Men's Soccer Begins College Cup Quest
Nov. 19, 2003
This Week: NCAA First Round Match
Santa Clara, the 2003 West Coast Conference Champion, will host a NCAA First Round Match on Friday night, November 21 at 7 p.m. The Broncos will face the Mustangs of SMU who have a 13-6-2 overall record. The winner of Friday night's match will advance to the NCAA Second Round where they will travel to Los Angeles, Calif., to take on Loyola Marymount who was awarded the 13th seed in the tournament despite a 12-7-1 overall record and a 3-3-0 mark in West Coast Conference play. The second round match will be played on Wednesday, November 26 at Sullivan Field on the LMU campus at a time to be determined.
Santa Clara vs. SMU
The Broncos and Mustangs have met five previous times entering Friday night's matchup, including a match earlier this season at the LMU Fall Classic. Santa Clara holds a 4-1-0 all-time series advantage over SMU that includes the Broncos' 3-1 win on September 7 of this year. The all-time series dates back to 1973 and the last time that the two schools met before this year was in 1998.
Scouting the Mustangs
SMU enters the match with a 13-6-2 overall record, fresh off wins over Western Kentucky and Bradley in the MVC Tournament that earned the Mustangs an automatci berth into the NCAA Tournament. Ramon Nunez leads the SMU scoring with 18 points that have come on four goals and 10 assists. Ryan Latham is the team's leading goal scorer with eight. T.J. Tomasso has played in nearly 1485 minutes in goal for the Mustangs, amassing 64 saves and a 1.03 goals-against average in 17 matches. SMU has eight shutouts this season and has outscored its opponents by a 40-23 margin. They have won six of their last seven matches, including its match with Bradley that went into penalty kicks.
Weatherly Earns Academic All-District VIII Honors
Santa Clara University men's soccer midfielder Will Weatherly was named to the 2003 CoSIDA Academic All-American All-District VIII First Team on November 13. The junior from Bellevue, Wash., currently leads the team in points (14) and goals scored (6) while maintaining a 3.64 overall grade point average in Accounting. With his selection to the All-District VIII team, Weatherly earns a spot on the national ballot for Academic All-American. If selected he will join former Broncos Jack Zwissig (1971) and Eric Yamamoto (1987, 88, 89) as the only players to be selected to the Academic All-American team. Yamamoto is currently in his 13th season as an assistant coach for Santa Clara.
Four WCC Teams Get Berth into NCAA Tournament
the West Coast Conference had three other teams receive at-large bids to the NCAA tournament. Along with the Pac-10, the WCC's four bids were the third most for any conference as the Big East and ACC each got in five teams. In addition to the WCC Champion Santa Clara Broncos, Loyola Marymount, Portland and San Diego were the other three teams from the WCC that got in.
Defense Wins Championships
The saying is an old one, but very appropriate when it comes to describing the Santa Clara method of winning. Defense won the Broncos' the 2003 WCC Championship. Santa Clara has allowed only 13 goals thus far through 19 matches in 2003, posting a 0.65 goals-against average. The remarkable part is that the Broncos have the lowest amount of saves per game in the league. Netminder Steve Cronin is averaging only 2.41 saves per game, meaning that the Bronco defense is so strong that teams are having a tough time getting opportunities to take shots. SCU has outscored its opponents 31-13 this season, boasting a conference high differential of 18 goals.
In the Rankings
The Santa Clara University men's soccer team remained in the top-10 of the Soccer America (#6), NSCAA Coaches' (#9) and the College Soccer News (#10) polls despite the loss last week to Loyola Marymount. Despite the high rankings in all polls, the Broncos were not one of the 16 teams that received first round byes in the NCAA Tournament.
There is No Place Like Home
Santa Clara improved to 6-0-1 at home in 2003 and extended their home unbeaten streak to 11, with its 2-0 victory over No. 17 San Diego to clinch the 2003 WCC Championship. The Broncos' last loss at "The Shaw" came on September 26, 2002 to California. SCU's all-time record at Buck Shaw is now 173-67-20, which is a .703 winning percentage. Since the WCC began sponsoring soccer in 1988, Santa Clara has dominated at home, registering a 119-24-11 (.807 win percentage) overall record at Buck Shaw, including a 32-4-3 (.813 win percentage) against WCC teams. Only San Diego (2), San Francisco and Portland have ever won a league match at Buck Shaw Stadium San Francisco (2) and Portland are responsible for the three ties in conference games at SCU.
Broncos Have Four Players Earn WCC Player of the Week Honors
At one point or another in 2003 the Broncos had four of their players earn Player of the Week honors from the West Coast Conference. Ryan Cochrane was the first to nab the honor on September 8 after the junior defender was named the LMU Fall Classic MVP as he led the Broncos to a tie with No. 7 Creighton and a 3-1 victory over No. 9 SMU. Netminder Steve Cronin received the honor the following week as he posted shutouts against Cal State Montery Bay and George Washington to help the Broncos to the Championship of the SCU adidas Classic. Jason Pan earned the honor on October 29 after his goal with only 1:47 remaining in double-overtime lifted SCU to a 1-0 victory over WCC rival and NCAA Tournament participant Portland. Will Weatherly was the last of the Broncos' to receive the honor as his game-winning goal against San Diego on November 8 seeled Santa Clara's WCC Championship.
Rast in Elite Company
Second year head coach Cameron Rast became only the second head coach in Santa Clara men's soccer history to win 10 games in his first two years at the helm of the program. He joins his predecessor and mentor Mitch Murray as the only two to have accomplished the feat. Rast is now 23-8-4 overall after going 10-6-1 in his first year while Murray posted records of 20-1-2 and 10-7-1 in his first two campaigns. Former coaches Dave Chaplik (1972-80), Ralph Perez (1981-85) and Steve Sampson (1986-90) all posted 10 wins in two of their first three seasons, but did not posted back-to-back 10-win years to begin their coaching careers on the Mission Campus.
Bronco Defense Ranked Sixth in Country
Santa Clara's strength historically has rested on the shoulders of the defense. The 2003 season has been no different as the Broncos have allowed only 10 goals in 18 matches. Their 0.53 goals-against average as a team ranks sixth in the country in that category while Steve Cronin ranks ninth in the nation with his 0.586 mark.
Cronin Ranks First in WCC for GAA, Second in Shutouts
Junior Steve Cronin has registered seven shutouts thus far in 2003, ranking him second in the WCC in that category. He currently has 12 in his career, leaving him only five shy of cracking the top-five for career shutouts at SCU. His goals-against average of 0.59 in all games and 0.58 in league games are both leading the league. The last Santa Clara player to lead the WCC in goals-against average was current assistant coach Rusty Johnson whose 0.81 mark led the league during his senior season.
Last Week: Broncos Drop Regular Season Finale
Santa Clara dropped its regular season finale to Loyola Marymount by a 3-0 score Saturday afternoon at Sullivan Field on the LMU campus. The loss was Santa Clara'a first since September 28, dropping its overall record to 13-3-3 and 5-1-0 in West Coast Conference play while the Lions improved to 12-6-1 overall, 3-3-0 in league action. Loyola Marymount's victory snaps SCU's seven match unbeaten streak that saw them go 6-0-1 during that time span. The Broncos, who had already clinched the 2003 WCC title and secure the league's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament, fell behind at the 29:17 mark when LMU's Armando Melendez took a fifteen yard shot that beat Santa Clara keeper Kent Harkness low on the near post for a 1-0 lead. The goal was his third of the season and came off assists from Junior Ybarra and Bobby Burling. After halftime the Lions wasted no time in scoring their second goal, as Matthew Kovar netted a goal at the 48:47 mark, slipping the ball into the net after a mad scramble in the penalty box area. Michael Brewer and Danny Williams picked up assists on the goal. Sean Rhynard who beat relief goalkeeper Matt Biggam on a deflected ball near the top of the goal box tallied the final Loyola Marymount goal. Biggam was assessed a red card on the play as he stopped the ball with his hands out of the box, but the advantage was given to LMU on the play, taking the score to 3-0 with Yuji Teranishi picking up the assist. Santa Clara played numerous players throughout the game to keep players fresh for the upcoming NCAA Tournament. Following Biggam's red card, defender Zach Knight was put into goal for the final 8:37 of the match. Shaun Kalnasy played the final 52:28 for the Lions between the pipes as registered seven saves during the time to secure the shutout. Audren Cashman and Kelechi Igwe each took four shots to lead the Broncos but it was Jason Pan whose two shots on goals proved to be most dangerous in the match.
Cochrane Tabbed as a M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Award Finalist
Santa Clara University junior defender Ryan Cochrane was tabbed as one of 15 players to watch this season for the M.A.C Hermann Trophy that is presented annually to the top collegiate soccer player in the country. A preseason All-American selection prior to the start of the 2003 season, Cochrane is one of only four defenders on the Hermann Trophy watch list. He is also one of only two players from the West Coast on the list, joining UCLA midfielder Aaron Lopez Jr. A nominating committee consisting of conference representatives from each Division I conference will select a final ballot of the top 15 candidates in early November. The winners of the award are selected through voting by Division I collegiate coaches who are members of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. The winners will be announced in conjunction with the NCAA Men's College Cup in Columbus, Ohio, in December.
Head Coach Cameron Rast
Cameron Rast took over the helm of his Alma Matter in 2002, becoming only the sixth head coach in the 34-year history of the program. He guided the Broncos as a player from 1988-91, Rast scored 17 goals and assisted on 20 others. He was the team captain in 1989, leading the Broncos to a 20-0-3 record and the school's only men's NCAA National Championship. A knee injury forced Rast to sit out much of his junior season in 1990, but he returned to form his senior year in 1991. He and the Broncos returned to the national championship game, this time claiming the second-place trophy. Rast earned his second All-America honor, as did his twin brother and fellow Bronco defender Matt. In 1991, Rast was a finalist for both the Hermann Award and the Missouri Athletic Club Award, both given to the nation's top collegiate men's player. During his eight years as an assistant, Rast helped produce 67 All-West Coast Conference selections, seven All-Americans, five WCC Defenders of the Year, one WCC player of the year and numerous players that went on to a career in professional soccer. The Broncos amassed a record of 101-42-14 with five WCC titles and seven NCAA Tournament appearances. The height of Santa Clara soccer came in the late 1990's when Rast helped guide the Broncos to back-to-back College Cup appearances in 1998 and '99. In his first year at the helm of the program, Rast guided the Broncos to a 10-6-1 overall record and a 3-3-0 mark in the WCC. He had six players earn All-WCC honors and one honorable mention All-American selection in Ryan Cochrane.