Aug. 31, 2001
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Santa Clara University men's soccer opened up its 2001 season in fine fashion on Friday afternoon edging out San Diego State 1-0 in overtime on the SDSU campus. Sophomore Matt Upton scored the game-winner in the 101st minute, lifting the 13th-ranked Broncos to a tough road win.
Santa Clara's traditionally strong defense was again the focal point of the night as the Broncos limited San Diego State's offense to only 10 shots. Senior Rusty Johnson notched two saves on the evening, picking up his first shutout of the season and fourth consecutive dating back to last year and moving his career total to 21.5.
Santa Clara and San Diego State engaged in another typically close game between the two schools, as the winning margin in 18 of the 19 matches between the programs has been only one goal.
Santa Clara created a few chances in the first half but was stymied by the swarming and aggressive Aztec defense. "The game went pretty much as I expected," said Santa Clara head coach Mitch Murray. "I told the guys that San Diego State would come out and play hard and physical. They were well organized and went hard at us."
As is typical in many season-opening games sloppy play and disorganization is evident. The Broncos, however, played through that sloppy beginning and came away with the important victory. "It was a good win for our guys, but without question we need to play better," said Murray. "We're happy though with the win and we know we will continue to improve because we have a solid base to build on."
Murray and his Broncos will look to continue building their confidence next week as they open their home schedule September 4th. The Broncos welcome No. 17 Bradley University on Tuesday who will head into the Silicon Valley having lost its season opener to Valparaiso 4-3 on Friday night.