Nov. 14, 2006
NCAA Tournament Second Round
Buck Shaw Stadium
Washington at No. 10 Santa Clara - 7:00 PM
Santa Clara will host Washington in the second round of the NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament at Buck Shaw Stadium on Wednesday night at 7:00 PM. The Broncos earned a bye into the second round of the competition as the No. 10 seed in the tournament, while the Huskies used a hat trick from Pac-10 Player of the Year Kevin Forrest to earn a 3-0 victory over Creighton in first round action to advance to Wednesday's match. The Broncos are making the program's 17th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, and will be competing in second round action for the third time in the last four years.
Led by WCC Coach of the Year Cameron Rast, Santa Clara posted a 12-4-4 record and an 8-2-2 mark in league play en route to the program's ninth WCC men's soccer regular season title. The Broncos have been anchored throughout the season by a stellar defense that has surrendered just 18 goals, and allowed more than one goal just four times during the season. Goalkeeper Joseph Buttitta enters the NCAA Tournament ranked No. 29 in the nation with a 0.781 goals against average, and has support from an experienced back line that includes Academic All-District performers Matt Hatzke and Matt Marquess. First team All-WCC selection Keith DeVey heads up a balanced attack for the Broncos, who have had five players score at least four goals this year. DeVey paces the team with six scoring strikes, and is followed closely by Amaechi Igwe and Peter Lowry, who have each tallied five times. All-WCC second team selection Erik Ustruck and WCC Co-Freshman of the Year Stephen McCarthy bolster the Santa Clara midfield. DeVey and Ustruck are the only remaining players from SCU's last trip to the College Cup in 2003.
The Huskies feature a high-powered offense that ranks No. 19 in the nation with an average of 1.95 goals per game. Forrest is Washington's top scorer with 16 goals, the most for a Husky since the 1989 season, and just three shy of the school's single-season record. UW is making the program's 10th NCAA appearance in the last 12 seasons and 18th overall.
The two programs have met 15 times since 1973, with Santa Clara holding an 8-6-1 advantage in the all-time series. The Broncos won the only postseason match between the two, registering a 2-0 victory at the West Regional in San Francisco back in 1978. The Huskies won their last meeting with SCU, defeating the Broncos in Seattle during the 2002 season, 2-1.
UW Head Coach Dean Wurzberger served as an assistant coach at Santa Clara during the Broncos' 1989 national championship season, which was also SCU Head Coach Cameron Rast's senior year on the Mission Campus.
Around The WCC
WCC History And Tradition In The NCAA Tournament
The West Coast Conference has one of the richest men's soccer traditions in the nation, a history that includes 75 NCAA Tournament appearances among six different member institutions since the competition began in 1959. WCC teams have advanced to 17 College Cup events, and have claimed five national championships. San Francisco leads all conference teams with four national crowns, winning the title four times between 1966-1980. Santa Clara won the fifth championship among conference squads, earning a share of the Division I title in 1989 after battling Virginia to a 1-1 draw in the final. The Broncos also advanced to the national championship game in 1991 and 1999, while San Diego played for the national title in 1992. WCC teams have made eight College Cup appearances since 1988, with Santa Clara making the conference's last trip to the college soccer's "Final Four" in 2003.
Three WCC Alums Lift Houston Dynamo To MLS Cup Triumph
Three West Coast Conference alums helped lift the Houston Dynamo to the MLS Cup title on Sunday. Former Gonzaga standout Brian Ching was tabbed for MLS Cup Most Valuable Player honors after tying the contest by heading home a cross in the 114th minute, knotting the game at 1-1 before the Dynamo went on to edge the New England Revolution on penalty kicks, 4-3. Also in the Dynamo starting lineup was former Santa Clara defender Ryan Cochrane, who was named to the All-WCC first team twice during his career at SCU. Cochrane was substituted in the 11th minute of the match by former Portland standout Kelly Gray, who went on to score the first Dynamo goal in the penalty kick shootout. Ching tallied the final score from the spot before a New England miss, lifting the squad to the MLS Cup title in its first season in Houston.
Five WCC Players Earn Academic Honors
Five WCC men's soccer players were named ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VIII as announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) on November 2. Five of the 12 players honored in District VIII hail from WCC institutions, with Gonzaga's George Josten and LMU's David Niemeyer receiving recognition for the second straight season. Saint Mary's Alex Christlieb was also named to the list, in addition to Santa Clara teammates Matt Hatzke and Matt Marquess. All five players are now eligible for selection to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Team, which will be announced at a later date.
WCC Team Notes
Gonzaga Bulldogs (9-8-2 / 6-5-1 WCC)
- Gonzaga closed out the season with road victories over Saint Mary's and then-No. 7 ranked Santa Clara to finish the season in third place in the WCC standings with a 6-5-1 mark. It marks the highest finish for a GU squad since 2001, when the Zags tied for second place in the WCC.
- George Josten scored three times in the season's final two games to earn his second-straight WCC scoring title with 12 goals on the year. The junior is the first player since San Diego's Ryan Coiner (2001-2002) to lead the conference in goals in back-to-back seasons, and the first Gonzaga player to do so since Jeff McAllister claimed two straight WCC scoring titles in 1996 and 1997.
- Head Coach Einar Thorarinsson notched his 100th career win with the victory over Saint Mary's. The win also gave Thorarinsson 39 career victories in WCC matches, moving him ahead of legendary USF coach Stephen Negoesco into fourth place on the conference's career list.
Loyola Marymount Lions (9-8-2 / 5-5-2 WCC)
- Loyola Marymount fell in overtime at San Francisco on November 5 to wrap up the 2006 season with a 9-8-2 overall mark, and a 5-5-2 record in conference play.
- Bobby Burling led the Lions in goals (4), assists (5), and points (13) during his senior campaign. Burling finished his collegiate career ranked sixth in the LMU record book with 15 career goals, and tied for second with 18 career assists.
- Junior Ybarra finished his career at LMU tied for third on the conference's list with 13 career assists in WCC games. Ybarra assisted on 16 goals during his career, which ties him for fourth place on the Lions' career chart.
- Goalkeeper Robert Flores was among the conference leaders in saves (66-3rd) and goals against average (1.12-3rd) this season.
Portland Pilots (8-8-3 / 4-7-1 WCC)
- Portland fell to then-No. 7 ranked Santa Clara on the road before closing out the season with a 1-1 draw at Saint Mary's.
- Luis Robles made 12 saves on the season's final weekend to become Portland's all-time saves leader with 346. Robles also finished his career on The Bluff with 21 career shutouts to rank sixth on the WCC career list.
- Alex Elliott led the Pilots and finished second in the WCC with nine goals during the season, marking the highest scoring output by a Portland player since Alejandro Salazar found the back of the net 10 times during the 2003 campaign.
- Christopher Sanders finished the season tied with Elliott for first place on the squad with 18 points from seven goals and four assists. Two of Sanders' goals were game-winners, moving the junior into a tie for sixth place on the UP list with nine career game-winning goals.
Saint Mary's Gaels (4-10-6 / 2-7-3 WCC)
- Saint Mary's suffered a defeat against Gonzaga before rebounding to battle Portland to a 1-1 draw on the last weekend of the 2006 season. The Gaels wrapped up the season with a 4-10-6 overall record.
- Matthew Fitzgerald led the team with 11 points on four goals and three assists, and the senior moved into a tie for seventh place on the SMC career goals list with 12.
- Freshman Dylan Leslie tied for the team goals lead, finding the back of the net four times including a hat trick against San Diego on September 29. Leslie's three goals against USD marked a single-game individual high for the WCC.
- SMC registered impressive back-to-back wins in September, as the Gaels knocked off then-No. 11 ranked USF before upsetting then-No. 10 ranked USD the following week.
San Diego Toreros (10-8-1 / 5-6-1 WCC)
- San Diego wrapped up the 2006 season with a 10-8-1 overall mark and a 5-6-1 record in conference play after falling to San Francisco and UCLA on the road to close out the season.
- Ryan Guy became the WCC's all-time leader in assists in conference play, as the senior assisted on four San Diego goals during the 2006 campaign to bring his career assist total to 15. He eclipsed the previous mark of 14 set by USD alums Toby Taitano (1990-93) and Guillermo Jara (1992-95).
- Ciaran O'Brien finished the season as the top scorer among WCC freshmen, netting six goals during his first year on Alcala Park.
- Goalkeeper Lance Friesz finished his collegiate career tied for sixth on the WCC career shutouts list with 21 clean sheets.
San Francisco Dons (12-7-1 / 7-5-0 WCC)
- San Francisco hosted a first round contest for the second time in three years last Friday, as the Dons dropped a 1-0 heartbreaker to New Mexico on a goal in the 90th minute of the match.
- Aaron Chandler became the conference's all-time leading goal scorer in WCC games during his senior year, bringing his career goals total to 17 against league foes to edge out former Gonzaga standout Jeff McAllister (16) for first place.
- Geremy Uhl finished the season with a 0.83 goals against average, marking the third straight year that the senior goalkeeper has kept a GAA under 1.00. Uhl also wrapped up his career on The Hilltop ranked second on the USF career shutouts chart with 24.
- Ardalan Attar and Conor Chinn proved to be productive newcomers for the Dons, as the duo combined for nine goals and five assists during the 2006 season.
Santa Clara Broncos (12-4-4 / 8-2-2 WCC)
- Santa Clara closed out the season with its ninth WCC crown and a No. 10 seed in the NCAA Tournament. SCU will host Washington in a second round match on Wednesday, November 15.
- Joseph Buttitta notched his WCC-leading eighth shutout of the season in a 3-0 win over Portland on November 3. Buttitta is the second straight Bronco `keeper to lead the conference in shutouts, following Kevin Sweeney's nine clean sheets a year ago.
- Five freshmen combined to score 15 of Santa Clara's 32 goals during the regular season. Amaechi Igwe's five goals led the way, followed by four goals each from Sean Danzeiser and Jeff Cosgriff.
- Keith DeVey leads the team with six goals this season, and is currently tied for eighth on the SCU chart with 20 career scoring strikes.