Spartans To Honor Four Seniors In Crucial Final Home Match

October 27, 2010

Women's Soccer Preview:
First-place San Jose State (10-6-1, 4-1-1 WAC) has its biggest matches of the season this week, as the Spartans are set to square off at Idaho (13-5-0, 4-2-0 WAC) on Thursday, October 28 beginning at 3:00 p.m. PT.  San Jose State will return home for its final regular-season home match on Sunday, October 31 to host Boise State (7-8-2, 4-1-1 WAC) at 2:30 p.m.  Sunday will be "Senior Day" for four Spartan seniors who will be competing in their final regular-season home contest.

Doubleheader This Weekend:
San Jose State men's and women's soccer will be part of a doubleheader this weekend.  On Sunday, October 31, the men will face New Mexico at 12:00 p.m. following the women's match with Boise State at 2:30 p.m.  Tickets to watch both matches are $5 for adults, $3 for youth (12 & under) and $1 for youth in jersey.  SJSU students get in for free with student ID.

Live Coverage:
On Thursday, October 28, the match can be found through CoverItLive. To follow the live play-by-play, click on the following link: http://www.govandals.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=17100&ATCLID=204995691.  For Sunday's home match, fans can follow via Live Stats at SJSUSpartans.com.  The link can be found under the Live Stats button on the front page.

Scouting The Vandals:
The University of Idaho returns eight starters and 17 letterwinners from last year's team that went 9-10 overall and posted the NCAA's second-best win improvement.  Vandal forward Chelsea Small was selected to the Preseason All-WAC team. Small set an Idaho freshman record with 20 points (8g, 4a) and earned first-team all-WAC and WAC Freshman of the Year honors in 2009.  Small leads the team with 28 points this season (12g, 4a).  The Vandals enter Thursday's match against the Spartans with a two-game losing streak. Idaho battled Boise State to a scoreless regulation on Sunday, October 24, but the Broncos struck in the first minute of overtime to take a 1-0 win.  The Vandal women have officially clinched a berth in the Western Athletic Conference Tournament, the first conference tournament berth in school history.

The Series With Idaho:
The all-time series is 4-1-1 in SJSU's favor. The Spartans have won the last two matches in the series, including last year's 2-1 victory at San Jose.  Idaho's lone win in the series came in 2007 at San Jose by a 1-0 score.

Scouting The Broncos:
Boise State University set the program record for wins in 2009, going 13-7-4 overall and 5-3 in league play to tie for third in the conference's regular-season standings. After winning the Western Athletic Conference title with a run through the league tournament and an appearance in the NCAA first round, the Broncos return eight starters and 15 letterwinners this season.  The Broncos played one match last week when they defeated the University of Idaho 1-0 in over¬time at Boise on Sunday, October 24.  Ebbie Harris scored the match-winner 43 seconds into overtime.  To date, 12 Broncos have recorded goals on the season led by senior Shannon Saxton with five.  Boise State's Liz Ruiz has been named Verizon Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week for the week of Oct. 18-24.  It is the second such honor for the junior in her career and the first for any Bronco this year.  Boise State has officially clinched a berth into next week's Western Athletic Conference Tournament, its fifth concutive trip and seventh trip in 10 years of membership to the WAC's title event.

The Series With The Broncos:
Sunday's contest will be the 12th meeting all-time with the Broncos holding a 7-2-2 advantage in the series.  Boise State has won the last four meetings.  In 2009, the Broncos handed the Spartans their lone loss of the conference season snapping SJSU's 15-match unbeaten streak.   

Senior Day:
This Sunday, October 31, is Senior Day for the Spartans' four seniors, Kim Johnston, Katie Knopp, Lauren Ng-Pinkerton and Stephanie Righetti. San Jose State University will hold a short pregame ceremony to honor the four players and their accomplishments. 

Last Week's Results:
San Jose State won two difficult home matches by a score of 8-1, hosting Nevada on Friday, October 22 and Utah State on Sunday, October 24.  Goalkeeper Meghan Maiwald captured the shutout on Friday in the 4-0 win, her third of the season.  On Sunday, freshman Kayla Santacruz tallied the Spartans first hat trick of the season, powering the Spartans past first-place Utah State, 4-1.

Words From Head Coach:
"I think we have a tough schedule in front of us," stated head coach Jeff Leightman.  "Idaho is very tough and have the leading scorer in the conference.  They are very organized.  Sunday's match against Boise State is a rivalry.  It's going to be a battle on Senior Day.  These are all first place matches and hopefully we can come out and win games."

Streaking Spartans:
The Spartans started the year with losses in five of their first six matches, but they are 9-1-1 since Sept. 12. SJSU has outscored its opponents 35-23 overall this year, despite being outshot, 225-211.  The Spartans have scored 20 second-half goals this year and allowed only five in the first period.  Sophomore forward Kelsey Lord leads the team with 28 points (9g, 10a), while freshman midfielder Kayla SantaCruz is a close second with 24 points (9g, 6a). 

Between The Pipes:
Junior goalkeeper Meghan Maiwald has played every minute for the Spartans this year and has 80 saves with 23 goals allowed in 1579 minutes.  In WAC matches, Maiwald leads the conference in total saves with 34. 

Santacruz Named WAC Player Of The Week:
San Jose State's Kayla Santacruz has been named Verizon Western Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week, respectively, for the week of October 18-24.  Santacruz, a freshman midfielder from San Ramon, Calif. (California HS), led San Jose State to a pair of wins over Nevada and Utah State last week. Santacruz tallied her first collegiate hat trick with three goals and an assist to lead the Spartans to a 4-1 victory against Utah State on Sunday, October 24. She also scored a goal against Nevada to help the Spartans to a 4-0 win on Friday, October 22. Overall on the week, Santacruz tallied five shots on goal, four goals, one assist and nine points.

Conference Rankings:
San Jose State's offense was ranked among the top in the Western Athletic Conference-only matches, in the week ending October 26.  SJSU, for the second consecutive week, led the conference in assists per game (3.33).  The Spartans grabbed the lead in total assists (20), points (54), goals (17) and goals per game (2.83). 

Individual Statistics:
The Spartans led the conference in offense, capturing the lead in six of nine categories.  In WAC-only matches ending October 26, forward Kelsey Lord led the conference in assists (7) and assists per game (1.17).  Midfielder Kayla Santacruz also ranked among the top in the WAC individual statistics, placing first in points (19), points per game (3.17), goals (8) and goals per game (1.33). 

College Soccer 360 Primetime Performers:
Freshman midfielder Kayla Santacruz was recognized on the Primetime Performers of the Week by CollegeSoccer360.com (Week of Oct. 18-24).  Selection was based on exhibiting strong leadership and/or involved in clutch performances, such as game-winning goals, noteworthy comebacks, late scores, team leadership, etc.

Destination Destiny:
Only the top six teams in the final regular-season standings are invited to the championship.  The five berths have been clinched by San Jose State, Boise State, Idaho, Utah State and Louisiana Tech.  San Jose State is one of two teams (Boise State) in the WAC that control their destiny in the conference title race.  The season finale on Sunday at Spartan Stadium could be for all the marbles if two things fall into place on Thursday and Friday.  If San Jose State wins at Idaho on Thursday and Boise State defeats Fresno State on Friday, the two would be tied for first heading into the regular-season conference title match, on Sunday.

WAC To Stream Women's Soccer Tournament:
The Western Athletic Conference, in conjunction with its Web site partner NeuLion, has announced it will stream all of the matches of the 2010 WAC Soccer Tournament.  Viewers can sign up by visiting www.WAC.tv.  All five matches can be seen on WAC.tv by accessing the soccer tournament package for a one-time price of $10.95.  More information and how to subscribe to these video streaming events can be found at www.WAC.tv.

Coming Up:
If San Jose State wins both matches this week, the Spartans will be guaranteed a first-round bye in the WAC Tournament.  Regardless of this week's outcome, SJSU has already clinched a spot in the 2010 WAC Soccer Tournament.  The soccer tournament will be held in Ruston, Louisiana, Nov. 4-5, 7, and will feature the top six teams in the WAC.  Two first round matches will be played on Thursday, Nov. 4 with the winners moving on to face the top two seeds in the semifinals the next day.  The championship will be played at 1:00 p.m. (CT) on Sunday, Nov. 7.