Nov. 21, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The West Coast Conference announced the conference's end of the season awards and the Santa Clara Broncos swept the top honors, while nine players earned All-WCC recognition and head coach Cameron Rast picked up his third Coach of the Year award. Senior captain Peter Lowry was named the WCC Player of the Year, while freshman Jalil Anibaba was the Freshman of the Year. Jamil Roberts picked up Defensive Player of the Year honors to complete a Bronco sweep of the conference's top awards.
Lowry, Anibaba and Roberts picked up All-WCC First Team recognition along with their other honors. Senior Matt Hatzke and sophomore Stephen McCarthy were second-team All-WCC performers and four Broncos, Kevin Klasila, Matt Marquess, Jide Ogunbiyi and Kellen Wantulok were named All-WCC Honorable Mention.
"The team had a tremendous run this year in West Coast Conference play," said Rast. "We are very proud to represent Santa Clara University in such a manner. The team had outstanding play from a lot of players. I am pleased many were recognized for their performances, in particluar, Peter Lowry, Jamil Roberts and Jalil Anibaba."
Lowry led the Broncos in scoring with eight goals and six assists for a career best 22 points in the regular season. He led the conference in goals, while placing second in points and tied for third in assists from his central midfield position. His goals also came in key moments for the Broncos, netting two game-winning goals and two game-tying goals in the closing minutes of regulation. For his career, Lowry has netted 22 goals, good for seventh all-time at SCU, and has 14 assists for 58 total points, placing him just two points from a spot in the SCU all-time top 10. He is the 12th player in Bronco history to earn a conference player of the year award and first since Mehdi Ballouchy in 2005. Lowry had previously been named All-WCC Second Team twice and All-WCC Honorable Mention once.
Rast earned Coach of the Year honors for the second straight season after leading SCU to a remarkable 15-1-4 overall record and a 10-0-2 mark in the WCC to win the program's second straight conference title and 10th overall. The 2007 Broncos became the first team to go unbeaten in conference play since the double round robin format was introduced in 2004. SCU also set a conference record for conference wins in a season with 10. Rast's team finished the regular season with a 17-game unbeaten streak, good for second all-time in program history. The team led the conference in nearly every statistical category, goals (36), assists (36), points (108), goals allowed (13), goals against average (0.62) and corner kicks (137), while also tying for first in shutouts (9).
Anibaba and Roberts provided the backbone for one of the top defenses in the nation playing 16 games together in central defense. Roberts had a standout senior season for SCU both defensively and offensively during the regular season. With Roberts at center back, the Broncos led the conference in goals against average at 0.62, a mark that also placed 11th in the nation, and posted nine shutouts. The Fremont, Calif. native also scored a career high three goals and notched a career best five assists to place 10th in the conference in points. Anibaba took the league by storm as a freshman, providing excellent play from the beginning of the season to the end. He has recorded two assists on the year and provided one of the highlights of the season, volleying home an acrobatic shot with two seconds left to give SCU a 2-1 win over rival, San Francisco. He is the second Bronco in a row to win the Freshman of the Year award after McCarthy won it in 2006.
McCarthy and Hatzke each played big roles in the Broncos dominant 2007 regular season. McCarthy netted five goals as a defensive central midfielder, including game-winners against Alabama A&M and Saint Mary's. His steady work in front of the backline was key to the Broncos' defensive success. Hatzke overcame an early season leg injury to become one of the top left backs in the conference. He scored one goal and notched three assists, while providing a constant threat on the left wing. Hatzke was recently named ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American as well.
Rounding out the Bronco honorees were Klasila, Marquess, Ogunbiyi and Wantulok. Klasila has stepped right in as the top goalkeeper for SCU as a freshman. He went unbeaten at 11-0-3 and allowed only seven goals to post the second lowest goals against average in the country at 0.47. The Los Angeles native earned a spot on the WCC All-Freshman team along with his honorable mention recognition. Marquess and Ogunbiyi were both honorable mention selections after strong seasons for SCU. Marquess moved from defense to midfield as a senior and finished the regular season by playing in his 65th straight game for SCU. He scored his first career goal as a Bronco and dished out two assists. Despite missing five games, Ogunbiyi still managed to score five goals and record two assists as a junior. As the Broncos target forward, he constantly attracted attention from opposing defenses, but he still managed to finish tied for sixth in the league in goals and eighth in points. Wantulok scored two goals and dished out four assists en route to making the All-WCC Freshman team and receiving honorable mention All-WCC recognition. His two goals came in the final two weeks of the season, helping the Broncos win their last four games and clinch the conference title.