Miranda Hat Trick Helps Spartans To Shutout Victory

Irvine, Calif. – Behind the strength of the program's first hat trick in six years, San José State returned to the pitch Friday and cruised to a 4-0 shutout victory on a sunny afternoon in Southern California. 

"That was an excellent, professional performance today," said head coach Simon Tobin after the win. "I thought a great field in the new Orange County SC stadium really helped our game. It's always special for a player to get a hat trick. Willy Miranda has worked hard in training and fully deserved his goals." 

Miranda's three goals marks the program's first hat trick since Rory Knibbs scored three times in a 4-2 victory over Sacramento State back on Sept. 4, 2015. Miranda has now scored eight Division I goals on his collegiate career. 

It was senior Rudi Castro who tallied the other Spartan goal, completing a dominant team effort in the victory. The shutout was the program's first since Nov. 1, 2019 (0-0 draw at UTRGV) and marked the fifth of goalkeeper David Sweeney's career. 

The sophomore Sweeney was tested early but made a sweet save in the match's 14th minute to keep the scoreline level. Miranda then put his team in front nine minutes later, taking a pass from senior Max Allen and putting his shot in the back of the net for his first goal of the 2020-21 campaign. 

SJSU took that 1-0 lead into the locker rooms but it didn't take long for Miranda to add to that tally. 

Just two minutes into the second stanza, the Western Athletic Conference assist-leader Castro found an open Miranda for his second goal of the afternoon. 

That pair would combine for San José State's final two goals of the match as Castro scored in the match's 67th minute and then Miranda again to complete his hat trick in the 78th. Both of those goals were assisted by senior Nicolas Brenes, continuing a hot run of play for the senior out of Richmond, Calif. 

The Spartans have now earned a result in eight of their last 11 matches (dating back to last season) and have gotten a result in five of their last six away matches. 

The team now has just four days off before its road trip continues on Wednesday at Utah Valley. Kickoff for that one is set for 7:00 p.m. (MT) in Orem against the Wolverines.