Oct. 30, 2006
Santa Clara Clinches Ninth WCC Men's Soccer Title
Santa Clara clinched the WCC men's soccer championship after registering a pair of victories in Southern California over the weekend. It marks the ninth conference crown for the Broncos since WCC round robin play began in 1988, more than any other league program. SCU earns the WCC's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament with the title, and the Broncos will be making the program's fourth straight and 17th overall appearance in the postseason. Head Coach Cameron Rast's squad has won its last four matches and has gone undefeated in its last eight contests, while reaching a high of No. 8 in the October 30 Soccer America national poll. The conference title marks SCU's first since 2003, when the Broncos advanced to the College Cup.
WCC Player of the Week
Joseph Buttitta, Santa Clara
Joseph Buttitta was solid in goal once again over the weekend, helping Santa Clara clinch the WCC title with a pair of wins in Southern California. The sophomore collected a save in Friday's 2-1 overtime win at San Diego, and followed up the performance with a shutout of Loyola Marymount on Sunday. Buttitta made five saves against the Lions, and withstood 10 shots in the opening 20 minutes of the game to preserve the clean sheet. The San Jose, CA native currently leads the conference with seven shutouts, and has not allowed more than one goal in any of SCU's last eight matches.
Gonzaga at Saint Mary's* - 2:00 PM
San Diego at San Francisco* - 7:00 PM
Portland at Santa Clara* - 7:00 PM
Gonzaga at Santa Clara* - 1:00 PM
Loyola Marymount at San Francisco* - 1:00 PM
San Diego at UCLA - 1:00 PM
Portland at Saint Mary's* - 2:00 PM
* Denotes Conference Game
Around The WCC
WCC Title Stays In The Bay Area
Santa Clara clinched the WCC regular season title over weekend, snapping a two-year streak of crowns for San Francisco, and marking the fourth straight year that a Bay Area team has claimed first place. The Broncos have won nine WCC titles since 1988, and last earned the league's automatic bid to the postseason in 2003, when the squad advanced to the College Cup in Columbus, OH.
Live Men's Soccer Video Streaming at WCCsports.com
The WCC, in conjunction with CSTV Online, will webcast select men's and women's soccer, women's volleyball, women's basketball, and baseball games for the 2006-07 season. The video streaming package, which can only be viewed on the WCC's official website WCCsports.com, will be made available for free throughout the year. A pair of men's soccer matches will take center stage this weekend as San Diego visits San Francisco on Friday in a match that features a pair of NCAA Tournament hopefuls, while WCC champion Santa Clara hosts Gonzaga on Sunday to close out the men's soccer portion of the WCC video streaming package for the 2006 season.
This Weekend's Matches On WCCsports.com
Friday, November 3; San Diego at San Francisco - 7:00 PM (PT)
Sunday, November 5; Gonzaga at Santa Clara - 1:00 PM (PT)
WCC Team Notes
Gonzaga Bulldogs (7-8-2 / 4-5-1 WCC)
- Gonzaga rebounded from a 2-1 non-conference loss at Washington on Friday to register a 2-1 overtime victory against San Francisco at Martin Field on Sunday.
- Tye Perdido provided the game-winner in Sunday's win, scoring just 56 seconds into the second overtime period. The freshman has scored in three of Gonzaga's last five games to bring his season goal total to four.
- John Palladino netted goals in both games over the weekend to move into second place on the team with five goals so far this season. The junior, who sat out last season due to injury, entered the 2006 campaign with just one career goal.
- Gonzaga wraps up the 2006 season on the road in the Bay Area, as the Zags travel to face Saint Mary's (11/3) and Santa Clara (11/5) this weekend.
Loyola Marymount Lions (9-7-2 / 5-4-2 WCC)
- Loyola Marymount split a pair of conference matches at Sullivan Field over the weekend, defeating Saint Mary's in overtime on Friday, 2-1, before falling to Santa Clara on Sunday, 2-0.
- Bobby Burling assisted on both LMU goals in Friday's win, including Nick Blanco's game-winner in the 109th minute. Burling, who has a team-high five assists this season, moved into a tie with Matt Kovar for second place on the LMU career assist chart with 18.
- Junior Ybarra opened the scoring in Friday's win, tallying a goal from 45-yards out to give the senior his first goal of the 2006 season.
- The Lions, who sit in second place in the conference standings with just one game remaining, will look to close out the regular season with a strong finish at San Francisco (11/5) this weekend.
Portland Pilots (8-7-2 / 4-6-0 WCC)
- Portland knocked off a pair of ranked opponents at Merlo Field over the weekend, handing San Francisco a 2-1 defeat on Friday before defeating Washington in a non-conference match on Sunday, 2-1.
- Jeff Griffin assisted on Collen Warner's game-winning goal in the 82nd minute to give UP the victory over USF on Friday. It marked the freshman's third goal of the season, and his first career game-winner.
- Christopher Sanders scored his seventh goal of the season in Sunday's win over Washington. Sanders and Alex Elliott have accounted for 16 of UP's 27 team goals this season.
- Patrick Jurney's first goal of the season proved to be the game-winner on Sunday.
- UP travels to face Santa Clara (11/3) and Saint Mary's (11/5) this weekend.
Saint Mary's Gaels (4-9-5 / 2-6-2 WCC)
- Saint Mary's suffered a pair of defeats in Southern California over the weekend, dropping a 2-1 overtime heartbreaker at LMU on Friday before falling to San Diego on Sunday, 4-0.
- Friday's loss to the Lions marked the eighth overtime contest played by the Gaels this season.
- Matthew Fitzgerald scored his 12th career goal in Friday's loss, putting him into a tie for seventh place on the SMC career goals list.
- Goalkeeper Brian Mason picked up his second career assist on Fitzgerald's goal.
- The Gaels host Gonzaga (11/3) and Portland (11/5) this weekend.
San Diego Toreros (10-6-1 / 5-5-1 WCC)
- San Diego dropped a 2-1 overtime decision to Santa Clara on Friday, but rebounded to knock off Saint Mary's on Sunday, 4-0.
- Ryan Guy assisted on San Diego's lone goal on Friday before scoring a goal and adding an assist in Sunday's win over SMC. Guy moved into the team lead with eight goals, and is currently tied for the USD lead with six assists on the season.
- Ciaran O'Brien, the top scorer among WCC freshmen, tallied goals in both of San Diego's games over the weekend to bring his season total to six.
- Goalkeeper Lance Friesz has kept three clean sheets so far this season, and currently ranks sixth on the WCC career list with 21 shutouts.
- USD travels to USF (11/3) and UCLA (11/5) to close out the regular season.
San Francisco Dons (10-6-1 / 5-5-0 WCC)
- San Francisco suffered a pair of losses on a Northwest road swing, falling into fourth place in the WCC standings following 2-1 losses at Portland and Gonzaga over the weekend.
- Ardalan Attar moved into a tie for the team lead with his fourth goal of the season in Sunday's loss at Gonzaga.
- Aaron Chandler assisted on Attar's goal to give him 38 career points in conference matches, good enough for second place on the WCC career list.
- Eric Conner, a sophomore transfer from UCLA, saw his first collegiate action in goal against Gonzaga and made six saves on the afternoon.
- The Dons head home for crucial matches against USD (11/3) and LMU (11/5) this week.
Santa Clara Broncos (11-3-4 / 7-1-2 WCC)
- Santa Clara wrapped up its ninth WCC regular season title, and its first since 2003, with a pair of victories on the road over the weekend. The Broncos handed San Diego a 2-1 defeat before blanking LMU on Sunday, 2-0.
- Chris Sauter's first career goal proved to be the game-winner in Friday's victory at San Diego. The freshman tallied just two minutes into overtime from an assist by Peter Lowry to lift the Broncos to the victory.
- Keith DeVey scored his 19th career goal in Sunday's win over LMU to move into a tie for ninth place on the Santa Clara career chart.
- Jide Ogunbiyi scored his first goal of the season in Sunday's win at LMU.
- SCU closes out the regular season at home against Portland (11/3) and Gonzaga (11/5).
Games To Watch
Portland at Santa Clara - Friday, November 3 at 7:00 PM (PT)
Portland visits Santa Clara on Friday to open the final weekend of the 2006 season. The Broncos have already clinched a spot in the NCAA Tournament by claiming the WCC regular season title, and the Pilots will be looking to continue a recent hot streak that saw them knock off a pair of ranked opponents at Merlo Field last weekend. Santa Clara has tasted defeat just once at Buck Shaw Stadium this season, while Portland has registered only one win on opponent's turf during the 2006 campaign.
Loyola Marymount at San Francisco - Sunday, November 5 at 1:00 PM (PT)
San Francisco hosts Loyola Marymount in a match up between two squads with their sights set on postseason selection. The Dons have been riddled with injuries as of late and will look to rebound from a pair of losses in the Northwest last weekend, while the Lions bring a 9-7-2 mark into the weekend after splitting a pair of games at home. LMU sits in second place in the conference standings, while USF is just two points behind the Lions in fourth place.