soccer

SJSU senior forward Darriell Franklin serves a ball up in the box past Santa Clara defender on Friday night at Spartan Soccer Complex.

The reigning Mountain West Conference regular season champion San Jose State women’s soccer team opened the regular season with a 2-1 loss to 19th ranked Santa Clara University Friday night. This is the second straight year the Spartans have opened up the regular season with a loss to the Broncos.

Both teams were quiet for the first 45 minutes, each team had their chance to score the opening goal, but neither could capitalize on their early opportunities. 

Though the Spartans did not record a shot in the first half, they did manage to have one corner kick right before the end of the first half. Spartan goalkeeper Paige Simoneau stopped all four shots that came her way. 

Santa Clara outshot SJSU 11-0 in the first half but the score remained tied 0-0 after the first 45 minutes.

The second half started much like the first half did with each team advancing the ball up and down the field with both defenses not letting the ball near the

goal box. 

This all changed when the Spartans broke the scoring drought at the 61:05 mark when junior forward Jamilecxth Becerra received a pass from freshman forward Jada Wilson in the box, took a dribble and fired the ball past Santa Clara goalkeeper Melissa Lowder. This granted the Spartans the opening goal of the game and a 1-0 lead.

Becerra shared how it felt scoring her first goal of the season on opening night.

“It felt really good,” Becerra said. “I loved having that feeling of giving my team a chance to have the lead and I feel that helped us step it up even more.”

Santa Clara struck back quickly tying the score 1-1 after an unassisted goal from junior forward Maddy Gonzalez at the 71:44 mark of the game. Gonzalez dribbled around the Spartans’ defender and shot the ball at the far post to score her first goal of

the season. 

The game remained tied for only five minutes,the Broncos took a 2-1 lead on Gonzalez’s second goal of the game in the 77th minute. Santa Clara senior forward Maria Sanchez assisted on the Broncos’ second goal of

the contest.

The Spartans were given one last scoring chance to tie the game with eight seconds left on a free kick on the far right of the goal box. 

SJSU senior forward Darriell Franklin kicked the ball in the box but two Spartan players just missed the opportunity to put the ball in the back of the net for the game-tying goal.

Despite the loss on opening night, Simoneau felt the game was a great momentum boost for the team heading into

the season. 

“I think the game showed for itself,” Simoneau said. “We put up a good fight, we do have a little bit of things to tweak, but honestly I’m really excited because our team showed we can compete with them and going into conference the competition isn’t as high as they are ranked No. 19 in the nation so it’s pretty exciting.”

SJSU head coach Lauren Hanson was also pleased on how well her team performed on their opening game of the regular season.

“I saw a lot of fight, a lot of effort and hard work defensively. I thought a lot of great things came about from our substitutions today, a lot of young players played a lot of minutes today and stepped up big time,” Hanson said. “I thought Kristen Amarikwa played unreal for us in the middle of the park today and I told them at halftime that they just needed one opportunity and we got that one and unfortunately we just couldn’t hold on, but I’m really proud of their effort today and it was a great start against a good team.”

The Spartans will start off on the road to begin conference play and visit the University of Portland Pilots in Portland, Oregon on Friday, Aug. 24 at 8 p.m.

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