Nov. 15, 2007
Next Up For Bronco Men's Soccer
Santa Clara completes the regular season this weekend with matches against Gonzaga and Portland. A first round bye in the NCAA Tournament may hang in the balance this weekend for the third-ranked Broncos. Santa Clara first takes on Gonzaga on Friday, Nov. 16 at 1 p.m. PT and then heads to Portland to conclude the season with a match at 3 p.m. PT on Sunday, Nov. 18. With two wins, the Broncos would likely secure a bye in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The tournament selection show takes place on Monday, Nov. 19 between 2:30 and 3 p.m. PT on ESPNews.
Last Matches For Bronco Men's Soccer
Santa Clara swept two Bay Area rivals last weekend to wrap up the school's second straight West Coast Conference championship and 10th overall. SCU knocked off San Francisco 2-1 on Nov. 9 with an own goal and Kellen Wantulok's first career goal. Two days later, the Broncos dispatched the Saint Mary's Gaels 4-1 with goals from four different players. Peter Lowry, Stephen McCarthy, Ricky Character and David Castellanos all found the back of the net for Santa Clara to help stretch the team's unbeaten run to 15 games.
Head Coach Cameron Rast
Cameron Rast (Santa Clara '92) is in his sixth season at the helm of the Santa Clara men's soccer program and has a 80-28-17 (.716) overall record and a 38-14-6 (.707) mark in West Coast Conference matches. He has led the Broncos to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last four seasons and his 2003 team advanced to the NCAA College Cup, where it lost a double-overtime decision to eventual national champion Indiana. He has now led the team to three WCC titles after clinching the 2007 championship on Nov. 4. Rast has also won two WCC Coach of the Year awards (2003, 2006). After eight years as an assistant coach and four as a player, Rast has now reached the College Cup in three different capacities while at Santa Clara. He is already in the top-10 on the WCC career list for league wins. Rast is assisted by Eric Yamamoto, Rusty Johnson and Tim Martin.
Unbeaten In 15
Santa Clara is now unbeaten in its last 15 games after defeating San Francisco and Saint Mary's. The Broncos are 11-0-4 in those games. The streak is now tied for the second longest unbeaten run in school history. The longest unbeaten streak in school history is 38, set from Oct. 17, 1988-Sept. 30, 1990.
Broncos vs. Gonzaga
The Gonzaga Bulldogs have given the Broncos trouble recently, winning twice and tying twice in five matches since 2005. The Broncos hold a slight edge all-time at 9-6-3 in a series that only dates back to 1993. The two teams tied 1-1 in the last meeting with Jide Ogunbiyi scoring a late goal for the Broncos to tie the game.
Broncos vs. Portland
Santa Clara swept the season series against the Pilots last season, winning 2-1 on the road and 3-0 at home. The two teams played to a scoreless draw in the first meeting this season, but the Broncos outshot the Pilots 15-3. SCU now leads the all-time series, which dates back to 1978, against Portland 15-10-6.
Gonzaga has stumbled a bit of late after a hot start in conference play. The 'Zags have gone winless in their past three matches, tying once and then being swept by Loyola Marymount and San Diego last weekend. They are again led by senior George Josten, who has posted five goals and seven assists this season. Vito Higgins has been an iron man in the net, playing every minute of every game and posting six shutouts.
Portland has been on a role of late, winning four matches in a row and going unbeaten in seven straight games to move into second in the conference. The Pilots are led by the conference's leading point producer, Alex Elliott, who has 21 points on six goals and nine assists this season. The team has three other players with four goals, Bryan Irwin, Ryan Luke and Frankie Lopez. Portland plays Cal Poly Friday night prior to playing the Broncos on Sunday.
Peter Lowry was named WCC Player of the Week for the second straight week after scoring a goal and notching two assists against Saint Mary's on Nov. 11 to help SCU clinch the conference title. He has now been named WCC Player of the Week three times this season and was named the WCC Player of the Month for September. He now has eight goals and four assists this season.
Santa Clara currently has eight wins in conference play, tying the school record for most conference wins in a season. Prior to 2004, WCC teams played each other only once, so SCU played a maximum of six conference games. Since 2004, SCU has twice won eight games in conference. The conference record since 2004 is nine wins, set by USF in 2004. The Broncos are also unbeaten in conference and are trying to become just the third Santa Clara team to finish conference play without a loss. The 1989 team went 4-0-1 and the 1994 team went 5-0-1.
SCU continued to get contributions from the entire team this past weekend. A week after seeing Scott Sweeney and Matt Marquess net their first career SCU goals, the Broncos had a number of firsts against USF and Saint Mary's last weekend. On Nov. 9 vs. USF, Kellen Wantulok scored his first career goal for the Broncos, while Sean Danzeiser picked up his first assist on that goal. Two days later on Nov. 11 vs. Saint Mary's, Ricky Character scored his first career goal in the 4-1 win over the Gaels. He was set up for the goal by Ryan Brown's first career assist.
McCarthy Finding the Range
Junior Jide Ogunbiyi missed the team's two matches last weekend and will not be available Friday against Gonzaga due to national team obligations. Ogunbiyi was named to Nigeria's U23 national team roster for the team's game against Ghana on Friday, Nov. 16. The match will be played in Ghana's capital city of Accra and will serve as a qualifying game for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Ogunbiyi will fly directly to Portland to join his teammates for the game on Nov. 18 against the Portland Pilots. He is currently the team's second leading scorer with five goals and two assists.
McCarthy Finding the Range
Sophomore Stephen McCarthy continued his hot play this season, scoring his fifth goal of the year in the Broncos' 4-1 win over Saint Mary's. He is now tied for second on the team in goals scored.
Santa Clara completed its regular season home schedule with a 4-1 win over Saint Mary's on Nov. 11. The Broncos finished unbeaten at home with a 7-0-3 record.
SCU In the WCC Rankings
Off to a 13-1-4 start, Santa Clara finds itself ranked at the top of a number of WCC statistical categories. Santa Clara is first in goals scored (33), assists (32), goals allowed (12), goals against average (0.64) and corner kicks (126). The team is second in shutouts with eight.
Individuals In the WCC
A number of Santa Clara players are also among the league leaders. Senior Peter Lowry is first in goals scored with eight and second in points with 20. Jide Ogunbiyi is sixth with 12 points, while being tied for fourth in goals with five. Stephen McCarthy is one of the players tied with Ogunbiyi with five goals. Jamil Roberts is tied for seventh in points (11) and is also in the top 10 in assists with five, good for the fourth spot. Two other Broncos are in the top 10 in assists, Kellen Wantulok (t6th with four) and Lowry (t6th with four). SCU freshman goalkeeper Kevin Klasila leads the conference with a 0.47 goals against average and is second in shutouts with six.
Senior Matt Hatzke was named ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VIII for the second straight year earlier this month.