FULLERTON, Calif. — Santa Clara men's soccer made a triumphant return to the postseason Thursday night against Cal State Fullerton. Playing in their first NCAA Championship match since 2010, the Broncos scored less than 10 minutes into the match and rolled to a 3-0 victory at Titan Stadium.
Thursday's victory marked the first postseason win for the Broncos since 2007. Santa Clara has won five contests in a row for its longest winning streak since 2011.
Santa Clara returns to the Bay Area for a second round matchup at Stanford Sunday at 5 p.m. In an exhibition match prior to the season, the Broncos and Cardinal played a goalless draw and remained tied after penalty kicks.
"We're very proud of what we did on the field. We played very well tonight," head coach Cameron Rast said. "[The players'] belief in each other and what we're doing has come full circle in understanding what it takes to win at this level. They're supporting each other through a great run, and we look forward to continuing that."
The Broncos (11-7-1) struck first in the 10th minute on a headed goal by Luis Urias from just inside the penalty spot. Dylan Autran played a corner kick on the ground, and crossed a return pass from Carlos Delgadillo for the WCC Freshman of the Year Urias, who slotted his first career goal in the far post side netting.
Delgadillo, a First Team All-WCC selection, scored his 10th goal of the season on a tap-in to make the score 2-0 Broncos in the 37th minute. After the Titans (13-8-1) had a free kick in the attacking half, Edson Cardona played a long, diagonal pass forward to put Autran in on net. Cal State Fullerton goalkeeper David Elias came off and Autran passed across the six-yard box to set up Delgadillo, who has now scored in five straight matches.
Cardona netted the final goal of the game in the 53rd minute on a penalty kick. Delgadillo fired a low, hard shot at Elias, tracked down the rebound and drew a foul to set up a chance from the spot.
With the victory, the Broncos avenged a 2-1 loss against Cal State Fullerton in their second home game of the season on Sept. 6. The two-time defending Big West champion Titans played without junior defender Ricardo Covarrubias, who was suspended for receiving a red card in the team's previous match.
Three goals in the largest margin of victory for the Broncos in a tournament match since 1998. In their last seven matches, the Broncos are 6-0-1, have outscored opponents 14-4 and posted four shutouts.