Spartans Earn Second Straight Overtime Victory

San José, Calif. – San José State's flair for the dramatic didn't take a day off on Saturday as the Spartans defeated Incarnate Word in a 2-1, overtime thriller. 

The result gave the Spartans (4-1-2) their second straight overtime victory after taking down Utah Valley 3-2 on Wednesday night in Orem. This marks the program's first set of back-to-back overtime wins since the 2005 season (3-2 at UNLV, 3-2 at No. 2 New Mexico). 

"At the beginning of the season I thought we were a little behind every other team because we had no fall soccer and very little preseason training in the spring," said head coach Simon Tobin after the victory. "To get these overtime wins says a lot about where we were able to get as a team very quickly. We are lucky to have such an experienced team...these guys have been to battle a few times and that really helps us."

Saturday's match marked Tobin's 125th as head coach at San José State. The win qualified Tobin's team for the WAC Tournament for a fourth straight season. 

Seniors Omar Lemus and Danny Sanchez each tallied goals on the afternoon with another trio of seniors - Carlos Gomez-Zavala, Eddie Saydee and Rudi Castro combining for the team's three assists. Castro entered the day leading the nation in assists per match (1.5) and is now just one assist shy of cracking the top-10 on SJSU's single-season passing list. 

After a fairly even and physical opening half hour, San José State opened the scoring in the match's 30th minute with a beautiful bit of offense. 

Taking a quick touch pass via Gomez-Zavala from about 30 yards out on the right side of the pitch, Lemus outran four Cardinal defenders all the way to the left side of the box, then fired a left-footed laser past the UIW keeper and into the corner of the net. The strike gave the Spartans a 1-0 advantage and marked the defender's second goal of the season (also scored in his season debut against Grand Canyon on Feb. 27). 

This marks the first year since the 2001 campaign that the Spartans have scored in each of their first seven matches to start a season.

Tobin's team dominated possession in the second stanza and out-shot the visitors from San Antonio 10-2 in the final 45 minutes of regulation. None of the looks were able to find the back of the goal, however, sending the club to overtime for a fourth time this season. 

Once in that overtime session, it didn't take long for San José State to find the winner it was so close to getting in regulation. 

On its second trip down the pitch in the first overtime, Saydee chipped a ball out to the nation's assist leader on the wing. Castro then did what he does best, firing a perfectly-placed cross in front of the net. 

Timing his run at the ball perfectly was an unmarked Sanchez, who promptly headed the ball by the goalkeeper to set off another jubilant celebration for the Spartans. 

SJSU ended the afternoon with a 17-5 shot advantage (8-3 on goal) and took eight corner kicks to Incarnate Word's three. Sophomore goalkeeper David Sweeney got another win in goal and the WAC's reigning Defensive Player of the Week added another two saves to his ledger. 

San José State's winning streak is now up to three matches, marking the program's longest winning streak since it won four straight on the 2017 campaign. 

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

With just two matches remaining in the regular season, the team has now moved up to third on the WAC table in both winning percentage and points. 

The Spartans will look to continue their winning ways when they return to the pitch on Monday night against UNLV. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. at Spartan Soccer Complex against the Rebels.