RENO, Nev. - A mix of youth and experience Sunday brought the San Jose State women's soccer team a 2-0 win to close out the regular season at Nevada, thanks to goals from freshman Catherine Ruder and senior Shanelle Furner.
The teams played to a scoreless first half, marking the 11th time in 18 games this season the Spartans (6-11-1, 4-2-1 WAC) have blanked their opponent in the first 45 minutes. Ruder lit up the scoreboard quickly in the second half, scoring her second goal of the season just 62 seconds after halftime off an assist from senior Stephanie Bales to give San Jose State a 1-0 lead.
"I was proud of our play today. It was a good response after Friday (at Utah State)," said San Jose State head coach Jeff Leightman.
Nevada (3-16, 1-6 WAC) held a 13-10 advantage in shots. The Spartans earned no corner kicks in the first half, but got five in the second frame to finish with a 5-4 advantage in that category.
Furner would put the game away late, tacking on an unassisted goal in the 85th minute for the final 2-0 edge. It was Furner's second goal of the season, giving her five total points (two goals, one assist) on the year.
Sunday's victory was the Spartans' first win on the road this season. It evened their 2011 WAC road record at 1-1-1.
"It was important to win on the road finally," said San Jose State head coach Jeff Leightman. "We've had some good games on the road. We were able to break Nevada down and score two good goals in the second half."
Senior goalkeeper Meghan Maiwald finished the game with five saves and her third solo shutout of the season (fourth combined). She now has 10 total shutouts in her career (nine solo, one combined), which ties her for second all-time at SJSU with Nina Butera (2007-09). Her five saves Sunday gives her a total of 100 for the year, surpassing her single-season total of 96 in 2010.
"Meghan made a great save with about 20 seconds left in the game to preserve the shutout," said Leightman.
The win gives the Spartans 13 points in the final Western Athletic Conference standings. San Jose State finishes the regular season in a tie for third place in the WAC. It is the third straight season the team has finished in the top three in the conference, and the fourth year in a row it has earned a top five finish.
The Spartans will enter next week's WAC tournament in Fresno, Calif., as the No. 4 seed and face fifth-seeded Idaho, a team the Spartans defeated 2-1 on Oct. 2. The Vandals finished with a WAC record of 3-3-1 (10 points).
"We have to look towards Idaho, who's a really great team," said Leightman. "It's hard to replicate (beating a team) twice. We're looking forward to Thursdays match up."
Scoring by Periods
1 2 F
San Jose State (6-11-1, 4-2-1 WAC) 0 2 - 2
Nevada (3-16, 1-6 WAC) 0 0 - 0
SJSU - Catherine Ruder (Stephanie Bales), 46:02
SJSU - Shanelle Furner, 84:37
SJSU - 10
Nevada - 13
SJSU - 5
Nevada - 4
Meghan Maiwald (SJSU) - 5
Jenna Riddle (Nevada) - 3