Then Seattle scored, and everything came crashing back to Earth. The Spartans, nearly flawless through the first two-and-a-half games of the Western Athletic Conference men’s soccer tournament, couldn’t hold off the conference’s only elite team, falling to Seattle 2-1 thanks to two second half goals by the Redhawks.
San Jose State took an early lead on an unassisted goal by Ben Cowdrill. But Seattle had spent the first half peppering goalkeeper Emmanuel Espinoza, throwing 10 shots his way with two needing to be stopped.
In the 57th minute (at 56:12 to be exact), the dam finally broke for the Spartans. Miguel Gonzalez netted his team leading 13th goal of the season with the help of Ian Hines-Ike. The Redhawks took the lead for good when Hines-Ike assisted Hamza Haddadi on his fifth goal of the game in the 71st minute. All told, of Seattles eight shots in the second half, seven were on net, with Espinoza stopping five others.
The Redhawks earn the WAC’s automatic bid into next week’s NCAA tournament, concluding the regular season 10-8-2, and undefeated (7-0-3) in WAC play. Despite a valiant showing at the conference tournament, San Jose State ends its season with a record of 4-13-4.
In other San Jose State sports news …
- The men’s basketball team spend Friday and Saturday almost winning. There was no almost about their 79-66 loss to James Madison on Sunday to wrap up the NIU Invitational. Rashad Muhammad had 18 points off the bench for the Spartans (0-4).
- While the men’s basketball team spends its time figuring things out, the women are having no such problem. The Spartans made a second half come back Sunday to beat Evansville 90-84. The Spartans (3-1) carried a 44-42 lead into halftime, but fell behind in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Rebecca Woodberry led the Spartans with 18 points including five 3-pointers, while Ta’Rea Cunnigan added 17 and seven assists. Freshman Jasmine Smith continues to be a force, gathering a double-double Sunday with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
- The San Jose State volleyball team got swept for the second straight match, 25-23, 25-14, 25-14, at Boise State on Saturday. Next up, home for undefeated Colorado State on Thursday.
- The 9-2 San Jose State hockey team is at the Beehive Grill Showcase in Logan, Utah, this weekend.
- Friday’s pivotal Navy-San Jose State football game will be witnessed by a national audience.