Women's soccer looks to rebound against undefeated Pacific

The Women’s soccer team fell to (1-2) on the season after a tough loss Friday, September 8, in a home game against San Francisco. The Dons scored on a penalty kick late in the second half to give the game its final score of 2-1.

“It was really disappointing to lose on a referee’s call,” said Spartan coach Tamie Grimes. “We still need to create more chances and find a way to win these close games.”

The Spartans once again received strong performances from a couple of key players in Friday’s defeat. Sophomore Alaina Chandler’s perfect run and centering pass led to Junior Mariko Yoshihara’s game-tying goal. The score was Mariko’s third in the last two games.

“Mariko is on fire right now. She has really stepped up,” said coach Grimes.

Goalkeeper Erin Lavey stayed steady in net despite giving up her first two goals of the season. The redshirt freshman kept her team in the game with multiple impressive stops through out the match, her goals against average is now at 1.2 after two and a half games.

Pacific comes into the Friday, September 13 match with the Spartans boasting a 4-0 record. The Tigers have outscored their opponents 10-1. The only goal they’ve conceded was a late goal to Wright State. Pacific’s last game was on Friday, September 6 in which they blew out Valparaiso, 5-0. Pacific has featured a balanced scoring attack early on in the season. The ten goals the Tigers have scored have come from six different players. The leading scorer through the first four games has been sophomore Regina McGee with five. Sophomore Maggie Barsotti, and freshman Suzy Peterson each have two goals.

Depending on their outcome of their Sept. 13 game against Cal Poly, the Cougars could also meet the Spartans with an undefeated record. Washington State is 3-0 for just the fourth time in the program history. Cougar head coach Dan Tobias relies on a wealth of experience in the starting lineup. The team returns 16 starters who had a combined 275 career matches started under their belts prior to the beginning of this season. Similar to Pacific, the Cougars have only allowed one goal on the season, as they have outscored their opponents 12-1. Washington State has dominated play of late defeating Idaho, 2-0, and Montana, 8-1. Junior forward Nicole Wilcox leads the team in scoring with three goals, and junior midfielder Kim Morgan has two goals and three assists.

The Spartan’s have played the Tigers every year since the beginning of San Jose State soccer in 1995. UOP holds the career series edge, 4-3. Last year's meeting was an exhibition match and didn’t count on the overall series standings.

“Pacific is always a very tough match up,” coach Grimes stated. “They have a very good program with excellent players.”

The only match between the Spartans and Cougars took place last year at a neutral site in San Louis Obispo. Washington State used two second half goals to up end SJSU, 2-1.

San Francisco midfielder Stacy Caro scored on a penalty kick at the 83:48 mark in the second half to give the Dons (2-1) a 2-1 victory over San Jose State (1-2). After being taken down in the box, Caro blasted her penalty kick shot past Spartan goalie Erin Lavey for the game-winning goal.

"It was a disappointing loss, said Spartan head coach Tamie Grimes. "That was a really hard fought game both teams had some good opportunities to score."

The first half was a back and forth affair with neither team able to capitalize on scoring chances. The Dons out shot the Spartans in the first period, 9-4.

USF was able to find the net first in the second half. A rocket off the foot of Ashley Davies tipped off the fingers of Lavey into the back of the net for a 1-0 advantage.

A little over ten minutes later the Spartans would get on the board. Alaina Chandler’s nice run down the left side ended when she connected with a streaking Mariko Yoshihara in the box. Yoshihara redirected the ball with her right foot for her third goal of the season.