Spartans Advance To WAC Men's Soccer Semifinal

Seattle, Wash.----- San Jose State University's Omar Lemus converted a penalty kick in the third round of sudden victory penalty kicks to give the Spartans a victory over Seattle University in the quarterfinal round of the Western Athletic Conference men's soccer tournament.
            The Spartans (7-9-3), seeded #6 in the seven-team tournament, trailed 2-0 at halftime and 3-0 with less than 16 minutes to play against the host and #3-seed Redhawks (13-6-1) and still managed to tie the match, 3-3, after 90 minutes of regulation play.
            San Jose State, which had scored three or more goals just twice in 18 regular season matches, poured in three goals in an 11:16 span to send the match into overtime.
            "We made some tactical adjustments. We always play 4-2-3-1, but I felt we needed something different. Then, straightaway they got a third goal. We went to three in the back and we started to play very well," said San Jose State head coach Simon Tobin.
            Jonathan Partida got the Spartans on the scoreboard at 74:20 with an unassisted goal from 25 yards away. Less than a minute later, Eddie Saydee cut the deficit to 3-2 with a header off a Max Allen free kick and pass from Suliman Khorami. For Saydee, it was his first shot of the season.
            "The first goal, we needed that one. Obviously, getting the second right after, you could see straightaway, they started to doubt themselves. That's how soccer is," Tobin continued.
            "As much as it is played on the field, it's a mental game as well. Goals just change the way you feel."
            Zach Penner of the Spartans tied the match at 3-3, at 87:36, heading a bouncing ball in the box past Seattle U. goalkeeper Josh Adachi.
            Neither team scored in each of the two 10-minute overtime periods. Seattle U. outshot San Jose State, 26-10 for the match and 4-0 in overtime, but could not find the match winner.
            Allen, a second-team All-WAC selection, Joseph Kay and Willy Miranda scored for San Jose State in the round of five penalty kicks.
            Goalkeeper Alex Clewis, who was credited with seven saves in regulation and overtime action, stopped Seattle U.'s first two penalty kicks, but was beaten the next three times to keep the shootout going.
            Partida and Miguel Castillo converted the Spartans' sixth and seventh penalty kicks. Clewis then stopped Connor Moblat of Seattle U. setting the stage for Lemus to send San Jose State into the semifinal round against #2-seed UTRGV (Texas Rio Grande Valley).
            "Clewis came up with two big saves (in the shootout), but then I thought there would be some other misses. I'm proud of the boys, because at 3-nil, they started to show a lot of character to come back," the Spartans' coach concluded.