nicole Gutierrez have added four and three goals, respectively, while Alison Sill has a team-best five assists. Senior Angie Larsen, a three-time WAC “Defensive Player of the Week” this season, has 11 individual shutouts, 85 saves and a 0.58 goals-against-average, all of which lead the conference.

Fresno State leads the all-time series between these teams, 9-4-1. The rivals split two meetings a season ago. San Jose State produced its first road win against Fresno State, 1-0, on October 28, 2005, with Jennifer Guadagnolo grabbing the 87th-minute winner. The Bulldogs then ended the Spartans’ season with an identical 1-0 scoreline in the WAC Tournament championship game in Boise, Idaho, on November 6, 2005. Sobrero tallied the first-half winner to send Fresno State to the NCAA Tournament. SJSU is an even 3-3 all-time against Fresno State in San Jose.

Fresno State is coached by Steve Springthorpe. In his third season in charge of the Bulldogs, he has a record of 25-24-8. The Bulldogs were ranked as high as 22nd nationally by Soccer America earlier this season, behind a 6-1-1 start to the campaign.

SPARTANS BID FAREWELL TO THREE SENIORS
Nicole Martinez, Cristin Murphy and Cynthia Pinkney will appear in the final home game of their San Jose State careers against Fresno State on October 27. The trio of senior captains will be recognized prior to the game. Martinez, a business management major and second-year Spartan, is fourth on the team with nine points from three goals and three assists, all career highs. Murphy, a sociology major and herself a second-year Spartan, has two goals and a team-high six assists, a total which is also tied for the conference lead. Pinkney, a third-year Spartan and two-time captain majoring in psychology, has a career-high three assists in 2006.

SAN JOSE STATE (7-8-2, 4-0-1 WAC) at NEVADA (9-4-3, 2-2-1 WAC)
(SJSU Leads Series, 5-1-1)
Nevada is coming off a 7-0 demolition of Louisiana Tech in Ruston, La., on Sunday, October 22. The Wolf Pack will host Hawai’i on Friday, October 27, prior to San Jose State’s visit. The Spartans will be in Reno twice in two weeks, as they will return there for the WAC Tournament on Wednesday, November 1.

Karen Zmirak paces the conference in points with 23 and goals scored with a Nevada single-season record 10 goals. She scored twice at Louisiana Tech, as did Samantha Miller. Miller has five goals and two assists for 12 points, while Miranda Montejo has provided four goals and two assists for 10 points. Caitlin Holmes has returned as the starting goalie after missing nine games.

San Jose State leads the all-time series between these teams, 5-1-1. The Spartans and Wolf Pack tied their regular-season meeting a year ago, the wild affair in San Jose on Senior Day ending in a 4-4 deadlock. SJSU then blanked Nevada, 2-0, in a WAC Tournament semifinal in Boise, Idaho, on November 4. The Spartans are 2-1 all-time in Reno, including an 8-1 defeat in the first-ever meeting in the series back in 2000. Nevada’s only win over SJSU was a 4-3 decision in 2002. Third-year Nevada coach Terri Patraw has a record of 22-26-6.

COVERAGE
There will be no live coverage available for the San Jose State-Fresno State match. Live stats for the Nevada-San Jose State contest can be accessed at www.sjsuspartans.com.

SPARTANS REGAIN SHARE OF FIRST IN CONFERENCE
San Jose State regained a share of first place in the conference with a 4-2 win at Hawai’i late Sunday, moving into a tie with rival Fresno State atop the WAC standings at 13 points from five games each. Fresno State lost its perfect WAC run with a 0-0 tie at Utah State earlier in the day.

Both the Spartans and Bulldogs had already clinched WAC Tournament berths when they stepped on the field for their respective games on October 22. Utah State, with 13 points, and Nevada, with seven, are also headed to Reno, with two spots still open heading into the final weekend of the regular season. Hawai’i and Boise State need one win to guarantee entry. A loss by either Idaho or Louisiana Tech would also secure a place in the tournament for Hawai’i or Boise State. The top two regular-season finishers earn byes into the tournament semifinals.

IRWIN HAT TRICK LEADS SPARTANS TO BIG WIN AT HAWAI’I
A three-goal second-half hat trick by Nicole Irwin propelled San Jose State to a 4-2 triumph at defending WAC regular-season champion Hawai’i on Sunday, October 22. It was San Jose State’s first win over Hawai’i since a 3-1 defeat in 1998, also in Honolulu.

San Jose State had gone a school-record four straight games without allowing a goal to begin the conference season. The first UH goal of the night, coming at the 65:53 mark, stopped the streak at 446 minutes of play.