Spartans Battle Hard But Fall At No. 1 Stanford

Stanford, Calif. – San José State impressed for 45 minutes against the nation's top team on Tuesday before ultimately being overwhelmed in the contest's second half. 

Undefeated Stanford was eventually able to break through a strong Spartan defense to hand the club a 3-0 defeat in its non-conference finale.

The match marked an end to a challenging early-season slate that featured a pair of games against top-10 opponents. It also marked the third time in three years that the program has faced the Cardinal when they have been ranked No. 1 nationally. 

"I thought we were superb in the first half tonight," said head coach Simon Tobin after the match. "It's not every day you're tied with the top team in the country at the half. But when you're playing Stanford there's a good possibility that there is going to be a goal at least once along the way." 

The Cardinal broke through for their first goal of the night in the 52nd minute, putting an end to a stretch of 167 consecutive minutes without a goal against SJSU's defense over the last few years. 

The hosts were able to turn away each of San José State's good looks in the first half as it showed why it boasts one of the top defense's in the country. The team's best look at goal came in the 27th minute as forward Rodolfo Castro gathered a pass from midfielder Max Allen, firing a shot from outside the box that missed just wide of the net. 

The Spartans ended the evening with six shots, half of which were put on frame. Castro and Allen each finished the night with two while Danny Sanchez came off the bench to add a pair. 

Allen leads the club with 16 shots as they enter conference play later this week. 

Also impressing on the night was freshman goalkeeper David Sweeney, finishing just his second career match with eight saves against the top-ranked Cardinal. The eight stops are the most by a Spartan freshman since Oct. 14, 2012 (Emmanuel Espinosa, 10 vs. UNLV). 

The freshman's quick feet turned the opponent away time and time again on Tuesday as Sweeney would end the night with a trio of kick saves in addition to the good work with his hands.

The team now sets its sights on WAC play, which kicks off Saturday night at the Spartan Soccer Complex. 

"That was the toughest it's going to get," Tobin said. "There were some good things about tonight that we can carry over but everything is about conference play from now on. We're definitely looking forward to getting it going." 

First up for Tobin's team is CSU Bakersfield, a program Tobin led for 27 years before taking over at the helm in San José. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. on Saturday.