Spartans Cruise Past Crusaders For Exhibition Victory

San José, Calif. - Taking advantage of its final friendly before kicking off regular season play, the San José State men's soccer team accomplished all it was looking to and then some on Tuesday against visiting Holy Cross. 

Using a 49th minute goal off the left foot of midfielder Danny Sanchez, the Spartans earned a 1-0 victory to put a lid on the exhibition season. The match came on the heels of a useful and challenging 110-minute contest at California over the weekend. 

"It was a good opportunity to look at some different things as we prepare for our regular season opener on Friday night," said head coach Simon Tobin after the victory. "We got to see that we are quite deep and they all performed pretty well. We controlled most of the game and that's what we were aiming to do." 

Entering 23 players into the match, the exhibition gave Tobin a chance to tinker with different looks while also trying to keep his club fresh for the start of the regular season. 

"We put them through double days in practice so they're still feeling it in their legs a little bit," Tobin said. "Now we're hoping to taper things down ahead of Friday's match." 

A trio of goalkeepers took advantage of the opportunity to earn extra playing time, combining to post a clean sheet and five saves on the evening. Freshmen David Sweeney and Eric Waltz each made two saves, while junior Rodrigo Reyes-Zavalza snagged one in 45 minutes of action. 

After a scoreless first half, SJSU came out with an attacking mindset in the final 45 and it quickly paid off. Sanchez would be the beneficiary, rebounding a strong free kick off the foot of Finlay Wood with a laser to the back post. 

"It is still a blur," recounted Sanchez when asked about his goal. "It was just right place, right time and it worked out." 

Looking to keep the one-goal advantage intact, it was the freshman Waltz who came up clutch in the game's waning moments. Playing in his first match at the Spartan Soccer Complex, Waltz made a pair of saves in the final five minutes to keep his team in front. 

San José State finished with an edge in both shots (13-9) and shots on goal (6-5) over the Crusaders. 

It will now look to build on the result as the club looks forward to its regular season opener against Sacramento State. Kickoff against the Hornets is slated for 7:00 p.m. on Friday at the Spartan Soccer Complex.