Tod Fierner

Texas Two-Step Kicks Off Season's Home Stretch

THE SCHEDULE: San José State hits the road to kickoff the home stretch, making its Texas swing to face UTRGV on Friday night before traveling to Incarnate Word on Sunday. Friday's match will kickoff at 7:00 p.m (CT). with Sunday's set for a 1:00 p.m. (CT) start. 

FOLLOW ALONG: Both matches will be streamed live on the WAC Digital Network. Live stats will be available for both contests and you can follow every San José State men's soccer game live on Twitter, @SanJoseStateMS.

- Nine different players (Nicolas Brenes, Eduardo Buenfil, Suliman Khorami, Danny Sanchez, Rodolfo Castro, Angel Farias, Jeff Dukes, Willy Miranda and Omar Lemus) have scored at least one goal this season. 

- Castro tops the team with 18 points in 14 appearances for the Spartans. The San José product has scored goals in six matches, including a brace in his team's record-setting, 6-0 victory over Kansas City. He netted his second multi-goal performance of the season in last week's 3-0 win against Utah Valley. 

- Castro also leads the team in goals (8), shots taken (4) and shots on goal (25) on the 2019 campaign.

- The six-goal win over the Roos set a program record for margin of victory in a conference match and was the team's largest win of any kind since Aug. 29, 2003 (6-0 vs. Notre Dame de Namur). 

- Senior Angel Farias found some late match and late (collegiate) career magic on the team's most recent road trip, scoring his first two goals of the season in the 84th and 83rd minutes in matches at Grand Canyon and California Riverside. The late strike against the Lopes marked the defender's first goal as a Spartan. 

- The SJSU defenders have been pivotal to the team's offensive attack all season long. It's junior defender Omar Lemus who leads the team with four assists heading into the final three matches of the regular season.

SWEENEY HONORED: Goalkeeper David Sweeney was named the Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week for Oct. 21-27. Sweeney was strong in net to help lead the Spartans to a pair of shutout victories last week. His 43 saves in conference play is tied for the second most in the WAC this season. 

- Multiple Spartans find themselves near the top of the WAC's statistical categories for their performances throughout conference play.

- Forward Rodolfo Castro leads the league in conference goals (7) and is second in points (16). In addition, Castro's pair of assists is tied for 10th.

- Defender Omar Lemus is slotted at second in the WAC with four assists in conference action. 

- In addition to ranking second with 43 saves, goalkeeper David Sweeney is second in shutouts (3) and third in save percentage (.796). 

- San José State ranks No. 3 nationally and first in the WAC in shot accuracy (.526), narrowly trailing national-leader Howard (.548). Midfielder Nicolas Brenes is slotted at No. 21 in the country (.571) and forward Rodolfo Castro (.523) ranks 45th individually. 

- In addition, the Spartans are No. 13 in the country in shots on goal per game at 6.80. Castro comes in at No. 28 with 1.64 per match.  

- Freshman David Sweeney leads the WAC and ranks No. 9 nationally with 5.30 saves per game. Sweeney has totaled 53 saves to date.

COME BACK TO TEXAS: This week's road trip serves as a homecoming of sorts for assistant coach Jonathan Lester. Lester grew up in Fort Worth and attended SMU before finishing his collegiate career at San José State. 

- San José State has played UTRGV six times in program history, leading the all-time series with a record of 4-2-0. 

- All four of the Spartans victories over the Vaqueros have come away from home. They have outscored their opponent by a tally of 7-1 in that quartet of matches. 

- UTRGV is 8-4-1 (4-3-1 WAC) on the season and is coming off a 1-0 defeat at CSU Bakersfield on Sunday. Prior to the loss in Bakersfield, the club had earned a result in four of its last five matches. 

- The team finished the 2018 campaign with a 14-6 record, ending the season with a 1-0 loss to SJSU in Seattle. Current Spartan Star Omar Lemus tallied the lone goal in that match. 

- San José State and Incarnate Word have met five times in program history, leading the all-time series with a record of 3-2. 

- The Spartans have emerged victorious in both of their previous trips to San Antonio, winning 2-0 in 2017 and 2-1 in 2015.

- The two programs met for the first time in the 2014 season. 

- 2019 marks the sixth season at the helm in San José for Tobin, who joined the Spartans after spending the previous 27 seasons as the head coach at CSU Bakersfield. 

- Tobin is a native of London, England, graduating from Nonington College in 1983. 

- His 338 career victories entering the 2019 campaign ranked No. 10 in all of Division I among active coaches.  

- Postseason success has been a staple of Tobin's time in San José as the Spartans have made the Western Athletic Conference title match in both the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

- He has continued to turn out some of the top talent in the conference year in and year out, placing a total of 15 players on the All-Western Athletic Conference Team throughout his tenure.

- San José State's coaching staff features three men who each saw success in their collegiate playing days at universities throughout the state.

Jonathan Lester is a Spartan alumnus and ranks No. 4 on the program's all time saves list with a dominant 225 in just three years.

Jesus Sanchez played for Tobin at CSU Bakersfield, finishing his four seasons there with 16 goals and 27 assists while compiling a record of 40-22-15.

Nic Ryan rounds out the staff as a volunteer assistant coach. He played collegiately at UC Santa Barbara, reaching the NCAA Tournament three times in four years with the Gauchos. 

- Lester is in his third year on staff with the Spartans, while both Sanchez and Ryan came aboard prior to the start of the 2018 season.  

- San José State's 2019 roster features 12 newcomers, nine of which are freshmen. 

- 10 of the 12 newcomers hail from California, bringing the team's total to 24 in-state products.

- SJSU was one of five teams to receive a first-place vote in the WAC Preseason Poll. The defending WAC Championship runner-up finished sixth in the poll of the conference coaches.

- Tobin has taken the program to back-to-back WAC title match appearances. This year's conference tournament is scheduled for November 13-17 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

- The San José State squad features a trio of European players in the form of freshman Kasper Poulsgaard, sophomore Finlay Wood and junior Max Allen. Poulsgaard hails from Denmark, while Wood and Allen come to San José from Wales and England, respectively. 

- The Spartans will face five NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago in 2019, with both Saint Mary's (September 9) and Air Force (October 27) coming to the Spartan Soccer Complex. 

- Senior Jeff Dukes has gotten the job done both on the field and in the classroom, earning Academic All-WAC recognition last season. It was the second such award for Dukes in his collegiate career. 

- SJSU prepared for the regular season with a pair of serviceable exhibition matches. The club played a 110-minute friendly at California before returning home and defeating Holy Cross. 

- San José State will finish the regular season playing six of its final eight matches on the road, embarking on a pair of three-game road trips across five different states. 

- The team has already played four road games this season, including matches at No. 1 Stanford and rival Santa Clara. 

- The Spartans have impressed away from home recently, posting an 11-12-5 record in their last 28 matches played outside of the Spartan Soccer Complex. 

- The Spartans seven non-conference opponents represent three different conferences (Big West, WCC, Pac-12). 

- Two of SJSU's matches this year (No. 1 Stanford, No. 8 Saint Mary's) came against opponents ranked in the United Soccer Coaches Poll. 

SPARTANS IN THE NEWS: Be sure to bookmark our clips and links page for all of the latest San José State men's soccer coverage. 

SOCIAL MEDIA: The men's soccer program can be found on both Twitter (@SanJoseStateMS) and Instagram (@sanjosestatems). Give both a follow for a behind the scenes look at the team!