Nov. 19, 2001
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The 2001 West Coast Conference Champion Santa Clara Broncos will face the Golden Bears of California Friday at 4 p.m. on Stanford's Maloney Field in the First Round of the NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament. The winner of Friday's contest will earn the right to face the tournament's No.3 seed, Stanford, on Sunday.
The Broncos, who earned the automatic berth into the tournament by winning the league title, were one of five WCC teams selected to the tournament. The five teams from the WCC tied for the second highest conference total in the tournament with the ACC, trailing only the Big East by one team.
Joining the Broncos from the WCC are Gonzaga, Loyola Marymount, Portland and San Diego. San Diego earned a first-round bye and will face the winner of the LMU-UCLA match on Friday, while Portland and Gonzaga will face each other in the first round for an opportunity to take on Washington.
Santa Clara has faced a total of nine teams in this year's tournament, combining for a 3-6-0 record in those matches. All six of the losses were by one goal, including two that went to overtime. The Broncos recorded a 2-0 win over James Madison, a 2-1 victory over San Diego and a 1-0 win at LMU.
Friday's first round opponent is one of the teams that defeated the Broncos by one goal during the regular season. Cal handed Santa Clara a 2-1 overtime loss in Berkeley on October 7. Since that loss, the Broncos have combined for a 7-2-0 overall record, including a 5-1-0 conference mark.
Santa Clara secured their place in the postseason with a 1-0 victory over Loyola Marymount Sunday in Los Angeles, Calif. Including Sunday's win at LMU, head coach Mitch Murray has accumulated a .700 winning percentage in the months of November and December with a 36-15-3 overall record during his 11 years at Santa Clara. In the last five years alone he has guided his teams to a 19-5-2 mark in November and December, including back-to-back College Cup Appearances in 1998 and 1999.
For a complete 2001 NCAA Tournament bracket please click here.