Terrell Lloyd

Late Penalty Kicks Doom Spartans

San José, Calif. – Nicolas Brenes and Omar Lemus each tallied a goal but a pair of late penalty kick decisions in favor of Grand Canyon allowed the Lopes to escape Spartan Soccer Complex with a 3-2 victory on Saturday night. 

The visitors from Phoenix trailed from the match's 49th to 81st minute as San José State dominated for the majority of the second half. 

Grand Canyon ultimately ended the evening at a 14-5 shot advantage. Brenes would lead all players with three shots while Lemus followed closely behind at two. 

Brenes' goal came in the match's 20th minute, equalizing the scoreline at 1-1 after the opponent jumped out to an early advantage. 

Collecting a pass from senior Willy Miranda, Brenes sent a screamer from the corner of the box past the diving Lope keeper. The ball sailed over the goalkeeper's head and and into the upper left corner of the net, giving the Spartans some much-needed momentum while netting Brenes his second goal in as many matches this season. 

It was then Lemus' turn to add to SJSU's tally, dropping in his first goal of the season four minutes into the second stanza. Upon a beautiful pass from Brenes, Lemus controlled the ball at the top of the box before hooking his shot into the back of the net. 

Sophomore goalkeeper David Sweeney ended the night making seven saves, six of which came in the first half. 

Saturday's match marked San José State's second contest of the 2020-21 season and their first after opening the year with a 2-1 victory at Dixie State last Saturday. The Spartans were the last team in the nation to begin preseason training due to local health restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The team will return to action in two weeks when it travels to Texas to face Houston Baptist on Mar. 13. Kickoff is set for 2:00 p.m. (CT) at Sorrels Field.