Oct. 31, 2017
#1-SPARTANS PLAY FIRST MW TOURNAMENT GAME THURSDAY
After a first-round bye the #1-seeded Spartans will play #4-New Mexico in the semi-final match on Thursday, Nov. 2, at 7:00 p.m. New Mexico advanced past Fresno State in the quarterinal stage by outshooting Fresno State in penalty kicks. Thursday's match will be streamed live on the Mountain West Network. Head to the Mountain West Championship Central Page for all of the information on this year's tournament.
MOUNTAIN WEST CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT SEMI-FINAL MATCH
#1-San José State (12-5-1, 9-1-1 MW) vs.
#4-New Mexico (12-7-1, 7-4-0 MW)
Thursday, November 2, 7:00 p.m.
Peter Johann Memorial Field (2,500)
Las Vegas, Nev.
SPARTANS MEET LOBOS IN SEMIFINAL MATCH
#1-San José State meets #4-New Mexico in the semifinal match this Thursday evening. The Spartans beat the Lobos earlier this season, 2-1, in Albuquerque. Darriell Franklin and Jamilecxth Becerra scored goals within 26 seconds of each other in the win. San José State and New Mexico met in the semifinal of the 2015 Mountain West Tournament where the penalty kick drama began to unfold for SJSU. Paige Simoneau stopped a pair of UNM penalty kicks and the Spartans advanced to the championship. San José State owns a 4-2-1 edge over New Mexico in the all-time series which dates back to the 1996 season.
SPARTANS GO STREAKING INTO MW TOURNAMENT
The 1-0 win over Fresno State to end the regular season extended San José State's winning streak to six and the unbeaten streak to seven. The Spartans most recent loss came on October 1 on the road at Wyoming. The Spartans followed that up with a 0-0 tie on the road at San Diego State and then won six straight to end the regular season.
SPARTANS AT THE MW TOURNAMENT
San José State has an all-time record of 0-1-2 in two trips to the Mountain West Tournament. The Spartans were the 2015 champions after advancing through both the semi-final and the title matches on penalty kicks. Last year the Spartans suffered a 2-0 loss at the hands of San Diego State in the semi-finals.
REMEMBERING THE 2015 MW TOURNAMENT
This year Paige Simoneau has been the starting keeper for San José State in every conference match. But in 2015 when she entered into the semifinal match to face penalty kicks against New Mexico, it was one of the few times Spartan fans had seen Simoneau all year long. Making it even crazier was that Lauren Hanson lifted the MW Defensive Player of the Year Zoe Makrigiannis in favor of Simoneau. But it turned out to be the best move of the year as Simoneau saved two penalty kicks in the semi-final and then blocked another one in the championship match against San Diego State. Darriell Franklin found the back of the net on two penalty kicks against the Aztecs including the one which clinched the championship. Simoneau was named the Tournament MVP despite logging less that three minutes of playing time.
SJSU POSTSEASON HISTORY
San José State has reached the NCAA Tournament twice in its 21-year history. The Spartans were Western Athletic Conference Tournament champions in 2000 and went on to play Stanford in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. In 2015 SJSU advanced in the championship match against San Diego State at the SDSU Sports Deck and also played Stanford in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. Both results against the Cardinal were 2-0 losses.
For the second time in three seasons Lauren Hanson is the Mountain West Head Coach of the Year. She guided the 2017 Spartans to a 9-1-1 league record, the best in school history, and to a regular season title for the first time since joining in the MW in 2013. Hanson did it with proven leaders such as the 2017 Defensive Player of the Year Darriell Franklin and All-MW First Team players Dorthe Hoppius and Myia Wilkes. However, she also started multiple freshmen in six league matches and had three or more underclassmen on the pitch to start eight contests. Hanson plugged in seven different starting lineups throughout conference play.
MOUNTAIN WEST PLAY UNDER HANSON
Lauren Hanson now has more conference wins (29) than any coach in the program's history dating back to 1995. Jeff Leightman had the previous record of 21 conference wins throughout six seasons (2008-13). Then Hanson guided the team to 20 MW victories in her first three years (2014-16). San José State's 24 Mountain West wins over the last three seasons are the most of any team in the league.
SIX SPARTANS EARN ALL-MW HONORS
Junior defender Darriell Franklin won the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year award and was named to the All-MW First Team. Fellow defender Myia Wilkes and forward Dorthe Hoppius joined Franklin on the First Team. Sophomore Forward Jamilecxth Becerra scored four game-winning goals during her first season with the Spartans and is the league's Newcomer of the Year. She scored the game-winner in both matches during the final full weekend of MW play when the Spartans clinched the regular season title. Becerra is also on the All-MW second team with midfielder Yaritza Arista and on the All-Newcomer Team with midfielder Jennifer Orozco.
PROTECT THIS HOUSE
The first season of matches at the new Spartan Soccer Complex was one to remember. It wasn't the best of starts as the team suffered back-to-back shutouts to UC Santa Barbara and #11-Georgetown. But the Spartans got rolling during league play and won all six Mountain West matches on their home field. The year ended with a 3-1 win over Air Force to clinch the regular season title and a 1-0 shutout over the rivals from Fresno State.
FRANKLIN GOES FROM FORWARD TO DEFENDER
Two years ago Darriell Franklin set the San José State freshman record for game-winning goals in a season with five. Her name was in the discussion for freshman of the year in the Mountain West and she ended up being named to the All-MW Second Team as a forward. Fast-forward to 2017 and Franklin is this year's Defensive Player of the Year after helping the Spartans to four shutouts in conference play. While she emerged as SJSU's vocal leader on the back line, she still managed to find the back of the net four times in league play.
HOPPIUS CLIMBING THE SJSU CAREER LISTS
Senior forward Dorthe (Didi) Hoppius just picked up her third consecutive All-MW First Team award and has been climbing up many offensive careers lists throughout her final season with the Spartans. She is the program's all-time leader in shots with 214, third all-time with 23 goals and fourth in points with 58. Thursday will be Hoppius 79th career game in a Spartan uniform.
SIMONEAU EYEING TWO RECORDS
Keeper Paige Simoneau is searching for win number 12 of the season which would tie her for the single-season record set back in 1999 by Amee Brown. Her six shutouts this season are one shy of the single-season record which is owned by Zoe Makrigiannis who had seven during the 2015 season.