Men's Soccer Celebrates Season at Annual Banquet
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Sophomore Mehdi Ballouchy and senior Jason Pan were named Most Valuable Player for Offense and Defense, respectively, two of many awards handed out at the Santa Clara University men's soccer annual banquet, held Saturday evening on the mission campus at Adobe Lodge.
"The banquet every year is a time to honor the accomplishments of the team, as well as pay tribute to our senior class who have finished their careers with our program," third-year head coach Cameron Rast described.
Ballouchy paced the team with 15 points and first-team recognition by the WCC. The midfielder debuted as a Bronco with a bang, earning tournament MVP honors at the diadora Classic and multiple Player of the Week distinctions. He added All-Tournament honors at two more events and was named the WCC Player of the Month in September.
Pan was a model of consistency in the Bronco defense, starting all 21 matches and earning All-WCC second team recognition. One of the team captains, he led a defense that ranked 10th nationally. His goal against Loyola College earned a placing on Soccer America's National Team of the Week.
Will Weatherly was voted Most Inspirational by his teammates, while Chris Clark received Most Improved. The Rookie of the Year was presented to Matthew Hatzke. Weatherly earned first team All-WCC honors as a forward, and netted eight points while earning recognition on three All-Tournament teams. He assisted on two game-winners and received ESPN Academic All-America honors. Clark saw action in 15 matches, earning his first start against Loyola Marymount. Hatzke started on the back line and also received WCC All-Freshman honors.
The program's five seniors each had an opportunity to address the crowd. Team Captains Pan and Weatherly were joined by Matt Biggam, Kent Harkness and Devin Skrade in being honored. During his time at the podium, Harkness issued a challenge for the players to rededicate themselves to the pursuit of another run at the NCAA Championship.
Other season awards were also presented, including Ballouchy's second-team All-America by College Soccer News, Weatherly's Academic All-America honor and various awards from the WCC.
Men's Soccer Drops 2-1 Overtime Decision at California in First Round
BERKELEY, Calif. - The 17th-ranked Santa Clara men's soccer team dropped a 2-1 overtime heartbreaker to California in the first round of the NCAA Championship Tournament in Berkeley, Calif. on Friday afternoon. With the loss, the Broncos end their season with a 15-6-0 record.
"I thought it was a good match-up," said head coach Cameron Rast. "A game that we all expected, which was two evenly matched teams that were going to have to play 90 minutes to win. It turned out to be a little more today, the fans really got their money's worth."
Despite being out-shot 9-3 in the first half, the Broncos would strike first as Keith DeVey put Santa Clara ahead at the 13:40 mark. Medhi Ballouchy took the ball down the center of the field before passing to DeVey on the right side. The Kula, Hawaii native re-directed the pass into the bottom of the net for his team-high fifth goal of the season. The assist was Ballouchy's team-high ninth assist of 2004.
Freshman goalkeeper Christopher Moreo continued to impress in only his second collegiate start. The Las Vegas, Nevada native recorded three saves in the first half.
In the second period, the Bronco defense would keep the Golden Bears away from the goal until the 74th minute. A penalty kick was awarded to California in the 73rd minute after a yellow card was issued to defender Ryan Purtell. California midfielder Nick Hatzke would convert the penalty kick to even the score at 1-1.
After 15 more minutes of aggressive play, the teams went into overtime knotted at 1-1. It would not take the Golden Bears long to tally the game-winning score as Carl Acosta found the back of the net less than three minutes into the first overtime period.
Moreo would finish the contest with a season-high seven saves, the highest mark for a Bronco netminder this season.
Following the matches' conclusion, Rast remarked on the 2004 season as a whole. "I see this season as a great period of growth for our team," Rast commented. "We got off to such a good start. Then we ran into some teams in our conference, where we had to figure ourselves out. I think we solved a lot of problems and gained a lot of maturity."