Men's Soccer Faces First of Two Must Win Situations at Saint Mary's on Sunday
Nov. 7, 2001
Up Next - Saint Mary's
Santa Clara will head to Moraga, Calif., on Sunday for a match with Saint Mary's at Noon. The Broncos enter the contest with a 3-1-0 West Coast Conference record and nine points, needing two wins to claim the league title. Portland sits alone atop the conference standings with a 4-1-1 record and 13 points with no remaining league games on their schedule. Gonzaga is currently in second place with a 3-1-1 record and 10 points.
Series Record vs. Saint Mary's
Sunday matchup will be the 30th all-time meeting between the Broncos and the Gaels with Santa Clara holding a commanding 25-2-2 advantage. The Broncos last loss to Saint Mary's came in 1997 by a 2-0 score. The series dates back to 1968 when Santa Clara defeated the Gaels that year by a score of 6-0. Since 1968, Santa Clara has outscored the Gaels 106-19, including 10-0 and 16-0 wins in 1978 and 1979, respectively. The 16-0 win is the largest scoring differential in Santa Clara men's soccer history.
Sizing Up the Gaels
Saint Mary's enters Sunday's contest with a 5-9-1 overall record, and a 0-3-0 conference mark. The Gaels started the season very well, opening with a 5-2-1 record. They have since dropped seven straight matches, with their last win coming on September 30 against the College of Notre Dame by a score of 5-0. Saint Mary's has been outscored during their last seven matches by a 23-5 margin.
The Gaels are led offensively by Juan Lopez and Diego Rovira who share in the team lead with eight points. Lopez has scored all eight of his points on four goals, while Rovira has scored two goals and assisted on four others. Kellan Wilson has taken most of the miutes between the pipes for Saint Mary's, posting a 1.64 goals-against average while making 78 saves. As a team the Gaels have scored 20 goals while allowing their opponents to score 30.
Santa Clara dropped a heartbreaker on Saturday evening at Buck Shaw Stadium to No. 17 Portland by a score of 2-1. The Broncos started the game off well as Tony Cota scored his first goal of the season in the eighth minute to give Santa Clara the early lead. The score remained the same at halftime despite the Broncos taking four more shots than the Pilots in the first half. The second half was all Portland as they outshot the Broncos 9-3, and generally controlled the pace of play. The Pilots got the equalizer in the 69th minute when Brandon Henley put home a rebounded shot off Bronco netminder Rusty Johnson. Nate Jaqua put the Pilots up for good in the 83rd minute when he gathered a loose ball in front of the Santa Clara goal and slipped in into the back of the net.
Odds and Ends
During the first month of the season the Broncos scored six goals and gave up six goals while finishing September with a 4-4 record. The month of October brought about a 4-3 overall record, of which all three losses were by 1-0 scores to Pac-10 schools, with two of those losses coming in overtime. Two of the losses were also to top-5 ranked teams at the time, No. 2 Washington and No. 2 Stanford. Overall, half of the Broncos losses this year have come to ranked opponents while at the same time defeating two ranked WCC opponents at the time in No. 8 San Diego and No. 16 Gonzaga.
The Broncos continue to outshoot their opponents by a large margin. Following Saturday's game with Portland,Santa Clara holds a 232-164 advantage in shots, and a 103-76 advantage in shots on goal. The Broncos have also outscored their opponents by one and have a 0.83 goals-against average while their opponents have a 0.89 GAA.
Junior Jamil Walker has taken over the points lead for the Broncos after picking up his seventh point with an assist on Keith Burden's game-winner against Sacramento State. Senior captain Jeff Stewart trails closely behind with six points, all coming on his three goals. Back-up netminder Steve Cronin is third on the team in points with four,having scored one goal and assisted on one other. Following Cronin there is a logjam in a tie for fourth place on the team in points. Keith Burden, Anthony Chimienti, Kellen Gilmore, Eric Irvine, Zach Knight and Scott McLain each have three points this year. Four of the six players have scored one goal and assisted on another, while Gilmore and Knight have dished out three assists.
Steve Cronin and Rusty Johnson have been stellar as usualy in goal for the Broncos, limiting their opponents to only 14 goals this season. The tandem has a 0.83 combined goals-against average, led by Johnson's 0.s82 average.
Following this weekend's game with Saint Mary's, the Broncos will wrap-up their regular season with a home matach against San Jose State on November 14, and a match at Loyola Marymount on November 17. The match against San Jose State was originally scheduled for September 12, but was postponed in response to the tragic events of September 11. Santa Clara has a 16-18-1 overall record against San Jose State, but has won 12 of the last 15 meetings between the two schools. The Broncos hold a commanding 15-2-1 overall record against LMU, with their last loss to the Lions coming in 1997 in Los Angeles.
WCC Men's Soccer Standings
(Through games of November 4) Team WCC Pts Overall Portland 4 1 1 13 11 4 1 Gonzaga 3 1 1 10 8 4 2 Santa Clara 3 1 0 9 8 8 0 San Diego 1 2 1 4 8 3 1 LMU 1 2 1 4 8 5 2 Saint Mary's 0 3 0 0 5 9 1 San Francisco 0 3 0 0 7 7 1