Buenfil Shines But Broncos Battle By Spartans

Santa Clara, Calif. – Midfielder Eduardo Buenfil tallied his first goal of the season on Friday but it proved not to be enough as San José State fell on the road to Santa Clara. 

After a dominant start to the match, the Spartans (0-3) fell behind late in the first half and ultimately were unable to come all the way back in their 5-1 defeat against the Broncos (2-1). 

"The first 20 minutes was actually some of the best soccer we've played since I got here," said head coach Simon Tobin after the match. "We will go back and watch it on film but I don't think they touched the ball in that time. Then we stopped doing what we're very good at and it got away from us there." 

Inches away from drawing first blood on multiple occasions, four different Spartans got off dangerous shots in a 90 second flurry that began in the 15th minute.

Senior Suliman Khorami started the action with a banger that was rejected by the crossbar, one of two shots for the club that would hit the woodwork within a minute and a half. SJSU eventually finished the evening with four shots on goal. 

The hosts had better luck finding the back of the net, but San José State was able to work its way back into the match in the 60th minute. 

Blitzing the Bronco keeper to force a miscue deep in his own box, Buenfil promptly controlled the loose ball and powered it into the back of the net to cut his team's deficit to 3-1. The goal was the junior's first of the season and fifth in his collegiate career.

The Spartans ended the night with eight shots, taking three corner kicks and making two saves in the full 90. 

Looking forward to Monday's showdown with No. 8 Saint Mary's, Tobin was able to experiment with some different looks and lineups down the stretch in this one. By the end of the night, 22 of the team's 28 available players saw the pitch. 

"We were able to mix it up there and start looking ahead to Monday," Tobin said when asked about the next challenge on the schedule. "Saint Mary's hasn't lost since 2017 and this match will offer up some insight into how we measure up against such an elite team." 

The visit from the Gaels will mark the program's first match against a top-10 opponent since it earned a draw at No. 1 and three-time defending national champion Stanford last season. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. on Monday at the Spartan Soccer Complex.