Fresno State Bulldogs
Fresno State is 5-3-3 after a 3-2 overtime victory over Cal Poly and a 1-1 tie against No. 8 Pepperdine last week. In four meetings against ranked teams this season, Fresno State is 0-2-2. The Bulldogs are 2-0-1 and are outscoring opponents, 6-1, in home matches this season. Sophomore midfielder Morgan Castain leads the team with five goals and is tied for the team lead, along with junior forward Callie Hancock, with 11 points. Defensively, the Bulldogs have posted five shutouts and freshman keeper Katie DeVault has 68 saves and 15 goals allowed in 1039 minutes.
Fresno State coach Brian Zwaschka is in his third season with the team and has a career record of 20-25-8. The team returned seven letter winners and four starters from the team that won last year’s WAC Tournament after finishing sixth in the conference during the regular season with a 9-9-5 overall record. Idaho has never beaten Fresno State. The last regular-season meeting was a 1-0 overtime win for FS at Guy Wicks Field on Oct. 31.
San Jose State Spartans
San Jose State is 1-9-0 this season after playing a tough non-conference slate. The Spartans have one-goal losses to No. 21 Santa Clara and No. 23 UC Irvine (in overtime) and five total losses by a single goal this year. They lost 2-0 at Pacific and 3-0 at St. Mary’s last week after posting a 1-0 win over Portland State on Sept. 18. Junior forward Kelsey Lord leads the team with two goals and five points on 18 shots this year. Senior keeper Meghan Maiwald has played a majority of minutes in goal this year, and has 57 saves and 22 goals allowed, with one shutout in 913 minutes.
SJSU is coached by Jeff Leightmann, who is in his fourth year with the program and his 14th year overall as a head coach. His career record is 131-99-30, and his record at San Jose State is 29-34-9. The Spartans returned 10 starters and 16 letter winners from the team that went 5-2-1 and tied for the WAC regular-season title last season. SJSU was 12-7-2 overall last season. Idaho won the last meeting between the two teams, a 2-1 victory at Guy Wicks Field on Oct. 28. Idaho’s only road win in the series with SJSU came in 2007.
Idaho started its weekend with an off performance at Gonzaga in a 3-0 loss on Friday, but rebounded well and commanded the game, despite strong wind and rain, in a 1-0 victory over Eastern Washington on Sunday at Guy Wicks Field. The win broke a three-match skid for the Vandals and moved the team to 4-6-2 on the year. In Sunday’s match, junior midfielder Jill Flockhart earned her fifth career game-winner, junior forward Chelsea Small became the second Vandal woman to reach double-figure goals (27) and assists (10) and junior keeper Caroline Towles recorded her first career shutout.
The Vandals are averaging 13.1 shots and 1.20 goals per game so far this year. The team’s 15 goals have come from six different players, its 13 assists have come from eight players and all four game-winners have come from a different Vandal. Idaho will try to get its first road victory of the season this weekend, and will try to start strongly in its bid to improve upon last year’s 5-3-0 WAC record and third-place conference finish, both of which were program bests.
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