Aug. 31, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The No. 5 Santa Clara University men's soccer team pulled out a late 3-2 win in the season-opener against Alabama A&M at Buck Shaw Stadium in front of a crowd of 1,457. After getting out to a 2-0 lead, the Broncos saw the Bulldogs tie the match in the second half. However, sophomore Stephen McCarthy sent the crowd home happy with an 83rd minute strike after a corner kick by redshirt freshman Kellen Wantulok. Senior Jamil Roberts and sophomore Jeff Cosgriff also found the net for SCU, while Roberts added two assists.
The winning goal came after some hard work on the right wing by junior Brian Martin. Martin beat his man to the corner and then had his cross deflected to earn a corner kick. Wantulok sent the ensuing kick to the back post, where Roberts headed the ball back to the penalty spot. McCarthy, who was the 2006 WCC Co-Freshman of the Year, slid and drove a shot past Alabama A&M goalkeeper Paul Musoke for the game-winner. The goal was the first of McCarthy's career.
In the early going, it appeared that the Broncos would not need McCarthy's heroics. Just under 10 minutes into the game, Roberts scored the first goal of the season. After a cross into the box was knocked down, Martin slid and deflected a ball into the path of Roberts, who got a toe on it and poked it to the far post past a diving Musoke.
Ten minutes later, another set piece got the Broncos a two-goal cushion. Senior Matt Marquess sent a long free kick into the box and Roberts got on the end of it. His header found Cosgriff all alone in front of the goal. The San Bruno native then buried a shot into the top of the net for a 2-0 lead.
The Broncos continued to apply the pressure throughout the rest of the half, but they were unable to extend the lead. Senior Peter Lowry nearly chipped the goalkeeper on a free kick from 40 yards out, while sophomore Sean Danzeiser nearly scored in the latter stages of the half. At halftime, SCU was out-shooting the Bulldogs 8-1 and had a clear advantage in possession.
However, the second half proved to be another story as the Bulldogs used their quickness and some long balls to get back into the game. A ball over the top of the defense got Henry Kabeta free behind the defense 18 minutes into the second half. SCU goalkeeper Joseph Buttitta came off his line for the ball, but he took down Kabeta and a penalty kick was awarded. Mutumba Ssemagulu drove a low shot just past Buttitta, who nearly got his hand on the ball.
At 2-1, A&M kept pressing and they were rewarded for their efforts in the 75th minute. A corner kick by Lwazi Maziya was knocked down in the box and David Kimbugwe picked up the loose ball. He then slotted it into the middle for Rogers Atugonza and he finished past Buttitta to tie the score.
In the end, the highly-ranked Broncos pulled together and were able to grab the victory on McCarthy's late strike.
The team gets right back to work on Sunday, Sept. 2, as the Broncos face the Vermont Catamounts at Buck Shaw Stadium at 2 p.m. PT. Vermont is coming off a 1-0 season-opening win over San Francisco. For tickets to the game, call 408-554-4660. The match will also feature GameTracker and live audio coverage at SantaClaraBroncos.com.