After winning the ball in midfield and losing a couple of opposing defenders, sophomore Nicole Irwin pushed a pass outside to Guadagnolo, who took a pair of touches and shot the ball past the Fresno State goalkeeper for the game's lone goal at 86:40.
On Senior Night at Fresno State, the home side looked to have the edge throughout parts of the game, but the San Jose State defense, led by senior tri-captain Adrienne Herbst's six saves in goal, held firm. Herbst picked up her fourth shutout of 2005 and sixth of her career. Angie Larsen stopped three shots in the Bulldog goal. Fresno State outshot San Jose State, 11-8, and had eight corner kicks to just one by the Spartans, but could not score.
Guadagnolo's goal was the second of her collegiate career, while Irwin's assist puts her atop the team assists chart with freshman Liz Behlen at three apiece. Irwin had scored the game-winning goal in a 3-2 victory in double-overtime at home against Saint Mary's on Wednesday night.
With the win, San Jose State improves its record to 5-11-2 overall and 4-2 in WAC play. The Spartans equalled their overall win total from 2004, head coach Dave Siracusa's first year at the helm, and also surpassed their highest single-season conference win total with four. San Jose State had won as many as three league games in a single season five times since joining the WAC in 1996.
The victory was also San Jose State's first win ever in Fresno, having gone 0-4-1 there in past years. Having already taken a 4-0 decision at Louisiana Tech back on October 16, the Spartans have now won two WAC road games in the same season for the first time since 1999, when they won 4-1 at Tulsa and 2-1 at UTEP to close the regular season.
Fresno State falls to 6-9-2 overall and 3-2-1 in the WAC.
"With it being their Senior Day, they (the Bulldogs) had more emotion," remarked Siracusa. "Generally, play was going in their favor. We were coming at them with counterattacks. We had the ball in our half over half the time, but we did well to counter. It was a nerve-wracking game. We had trouble putting passes together with them pressing us. Adrienne (Herbst) made some great saves, and our defense was great. We owned the box. Fresno State had eight corner kicks and we won every one of them."
Though both teams had already clinched berths into the 2005 WAC Tournament heading into Friday night's match-up, there was still plenty to play for, as the top two finishers in the final regular-season conference standings, earn first-round byes at the event in Boise, Idaho, next week, and direct entry into Friday's semifinal round. The winner of the WAC Tournament gets the league's automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament. Following Boise State's 4-0 loss at Utah State earlier Friday, San Jose State's triumph in Fresno put the Spartans in a three-way tie for first place with Hawai'i and Nevada, at 12 points apiece, pending Nevada's game in Honolulu, Hawai'i, late Friday.
San Jose State closes out the 2005 regular season this Sunday, October 30, hosting Nevada on Senior Day at 1:00 p.m. inside Spartan Stadium. A win would give the Spartans a top-two WAC finish and the first-round tourney bye, and possibly a regular-season league title pending Hawai'i's result against Nevada. Six seniors will be honored prior to kick-off.
"It's gonna be huge," added Siracusa. "If we win, we get the bye. It will be the biggest game of the year."
San Jose State (5-11-2, 4-2 WAC) 0 1 - 1
Fresno State (6-9-2, 3-2-1 WAC) 0 0 - 0
SJSU - Guadagnolo (Irwin), 86:40
SJSU - 7
FS - 11
SJSU - 7 (Herbst-6; Team-1)
FS - 3 (Larsen-3)
SJSU - 1
FS - 8
SJSU - 5
FS - 11