Oct. 27, 2001
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University (7-7-0, 3-0-0 WC C) men's soccer team knows when to step it up, this time defeating the 16th-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs (7-4-2, 2-1-1 WCC) in Buck Shaw Stadium on Saturday night by a score of 3-1. The Broncos keep their West Coast Conference record unblemished, improving to 3-0-0, while handing the Zags their first conference defeat and dropping their WCC record to 2-1-1.
The Broncos fell behind early in the game when Arni Pjetursson scored his fourth goal of the season at the 24:01 mark, on a free kick from 20 yards out that simply went through Santa Clara netminder Rusty Johnson's hands. The Broncos got the equalizer a short time later when Jamil Walker was taken down in the penalty box setting up Jeff Stewart's third goal of the season on the penalty kick at the 25:25 mark.
The half ended with the score tied at one with Santa Clara holding a 6-3 advantage in shots in a physical first half that saw 23 fouls between the two teams.
Walker broke the tie in the second half when he headed home a perfect pass from Zach Knight, beating the Gonzaga keeper, Mike McCarthy, low and to the right side at the 65:08 mark. Walker added his second goal of the night and his third of the season nearly 19 minutes later when he slid the ball past McCarthy at the 84:04 mark to seal the game for the Broncos. Walker's second goal came off two tremendous passes, the first from Knight and the second to Steve Cronin who picked up his second assist on the year.
The second half was just as physical with the teams combining for 22 fouls. The Broncos picked up the offensive pace though in the second half, out-shooting the Bulldogs 10-6. Saturday night's win improved the Broncos all-time record against the Zags to 5-3-1, including a 4-0-1 record at Buck Shaw.
Santa Clara will continue action at "The Shaw" next week as it takes on Sacramento State in a make-up game that was originally slated for September 15. The Broncos will continue WCC play next Saturday as they wrap-up their WCC home schedule with a game against Portland. Both games are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. kickoffs.