Spartans Earn Exhibition Draw Against California

San José, Calif. – San José State supporters filled Spartan Soccer Complex for the first time in 22 months on Sunday and were treated to a back-and-forth exhibition match that exhibited some early signs of resilience from the Spartans. 

The 2-2 result against the Pac-12's California Golden Bears saw SJSU rally from two separate deficits on the evening. It marked the first of two friendlies that the club will play before the regular season gets underway later this month at CSU Bakersfield. 

"I thought it was a good game for an exhibition and a taste of what our season can be," said head coach Simon Tobin after the match. "Cal is a great Pac-12 program and we played them straight up. It felt great to be out here again on a beautiful field in front of our fans and the community."

Tobin's team dominated possession for the majority of Sunday's match and finished with a 12-8 shot advantage. The home side put seven of those shots on frame compared to California's six. 

It was a pair of senior midfielders who paced the team as Willy Miranda and Carlos Gomez-Zavala led all players with two shots on the night. Senior Kameron Bolden led San José State in minutes on the pitch, playing all 90 of Sunday's match.  

The visitors from Berkeley were able to grab an early lead on a 20th minute goal but SJSU's potent offensive attack would finally break through with a goal of its own late in the first half. 

Earning a corner kick in the match's 44th minute, the ball was played short to senior Max Allen out of the corner. Allen sent a perfect, looping cross just in front of the far post, where defender Eduardo Miranda was able to run underneath it and deliver a forceful strike into the roof of the net. 

The fireworks continued late into the night with San José State trailing as late as the 84th minute. This time, however, it was Jamal Adam's turn. 

Stepping up on a free kick taken from just outside the box, Adam froze the keeper and curled his attempt over the wall and into the back of the net. The goal pulled Adam's team level at 2-2, a scoreline that would hold the rest of the way. 

In addition to the hard-fought draw, the Spartans also earned a 2-1 victory over California in a 20-minute mini-match held after the 90-minute friendly. Seeing their first action in a Spartan kit, freshmen midfielders Jude Boyd (13th minute) and Brandon Alper (15th minute) tallied goals to lead SJSU to the win. 

San José State will look to keep its momentum going as it rounds out the exhibition season at San Francisco on Wednesday. Kickoff for that one is set for 5:00 p.m.