Nov. 13, 2007
Santa Clara Clinches Second Straight WCC Men's Soccer Title
Santa Clara clinched the WCC men's soccer championship after registering victories over Bay Area rivals San Francisco and Saint Mary's over the weekend. It marks the 10th WCC regular season title for the Broncos since the conference began round-robin play 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 fifth straight and 18th overall appearance in the postseason. Head Coach Cameron Rast's squad is currently on one of the nation's longest hot streaks, having gone unbeaten in 15 straight matches entering the final weekend of the regular season. The Broncos last suffered defeat over two months ago (September 7), and have posted a 13-1-4 overall record with an undefeated 8-0-2 mark in conference play so far this season.
WCC Player of the Week
Peter Lowry, Santa Clara
Peter Lowry earns his second straight WCC Player of the Week honor after propelling Santa Clara to a pair of victories and the WCC regular season title over the weekend. The senior was the driving force behind Sunday's conference-clinching 4-1 triumph over Saint Mary's, as Lowry opened the scoring with his WCC-leading eighth goal of the season before assisting on two additional scoring strikes to seal the Bronco win. The midfielder also played all 90 minutes in Friday's 2-1 win at San Francisco, attempting a team-high two shots.
Santa Clara at Gonzaga* - 1:00 PM
San Diego at Saint Mary's* - 2:00 PM
Loyola Marymount at San Francisco* - 7:00 PM
Portland at Cal Poly - 7:00 PM
Loyola Marymount at Saint Mary's* - 2:00 PM
San Diego at San Francisco* - 2:00 PM
Santa Clara at Portland* - 3:00 PM
* Denotes Conference Game
Around The WCC
WCC Teams Push For The Postseason
With Santa Clara wrapping up the WCC title and the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, three conference teams enter the final weekend of play looking to make a case for at large selection to the postseason. Portland enters the weekend on a seven-match unbeaten run and has gone 9-4-5 this year, while Gonzaga has posted a 9-5-4 overall mark and spent nine straight weeks in the national rankings. San Diego has notched a 9-8-1 mark, with five of its losses coming against ranked opponents.
WCC All-Access This Week
The final WCC All-Access Game of the Week for men's soccer takes place on Sunday, as San Diego visits San Francisco in the regular season finale for both squads. The Toreros will be looking to make a push for postseason selection on the season-ending road trip to the Bay Area, while the Dons will aim to close out the 2007 campaign on a strong note at home. The match begins at 2:00 PM (PT) and can be seen live and for free at WCCsports.com.
WCC Team Notes
Gonzaga Bulldogs (9-5-4 / 4-3-4 WCC)
- Gonzaga suffered a pair of 1-0 defeats on the road, falling at Loyola Marymount and San Diego over the weekend to fall to 9-5-4 overall and 4-3-4 in conference play.
- Vito Higgins made six saves in two games over the weekend, bringing his save total to 67 on the season. Higgins, who is Gonzaga's all-time saves leader with 287, enters the final week of the regular season ranked second in the conference in saves.
- George Josten attempted three shots on the weekend to lead the Gonzaga attack. Josten leads the WCC with 34 shot attempts in conference play, and ranks second in the WCC with 51 overall shots this season.
- The Bulldogs look to close out the season on a strong note at home, as GU hosts No. 3 ranked Santa Clara on Sunday.
Loyola Marymount Lions (3-14-1 / 1-9-0 WCC)
- Loyola Marymount notched its first win of the conference season, and snapped a nine-game skid with a 1-0 victory over then-No. 23 ranked Gonzaga before falling to Portland on Sunday, 3-0.
- Garrett Maloney tallied the game-winner on a cross in the 12th minute to provide the difference in Friday's win. It marked the first goal of the season for the junior, who became the eighth Lion to score a goal this season.
- All three of Loyola Marymount's victories this season have come against nationally ranked opposition. The Lions have recorded wins over then-No. 17 New Mexico, then-No. 6 Harvard, and then-No. 23 Gonzaga this year.
- Loyola Marymount wraps up the 2007 season on the road, traveling to San Francisco (11/16) and Saint Mary's (11/18) this weekend.
Portland Pilots (9-4-5 / 6-1-4 WCC)
- Portland jumped into the national rankings at No. 25 after defeating San Diego and Loyola Marymount on the road over the weekend, extending its unbeaten string to seven games.
- Michael Gavin buried a free kick in the 110th minute to lift Portland to a 1-0 double overtime win at San Diego on Friday. It marked the second goal of the season for the junior, both coming on set pieces.
- Austin Guerrero collected 12 saves on the weekend to move into the WCC lead with 75 saves so far this season. Guerrero, who has not surrendered a goal in his last 405 minutes in net, aims to become the first freshman since 1993 to lead the WCC in saves.
- Portland looks to continue its push for an at large selection to the NCAA Tournament this weekend, traveling to Cal Poly (11/16) before hosting No. 3 ranked Santa Clara (11/18).
Saint Mary's Gaels (6-8-2 / 2-6-2 WCC)
- Saint Mary's suffered a 4-1 defeat at No. 3 ranked Santa Clara on Sunday.
- Kurt Thompson scored his first collegiate goal on an assist from fellow freshman Michael Lawlor in Sunday's loss to the Broncos. It also marked the first assist in a Saint Mary's uniform for Lawlor.
- Keenan Flynn made eight saves in the Saint Mary's net on Sunday, giving the sophomore 47 saves in 10 games this season. Flynn enters the week averaging a conference-leading 4.7 saves per game.
- The Gaels close out the season with a pair of matches at home, welcoming San Diego (11/16) and Loyola Marymount (11/18) to Moraga this weekend.
San Diego Toreros (9-8-1 / 6-3-1 WCC)
- San Diego rebounded from a 1-0 double overtime loss to Portland on Friday to notch a 1-0 victory over then-No. 23 ranked Gonzaga at Torero Stadium on Sunday.
- Tannen Wels provided the difference in Sunday's win, netting his fourth goal of the season in the 56th minute.
- JT Howlan assisted on Wels' strike, moving the sophomore into a tie for the team lead with three assists on the year. Howlan leads the team with five goals so far this year, and has registered a team-high 13 points.
- Goalkeeper Kelin Briones notched his six shutout with three saves on Sunday.
- San Diego travels to face Saint Mary's (11/16) and San Francisco (11/18) this weekend.
San Francisco Dons (6-10-1 / 2-7-1 WCC)
- San Francisco dropped its third straight match, falling to No. 3 ranked Santa Clara at home on Friday by a 2-1 margin.
- Conor Chinn scored his team-leading sixth goal of the season in the 19th minute of Friday's loss to the Broncos. Chinn enters the week tied for second in the conference in goals.
- Daniel DeGeer assisted on Chinn's strike, giving the senior a team-high four assists on the year.
- Eric Conner has collected 47 saves in the USF net during conference play, which ties him for the WCC lead.
- San Francisco closes out the season at home against LMU (11/16) and San Diego (11/18).
Santa Clara Broncos (13-1-4 / 8-0-2 WCC)
- Santa Clara clinched its second straight WCC title following wins over San Francisco and Saint Mary's over the weekend. It marks the 10th regular season crown for the Broncos, who also clinched the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
- Peter Lowry opened the scoring with his WCC-leading eighth goal of the season on Sunday, and also assisted on a pair of goals in the win over the Gaels.
- Freshmen Ricky Character and David Castellanos each tallied goals in Sunday's win. It marked the first career goal for Character, while Castellanos netted his second goal of the season.
- The Broncos look to close out the season on a strong note on the road, as SCU heads to Gonzaga (11/16) and No. 25 ranked Portland (11/18) this weekend.
Games To Watch
San Diego at Saint Mary's - Friday, November 16 at 2:00 PM
San Diego looks to strengthen its case for a postseason bid, as the Toreros begin a Bay Area swing at Saint Mary's on Friday. San Diego is coming off of a victory over then-No. 23 ranked Gonzaga on Sunday, and has lost just twice in its last nine contests after starting the season 3-6-0. Saint Mary's is looking for a strong finish to the regular season, and will aim to snap a two-match skid on Friday.
#3 Santa Clara at #25 Portland - Sunday, November 18 at 2:00 PM
Santa Clara and Portland will meet in a match up between the first and second place teams in the WCC on Sunday. The Broncos have alreay clinched the conference's regular season title, but will be looking to extend a 15-game unbeaten streak in the Northwest this weekend. The Pilots are in the midst of an outstanding run, having gone undefeated in seven straight games and losing just once in their last 12 matches.