Sept. 4, 2006
IRVINE, Calif. - Things just keep on rolling right along for the No. 15 Santa Clara men's soccer team as they struck early and often in a 4-1 victory Monday afternoon over the Niagara University Purple Eagles at the UC Irvine College Classic. The win brings the Broncos' record to 3-0-1 and marks the third time in the last four seasons that Santa Clara has begun a campaign unbeaten through at least the first four contests.
SCU will now return home to Buck Shaw Stadium for a single contest this weekend, meeting the Saint Louis Billikens in a 7 p.m. match Friday night. Tickets are available by calling (408) 554-4660 or clicking here.
Three of the Bronco goals on Monday were scored by members of the talented 2006 freshman class, including one from Jeff Cosgriff, who netted a goal for the third consecutive match. Amaechi Igwe and Sean Danzeiser notched their first collegiate goals, while Jamil Roberts provided the game-winner.
"It's great to have freshmen who can contribute, and we knew the quality of this incoming class was going to be good," said head coach Cameron Rast. "We got ahead early in this game, and it allowed us to use additional players and they showed that they are very capable by scoring goals and playing well. They're a good crew and we're excited about seeing what they will do this year."
Igwe got the Broncos on the board only 4:17 into the contest, taking a pass from Brian Martin on the right side of the box and beating Niagara keeper Jason Whitehead for the early goal. For Martin, it was his second straight game with an assist.
Just over two minutes later, Roberts beat Whitehead off of a corner kick from Erik Ustruck to give SCU the two-goal advantage.
Things stayed that way into the second half, until another corner off the foot of Ustruck found its mark, as Cosgriff's header found the back of the net. Niagara managed to get on the board in the 84th minute on an unassisted goal from Matt Stedman, but the Broncos doused any hopes of a big comeback in the final minute when Jide Ogunbiyi sprang Danzeiser for a breakaway goal to close things out.
Joseph Buttita made three saves to remain unbeaten in goal, while Ustruck recorded his first points of the season with the two assists off of his corner kicks.
With four more non-conference matches remaining before the start of WCC play, Rast feels that victories like Monday's are building the team's momentum and confidence early on.
"When you look at our schedule and where we want to be, I think this is a good position for us," said Rast. "We've played some good teams and gotten some good results. Now we'll look forward and continue to work on our game for this coming week."