Nov. 30, 2007
Santa Clara To Meet Notre Dame In NCAA Tournament Round Of 16
Santa Clara will host No. 10 seed Notre Dame in the NCAA Tournament Round of 16 at Buck Shaw Stadium on Saturday, with kickoff slated for 7:00 PM (PT). The No. 7 seeded Broncos posted a 3-1 victory over UCLA on Wednesday to advance to the Round of 16 for the second straight year, while the Fighting Irish edged Oakland in second round action, 2-1, to set up Saturday's match at SCU. Santa Clara is making its 18th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, and enters the weekend on an 18-match unbeaten run, while Notre Dame is making its seventh straight postseason appearance and the 11th appearance in program history.
About The Broncos
Piloted by WCC Coach of the Year Cameron Rast, Santa Clara has posted a 16-1-4 record and notched 10-0-2 mark in league play to capture the program's 10th WCC men's soccer regular season title. Midfielder Peter Lowry was tabbed for WCC Player of the year honors after netting a league-high eight goals on the year, and was joined on the All-WCC first team by freshman Jalil Anibaba and senior Jamil Roberts. Anibaba was tabbed for WCC Freshman of the Year honors, while Roberts was named WCC Defender of the Year after anchoring a stellar defense that surrendered just 13 goals, and allowed more than one goal just twice during the season. Freshman goalkeeper Kevin Klasila has posted a 0.50 goals against average since taking over the starting job in the SCU net, and received All-WCC honorable mention honors.
About The Fighting Irish
Notre Dame has recorded a 13-4-5 overall mark with an undefeated 7-0-4 record in Big East play, and will be making its third straight appearance in the Round of 16. The Irish are led by Hermann Trophy semifinalist Joseph Lapira, who tallied a goal and an assist in Wednesday's win. Lapira has scored a team-high eight goals with nine assists on the year, while goalkeeper Chris Cahill has led the defense with eight shutouts and a 0.83 goals against average.
The two programs have faced off just twice previously, with the Broncos earning wins on their home turf in both contests. SCU topped Notre Dame, 4-0, during its 1989 national championship season, and defeated the Irish again in 1998, 3-1. Irish Head Coach Bobby Clark led Stanford from 1996-2000, and posted a 4-1-1 all-time mark against Santa Clara.
Santa Clara-Notre Dame Connections
Santa Clara's soccer stadium is named for legendary Bronco football coach, Lawrence T. "Buck" Shaw, who led SCU football from 1936-42. Shaw attended Notre Dame and played football under Knute Rockne from 1919-21, and was a member of undefeated Fighting Irish teams in both 1919 and 1920. Dan Coonan, Santa Clara's Director of Athletics & Recreation, is a 1984 graduate of Notre Dame.
NCAA Tournament Round of 16
No. 10 Notre Dame at No. 7 Santa Clara
Buck Shaw Stadium
Saturday, December 1 - 7:00 PM (PT)
Around The WCC
SCU's Lowry Named Semifinalist For M.A.C. Hermann Trophy
Santa Clara's Peter Lowry was named as one of the 15 semifinalists for the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy, as announced by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Lowry, who was recently named WCC Player of the Year, leads the Broncos in scoring with eight goals and seven assists for a career-best 23 points. Three men's and women's finalists will be announced on December 14, and the winners will be announced on January 11.
WCC Tradition In The NCAA Tournament
For the seventh straight season and the 19th time in conference history, multiple WCC teams have earned bids to the NCAA Tournament. Santa Clara will be playing in its fifth straight NCAA Tournament and the 18th in program history, while Portland will be making its 13th appearance, and Gonzaga earned postseason selection for the second time. WCC teams have made 78 NCAA Tournament appearances since the NCAA competition began, and have claimed five national championships. USF leads all conference teams with four national championships, while SCU earned a share of the Division I crown in 1989 after battling Virginia to a draw in the title game. Santa Clara is the last WCC team to have appeared in a College Cup, advancing to college soccer's "Final Four" in 2003.
WCC Alums Help Houston Dynamo To Second Straight MLS Cup
WCC alums helped the Houston Dynamo to its second straight MLS Cup title with a 2-1 win over the New England Revolution. Former SCU defender Ryan Cochrane started 25 games this year, including the MLS Cup final, while Portland alum Nate Jaqua scored six goals for the Dynamo this season. Former Gonzaga standout Brian Ching, who tied for the team lead with seven goals, did not play in the final due to injury. Portland alum Kelly Gray appeared in nine games for the Dynamo this year before being traded to the Galaxy, while former SCU standout Erik Ustruck spent the year on Houston's developmental squad.
WCC Team Notes
Santa Clara Broncos (16-1-4 / 10-0-2 WCC)
- After posting a 3-1 victory over UCLA on Wednesday, Santa Clara will host No. 10 seed Notre Dame in NCAA Tournament Round of 16 action at Buck Shaw Stadium on Saturday at 7:00 PM.
- The Broncos got goals from three different players as Matt Hatzke, Stephen McCarthy, and Jide Ogunbiyi netted strikes on Wednesday. It marked the second goal of the season for Hatzke, while McCarthy and Ogunbiyi moved into a tie for second place on the team with six goals apiece.
- Peter Lowry assisted on McCarthy's game-winning goal in the 79th minute against the Bruins, bringing his team-high assist total to seven on the season.
- The Broncos enter the Round of 16 on an 18-game unbeaten run, having last suffered defeat over two months ago at Brown (September 7).