Boise, Idaho The San Jose State University women’s soccer team was narrowly defeated by Fresno State, 1-0, in the championship match of the 2005 Western Athletic Conference Tournament at the Boas Soccer Complex on Saturday, November 5.
The Spartans were looking for their first WAC Tournament title and first NCAA Tournament berth since the 2000 season. Instead, Fresno State (10-9-2) won its first WAC Tournament championship ever and with the conference’s automatic NCAA Tournament bid in hand, will make its first NCAA postseason appearance since the 1999 season.
San Jose State concludes the 2005 season at 6-12-3. The Spartans closed out the year by going 6-2-1 over their final nine games.
The fifth-seeded Bulldogs had the better chances of the first half. They first had a shot by Nicole Gutierrez cleared off the goal line by Spartan freshman defender Brittny Beshore 17 minutes into the game. Fresno State then tallied its goal at the 22:16 mark. A cross from the left was deflected to the feet of junior Cortney Sobrero, who put a low shot from inside the penalty box past senior Spartan goalkeeper Adrienne Herbst. Gutierrez and Antonea Lugo were each credited with assists.
The best chance to equalize for the second-seeded Spartans came midway through the second half, when a hard shot from close range by senior Karin Karlsson was stopped by Fresno State goalie Angie Larsen. Larsen finished with three saves in earning the shutout.
In her final appearance in a Spartan uniform, Herbst wound up with three saves. The tri-captain concludes her collegiate career in 10th place on the all-time WAC goalie saves chart with 227.
For the afternoon, Fresno State outshot San Jose State, 14-7.
“We had an inability to seize an opportunity, and that is the sign of a young team” said Spartan head coach Dave Siracusa, who in his second season at the helm, led the program to its most wins since 2000 with a starting lineup made up predominantly of freshmen and sophomores. “We’re a team that’s been learning from our mistakes all year. We’ve done a good job of that. Hopefully, we’ll learn this lesson as well, to seize the moments. It’s unfortunate for the seniors that there are no more opportunities for them.”
“This season was a learning process from the beginning. We learned a lot about ourselves. We learned to minimize our mistakes, and capitalize on our opponents’ mistakes. We learned that we have high character. Not many teams can be 0-10-2 and go on a 6-1-1 run and make the conference finals. I’m very proud of the girls.”
San Jose State’s sophomore quartet of Jackie Cruz, Nicole Irwin, Kristin Krale and Jackie Zabek were named to the 11-person all-tournament team.
San Jose State had won the regular-season meeting between these teams, 1-0, in Fresno, Calif., back on October 28.
SCORING SUMMARY 1 2 TOT
Fresno State (10-9-2) 1 0 - 1
San Jose State (6-12-3) 0 0 - 0
FS Sobrero (Gutierrez, Lugo), 22:16
FS - 14
SJSU - 7
FS - 3 (Larsen-3)
SJSU - 4 (Herbst-3; Team-1)
FS - 2
SJSU - 1
FS - 13
SJSU - 8
Complete WAC All-Tournament Team:
Cortney Sobrero, F, Fresno State
Miranda Montejo, F, Nevada
Kristin Krale, F, San Jose State
Nicole Irwin, F, San Jose State
Kortney Lewis, MF, Fresno State (MVP)
Jackie Zabek, MF, San Jose State
Antonea Lugo, MF, Fresno State
Rochelle Jagdeo, D, Fresno State
Randee Robinson, D, Nevada
Jackie Cruz, D, San Jose State
Angie Larsen, GK, Fresno State