Kyle Scholzen

Late Goal Ends Spartans Season In WAC Quarterfinals

USAFA, Colo. – A strong 83 minutes of defense proved not to be enough on Wednesday as San José State dropped its WAC Tournament quarterfinal match to fourth-seeded CSU Bakersfield. 

Despite dominating possession for much of the match, a late header would doom the Spartans in the 1-0 defeat. 

"We played well but when it comes to the playoffs, those small moments are key," said head coach Simon Tobin after the match. "Tiny little things can make all the difference. We had our chances but that's just how postseason matches are." 

The match marked the end of the 2019 campaign for SJSU, which qualified for the postseason through a four-match unbeaten streak late in the year. The trip to the WAC Tournament marked the program's third in as many seasons. 

While some postseason matches feature heavy defense and cautious play, Tobin's team had no notion of sitting back early. The offense racked up 11 shots in the first half, continually peppering the Roadrunner defense and forcing the opponent to make stop after stop. 

San José State would eventually finish the day with a 19-17 shot advantage over the tournament's No. 4 seed. It also doubled CSU Bakersfield's chances on goal (10-5) and corner kick attempts (4-2). 

It was forward Rodolfo Castro who led the offensive attack, taking five shots (one on frame) for the Spartans. 

The club's best chance in the run of play came off the foot of midfielder Max Allen. Unleashing a rocket from distance, the Roadrunner keeper was just able to get his hands up in time to deflect Allen's shot and keep the score level. 

Goalkeeper David Sweeney, named to the WAC's All-Freshman Team on Tuesday, finished the contest with four saves. Sweeney was joined by Allen, Castro and midfielder Carlos Gomez-Zavala as the quartet of Spartans to be honored by the conference

San José State entered the match with a 5-4-2 record against conference opponents on the season, a campaign that featured one of the best in-season turnarounds in program history.

With the win, CSU Bakersfield now advances to the tournament's semifinals. The Roadrunners will meet top-seeded Seattle University on Friday afternoon for a spot in this weekend's title match.