Spartans Waltz Way To Fourth Straight Win

San José, Calif. – Needing a victory to remain in contention for a WAC regular-season title, San José State got just that after a 90-minute battle with UNLV on Monday night. 

The 1-0 win gave the Spartans (5-1-2) their fourth straight victory and marks their third consecutive contest decided by just one goal. This mark's the program's first stretch of three-straight wins by a single goal since Oct. 5-12, 2012 (2-1 at CSU Bakersfield, 2-1 at UNLV, 1-0 vs. CSU Bakersfield).

"That win shows the strength and quality of our squad," said head coach Simon Tobin after the victory. "We are quite deep this year and at times like this - coming off our second straight overtime match two days ago - it's really beneficial. Every player that played today gave us some quality minutes." 

Senior Rudi Castro tallied the team's lone goal on the night while an additional paid of seniors - Willy Miranda and Carlos Gomez-Zavala - assisted on the 68th minute strike. It was a busy Monday for Castro, who was chosen as the WAC's Offensive Player of the Week earlier in the day. 

While the first hour and change of Monday's match were filled with defense, SJSU's potent offensive attack began to find some rhythm midway through the second stanza. 

Collecting a pass from Gomez-Zavala at the top of the box, Miranda was able to dribble his way past a pair of Rebel (4-3-2) defenders and create enough space to find a wide open Castro in front of the net. With just the keeper to beat, the forward fired a right-footed laser into the back of the net to give the home team the only goal it would need on this night. 

The visitors from Vegas did manage to take three shots in the match's final 20 minutes but were unable to find an equalizer. The Rebels entered the night with a three-match winning streak of their own.

Freshman keeper Eric Waltz got the win and the shutout in goal for the Spartans, making a total of four saves in his first career appearance. 

Tobin's team ended the evening with eight shots (three on frame) and took one corner kick. Castro's two shots (both on goal) paced San José State. 

The Spartans winning streak is now up to four matches, the program's longest since the 2017 campaign. 

In addition, the team's unbeaten streak has now been extended to six contests. That's the program's longest since its stretch of eight straight results in 2009. 

With just one match remaining in the regular season, the team has now moved up to second on the WAC table in points and winning percentage. Its 17 points sits just one back of first-place Grand Canyon heading into the final matchday of the regular season. 

SJSU will look to stay hot when it returns to the pitch on Friday for its Senior Night match against Seattle U. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. at Spartan Soccer Complex against the Redhawks.