Nov. 16, 2002
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University men's soccer team made a statement to the NCAA Men's Soccer selection committee with a decisive 3-0 shutout over 10th-ranked Loyola Marymount Saturday evening in Buck Shaw Stadium to conclude the 2002 regular season.
The Broncos (10-6-1, 3-3-0 WCC), who extended their current winning streak to four with the win, played dominant soccer all night long, possessing the ball for most of the game and out-shooting the Lions (14-3-2, 4-2-0 WCC) by a 12-4 margin.
Santa Clara took the 1-0 lead in the 37th minute when Jason Cunliffe headed home his fourth goal of the season amidst two LMU players from four yards out. He got the ball off a headed pass from Jamil Walker who guided the ball off a cross from the right side of the field off the foot of Devin Skrade.
After the intermission, Santa Clara continued its offensive pressure and doubled its lead at the 59:12 mark when Kelechi Igwe bent a beautiful shot from 25 yards out into the upper right hand corner of the goal. Igwe beat his defender after taking a 40-plus yard pass from Walker whose two assists gave him four for the season. The goal was Igwe's fourth of the year.
The Broncos concluded the scoring in the 69th minute when Will Weatherly scored his fifth goal of the season, capitalizing on Lions' defender Michael Erush's mistake, gathering the ball inside the penalty box and sliding it past Adam Sthay for the 3-0 lead.
Sthay, who entered the match with a 0.64 goals-against average, was pulled in the 73rd minute in favor of Robert Flores.
Bronco netminder Kent Harkness picked up his second shutout of the season while being forced to make only two saves all night. The Santa Clara defense became very stingy in the second half as they allowed only one second half shot by the Lions.
With the shutout, Santa Clara becomes one of only three teams this season to shutout the 10th-ranked Lions. The win also moves the Broncos' streak of consecutive years with a West Coast Conference record of .500 or better to 14.
The Broncos will now await their postseason fate as the 48-team bracket for the 2002 NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament will be announced Monday, November 18 at 1:30 p.m. on the ESPNEWS network.