Spartans Earn Huge Road Result To Kickoff Texas Trip

Edinburg, Texas – 110 minutes of tight, nerve-wracking soccer wasn't enough to separate two teams that entered Friday's match tied in the conference standings. 

San José State came away from the contest with a pivotal point in its quest to return to the WAC Tournament, earning the result after a long match to kickoff the club's longest road trip of the year. 

"That is an excellent result on the road," said head coach Simon Tobin after the draw. "To get a third consecutive clean sheet is really impressive." 

The third straight shutout was delivered by freshman keeper David Sweeney, returning to the pitch for the first time since earning the conference's Defensive Player of the Week award. Sweeney ended the night with one save against UTRGV while anchoring a defense that made plenty of clutch plays in front of him. 

The biggest of those plays came late in the first half as senior defender Jeff Dukes was able to deflect two shots in two seconds to keep the match scoreless. 

As has been the case for many of the club's matches this season, Tobin thought his team's form improved in the contest's final 65 minutes. 

"We looked bit poor in the first half," Tobin said when asked about the match. "I thought we were much better from halftime onwards." 

An evenly-played second stanza led to a pair of tense overtime periods, the extra time filled with physical play and strategic maneuvers from each sideline. The Spartans earned two corner kicks and took one shot in the final 20 minutes but the highlight of extra time was a fingertip save made by Sweeney in the 95th minute. 

The freshman has now gone 340 consecutive minutes in the net without allowing a goal. In addition, Sweeney entered the week ranked second in the WAC for saves made in conference play with 43. 

SJSU ended the night with an 11-9 shot advantage, putting five shots on frame to the Vaqueros one. The team's unbeaten streak has now reached three matches, the program's longest since winning four straight contests on the 2017 campaign. 

San José State will return to action on Sunday at Incarnate Word as its three-match road trip continues. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m. (CT) against the Cardinals in San Antonio.