During the men’s soccer team season-opener against Stanford last Friday, senior goalkeeper Alex Clewis stopped 11 shots from getting in the goal. The game went to double overtime and ended in a 0-0 draw.
Clewis had the most saves for a Spartan goalkeeper since current assistant coach Jonathan Lester saved 12 shots in a 2010 game against New Mexico.
He was named the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Men’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Week, for his efforts in the first game.
WAC is the Division I conference for San Jose State University’s men’s
“It’s an honor to start out so strongly and I have to hand that to my team,” Clewis said. “I took a lot of credit for that [Stanford] game, but my friends played really well that day.
Clewis grew up in Concord, California and spent the first two years of his collegiate career at Notre Dame de Namur University. He came to San Jose State University after head coach Simon Tobin scouted him last year.
“I’ve always wanted to play Division I, so when Simon saw me at a spring game and gave me an opportunity, I didn’t hesitate,” Clewis said.
Tobin has been the head coach of the men’s team since June 2014. He was skeptical of Clewis during the goalkeeper’s first season with
“I thought he might not be fit or focused enough to play Division I soccer,” Tobin said.
Clewis played in six games, made 14 saves and ended his first season as a Spartan with a .538 save percentage.
“We had a big talk since he only has one year left here,” Tobin said. “I told him he has one shot left and to take this season as seriously.”
Tobin said he saw an increase in Clewis’ drive. It was reassurance that he made the right choice in bringing the 6’3 athlete to the team.
“He’s working harder, he lost a lot of weight, and now he wants to be a regular starter,” Tobin said.
Though no one in Clewis’ life played soccer, he has been playing since the age of three. His mother supported his dream very early on when she noticed soccer was her son’s
“My mom drove me to all my practices and never missed a game,” Clewis said. “She couldn’t make it to my Stanford game, but she watched it online.”
Clewis said while his mother supports him, she makes sure to give him constructive criticism on the phone afterwards.
“I did an interview after the Stanford game. My mom called me when she watched it and said ‘What are you doing? Why are you licking your lips? Why are you moving back and forth? You need to stop that,” Clewis said. “I told her it was my first interview!”
Clewis’ roommate and fellow teammate Max Allen described his friend
“He’s been putting in work all summer and his attitude is more fine-tuned as well,” Allen said. “You could tell by his performance in the Stanford game that his improvements are helping out the team.”