No. 9 Men's Soccer Opens League Play at San Francisco
Oct. 7, 2003
This Week: Broncos Begin West Coast Conference Play
Santa Clara men's soccer begins its conference season this weekend with a matchup against Bay Area rival, San Francisco, Saturday night at 7 p.m. in Negoesco Stadium. The match will be the first league contest for both teams this season.
Santa Clara at San Francisco
The Broncos and Dons have met 45 previous times entering Saturday night's league opener with USF holding a 27-12-6 advantage over the Broncos in the 36 year history of the series. Recently, however, Santa Clara has dominated play, winning the last eight matches dating back to 1995. The last USF win in the series came in 1993 as the match in '94 ended in a double-overtime scoreless tie. During the Broncos eight match win streak over the Dons, SCU has outscored USF by a 14-2 margin, including a 4-1 victory at Buck Shaw Stadium last year. The last time these two teams met at Negoesco Stadium, the game ended in a 2-1 double-overtime victory for SCU in 2001. San Francisco enters the match on Saturday with a 5-7-0 overall record, having dropped its last match by a 3-0 score at San Jose State. Matt Lanquis leads the USF offense with his three goals and two assists while Travis Sharp leads the team in goals-against average with his 1.00 mark, having allowed five goals in 450 minutes of action.
Last Week: Tie with Stanford, Defeat Sacramento State
Santa Clara played two home matches last week for the first time since the adidas Classic in mid-September, posting a 1-1, double-overtime draw with Stanford on Thursday night before registering a 2-0 victory over Sacramento State on Sunday evening. The Broncos were forced to rally in their match with Stanford after giving up a first half goal, but managed a tie after a goal in the 83rd minute knotted the score. In their victory over the Hornets, SCU scored once in each half to improve to 24-1-1 all-time against Sacramento State.
Going to the Wels
Tannen Wels has made an immediate impact on the Santa Clara men's soccer program in his first season. The freshman from Santa Margarita High School in southern California leads the team in assists on the season with four. He has also added one goal during his inaugural campaign and is tied for fourth on the team in points with six. Most recently he assisted on the game-winning goal in the Broncos' 2-0 win over Sacramento State.
In the Rankings
The Santa Clara University men's soccer team rose to No. 9 in the Soccer Times poll and No. 14 in the Soccer America poll while remaining steady at No. 13 in the College Soccer News poll. In the NSCAA Coaches' poll, the Broncos fell out of the top-25 for the first time in four weeks, but remain close as they are the only team listed as receiving votes.
Playing Well Against Ranked Teams
Santa Clara has played four ranked teams thus far in the 2003 season, posting a 2-0-2 record in thos four matches. With wins over then No. 4 SMU and then No. 19 Tulsa, the Broncos have shown they belong among the nation's elite. Their two ties against nationally ranked teams came against then No. 7 Creighton and then No. 21 California. Both ties were 0-0, double overtime contests and are the only matches that the Broncos have been shutout this season. On the other side, SCU has shutout eight of its 12 opponents. Additionally, the Broncos' third tie of the season came to last year's national runner-up, Stanford.
Weatherly Reclaims Goal Scoring Lead
Junior Will Weatherly netted his fourth goal of the season the Broncos' 2-0 win over Sacramento State. The goal proved to be his second game-winner of the year and gave him back the lead in the goal scoring category for SCU. He had lost the lead just a few nights prior as Kelechi Igwe tallied his third goal of the season in the Broncos' 1-1 draw with Stanford.
Up Next: West Coast Conference Season Continues
Santa Clara will return to Buck Shaw Stadium next weekend for its first league home match of the year, taking on Gonzaga Saturday night, October 18 at 7 p.m. Following that match the Broncos will host Portland on October 25 and San Diego on November 8. Their remaining road matches in league play will be at Saint Mary's on November 2 and at Loyola Marymount on November 15.