Oct. 23, 2002
This Week: WCC Road Finale at San Diego
Santa Clara men's soccer will play their third and final West Coast Conference road match this Friday night at 7 p.m. at the University of San Diego. In their first two conference games the Broncos have suffered two heartbreaking losses, each by one goal. The first was a double-overtime thriller at Portland on October 13, followed by a 1-0 shutout at Gonzaga on October 20. Friday night's match against the Toreros will feature the two squads picked to finish first and second in the WCC preseason poll.
Santa Clara vs. San Diego
Friday night's meeting in San Diego will be the 25th all-time meeting between the two schools with Santa Clara holding the series advantage with a 16-7-1 all-time record. The Broncos came away with a thrilling 2-1 win last year in Buck Shaw Stadium to open the WCC season. Steve Cronin scored the game-winner with only 28 seconds remaining in the match to give the Broncos the victory. Since the 1992 season, Santa Clara holds a 6-4-0 advantage over San Diego of which three of the victories and one loss have come in overtime. In their last 10 meetings at Torero Stadium the Broncos hold a 6-3-1 advantage dating back to 1984.
Scouting the Toreros
San Diego enters the weekend match with an 11-4-0 overall record and a 0-2-0 mark in the WCC. Recently the Toreros have dropped three of their last five matches, including their last two to conference opponents Loyola Marymount and Portland. Ryan Coiner leads the USD offensive attack with 12 goals and seven assists on the season. Tyler Conley and Eric Wunderle are next on the scoring list with Conley having five goals and seven assists while Wunderle has six goals and four assists. Parker Jarvis and Matt Kessley have split time between the pipes this season for the Toreros. Jarvis has posted a 0.77 goals-against average in 698 minutes of action while Kessley has a 1.08 goals-against average in 669 minutes of play.
Last Week: Broncos Drop Close Match at Gonzaga
Santa Clara continued its WCC road trip last Sunday with a match in Spokane, Wash., against Gonzaga. The Bulldogs defeated the Broncos by a 1-0 score, with the lone goal of the match coming in the 53rd minute of play. Santa Clara out-shot Gonzaga by a 13-5 margin, icluding a 8-1 difference in the first half. Sophomore transfer Kent Harkness started his third consecutive game in goal for the Broncos and made three saves in the contest. Kirk Fonseca had four shots, all of which were on the mouth of the goal, to lead the Bronco offense. The shutout was only the second time the Broncos have been blanked this season, the first came at then top-ranked Stanford on September 29.
Offense Among the Top 25 in the Country
The Santa Clara University men's soccer team, usually known for its defense, has stepped things up on the offensive end this season, averaging nearly 2.5 goals per game. They are currently just outside the top-20 in scoring with their 2.42 goals per game. George Washington is currently 20th with their 2.43 per game average. The University of San Diego, this week's opponent, is currently 12th in the nation with their 2.60 goals per game average.
Up Next: Broncos Return Home for Match with Saint Mary's
The Broncos will continue their WCC season next weekend but the one difference is that it will be their first conference home game of the season. Saturday night's match with Bay Area rival Saint Mary's will mark the first of three home conference games remaining for the Broncos. The Broncos and the Gaels have met 30 previous times entering this season with Santa Clara holding a commanding 26-2-2 advantage. The Broncos pulled out a critical 1-0 road victory last season that moved them to 4-1 in conference play and allowed them to capture the conference crown the next week at Loyola Marymount. The last time that the Broncos lost to the Gaels was in Moraga, Calif. on November 14, 1997, by a score of 2-0.