Women's Soccer Knocked Out At WAC Tourney

Boise, Idaho - The Western Athletic Conference regular-season champion San Jose State University women's soccer team lost 2-1 to the University of Nevada in a WAC Tournament semifinal game on a rainy Friday afternoon, November 6, at Boas Soccer Complex.

The top-seeded Spartans jumped out to an early lead when Shanelle Furner took advantage of a bad clearance attempt and scored her second goal of the season on a blast from about 20 yards out. Furner's 10th-minute goal put the Spartans up, 1-0. The lead only lasted about 10 minutes, because Nevada's Cristen Drummond took a long shot that got a favorable bounce and got past the Spartans' All-WAC second-team goalie, Nina Butera. Drummond's third goal of the season got Nevada level at 1-1, which was the halftime score.

Nevada controlled the tempo early in the second half. Two early corner kicks led to a header by Jill Erickson that went just wide of the post. The Spartans regained control of the match when Kelsey Holm took a shot in the 58th minute that had to be stopped by Nevada's goalie, Marie Cove. Spartan first-team All-WAC selection Roxy Kamal came tantalizingly close in the 62nd minute, but the Spartans were again denied by Cove. Cove was huge in the second half as she stopped Kamal again two minutes later and ended the day with five saves. The game moved into sudden death overtime tied, 1-1.

Early in the first overtime period, Kamal earned a free kick just outside the 18-yard box and found Kelsey Lord alone on the far post. Lord's attempt to redirect the well-struck cross came close but the game remained tied at one. Nevada stunned the Spartans in the sixth minute of the overtime period, when Erin Smith, scored her first goal of the year to give the Wolf Pack a 2-1 win. Smith streaked free down the left side to latch onto a through ball by Drummond, and whipped a shot across the box past the outstretched arms of Butera, who ended the game with five saves.

The goal likely ends a memorable season for the Spartans, who eclipsed numerous school records under the guidance of WAC Coach of the Year, Jeff Leightman. Leightman led the team to its first winning campaign since 1999 and the first WAC regular-season crown since it joined the conference for the 1996 season. The Spartans, who were projected to finish sixth in the conference, also ran off a school-record 14-match unbeaten streak.

San Jose State broke team marks for longest win streak (six games), most consecutive shutouts (five games), longest shutout streak (491:18), longest road unbeaten stretch (seven games) and single-season WAC wins (five). The Spartans have also equaled the program record for most shutouts in a season, with seven, and have picked up their first regional ranking this decade while earning a fifth straight WAC Tournament berth.

The Spartans' post-season fate now lies in the hands of the NCAA selection committee, which will announce the tournament bracket on Monday evening. ESPNews will air the announcement of the field on Monday night between 5 and 5:30 p.m. PST.

SCORING SUMMARY
Nevada (10-11) - 1 0 1 - 2
San Jose State (11-6-3) - 1 0 0 - 1

Scoring
SJSU - Shanelle Furner (2) (unassisted), 9:31
NEV - Cristen Drummond (3) (unassisted), 21:25
NEV - Erin Smith (1) (Cristen Drummond), 95:41

Shots
NEV - 17 
SJSU - 13

Saves
NEV - 5 (Marie Cove-5)
SJSU - 5 (Nina Butera-5)

Corner Kicks
NEV - 7
SJSU - 3

Fouls
NEV - 8
SJSU - 5