Nov. 18, 2006
Bloomington, Ind. - The Santa Clara Broncos continued their quest for the College Cup as they got by Indiana 5-4 in a penalty kick shootout following a 0-0 tie at Armstrong Stadium. Freshman Jeff Cosgriff netted the winning penalty kick in the shootout while goalkeeper Joseph Buttitta made two penalty kicks saves to help propel SCU into the quarterfinals. The Broncos next face the winner of Wake Forest and Towson, who play on Sunday afternoon in Winston Salem, N.C.
The Broncos last reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament in 2003, the same year that they advanced to the College Cup. That year, Indiana ended the Broncos season with a 1-0 overtime win in the national semifinals. On Saturday night, the Broncos turned the tables on the Hoosiers, ending their season in front of their home fans. SCU and Indiana had played five previous times in the NCAA Tournament with Indiana holding a slight 3-2 edge. Saturday's match marked the first time that the teams had met prior to the Final Four.
Following their emotional victory over Washington on Wednesday, Santa Clara came out on a high and played the Hoosiers tough right from the start of the game and not allowing Indiana any room to maneuver. While the game was played at a quick pace, neither team was able to create many good opportunities in front of goal in the first half and the teams entered the halftime break scoreless.
The Broncos shot out of the gate in the second half with five shots in the first 10 minutes of the half, but good defense and strong goalkeeping by Indiana's Chay Cain kept SCU from grabbing the lead. Six minutes into the half, Jamil Roberts had a shot blocked out for a corner kick. Keith DeVey then ripped a shot off of the corner kick, but Cain was there to make the save.
Unlike the Broncos wide-open second-round game against Washington, Saturday's game saw both teams struggle to break down the other's defense. For the second straight game the Broncos headed to overtime to determine the winner. Yet, in overtime neither team was able to break through and kicks from the penalty spot were needed to determine the winner.
Indiana shot first and John Michael Hayden put his shot past Buttitta for a 1-0 advantage, but Bronco junior Matt Hatzke quickly tied the score for SCU. IU's Billy King and the Broncos' Peter Lowry both connected in the second round of penalties keeping the shootout tied.
In the third round Brad Ring found the back of the net, but senior Erik Ustruck's shot was saved by Cain leaving Santa Clara down one with only two shooters to go. Following makes by Josh Tudela of Indiana and Jide Ogunbiyi the match hung in the balance with Indiana just needing one more penalty kick to claim victory and advance to the quarterfinals.
Buttitta, however, had other plans as he stopped Brian Ackley's attempt to keep SCU alive. When Brian Martin fired home his penalty, the shootout was tied after five rounds, forcing sudden death penalties.
Buttitta made his second straight save stopping John Mellencamp's bid and setting the stage for Cosgriff to finish off the Hoosiers. The freshman from San Bruno calmly stepped forward and buried his kick to send the Broncos into another frenzied celebration.
Wake Forest and Towson face off on Sunday afternoon at 11:00 a.m. PT for the right to play the Broncos in the quarterfinals. If Wake Forest wins, SCU will travel to North Carolina to take on the Demon Deacons, but if Towson wins, Santa Clara will host the quarterfinals at Buck Shaw Stadium next weekend. Check SantaClaraBroncos.com for game date and time of the Broncos quarterfinal match following tomorrow's match between Wake Forest and Towson.