September 28, 2004

Fourth-Ranked Men's Soccer Opens WCC Action at Saint Mary's

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Sept. 28, 2004

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -

This Week: Saint Mary's and San Francisco
The fourth-ranked Santa Clara men's soccer team will open West Coast Conference play on Friday as it travels to Moraga, Calif. to face Saint Mary's in a 4 p.m. match. On Sunday, the Broncos will return to Buck Shaw Stadium for a 2 p.m. contest, hosted by Enterprise Rent-a-car, with San Francisco before a embarking on a five-match road swing. SCU will head to Washington, Oregon, and Southern California before returning to Santa Clara for a Halloween night meeting with the Gaels.

Saint Mary's, which will also be opening conference action on Friday, enters the week with a 2-2-3 record after defeating San Diego State last weekend. Junior midfielder Derek Youpel picked up WCC Player of the Week honors after scoring both SMC goals in the victory over the Aztecs. The Broncos hold a 28-2-2 advantage in the series with the Gaels, including wins in their last four meetings. Last season, Santa Clara claimed a 2-1 win in Moraga on November 5.

San Francisco has posted a 5-1-0 mark, the best in program history, heading into their match-up with top-ranked UC Santa Barbara on Friday in San Francisco. The Broncos and Dons have took part in two of the same tournaments, but have not faced each other. They share four common opponents with both squads going undefeated against the teams. The Dons have tallied a 27-13-6 record against SCU. However, the Broncos have won nine straight meetings prior to the weekend.

Last Week: Stanford Invitational
Santa Clara split a pair of matches in the Stanford Invitational last weekend as it defeated fifth-ranked Stanford and fell to fourth-ranked California.

The Broncos posted their fourth shutout of the season at Stanford, claiming a 2-0 victory on Friday night. Medhi Ballouchy tallied his third goal of the season to put the Broncos ahead at the 51:12 mark before Jason Cunliffe added the second score of the night in the 55th minute. SCU continued to create opportunities and stifle the opposing offense as it out-shot the Cardinal 12-3.

Sunday night's 1-0 loss to California ended Santa Clara's 15-match home win streak and put the first blemish on the Bronco's record in 2004. Despite recording 13 shots, while holding the Golden Bears to six, the Broncos were unable to find the back of the net for the first time in eight matches, dating back to last season's National Semifinals appearance.

Broncos Post 400th Win in Program History
Friday night's 2-0 victory over Stanford marked the 400th win in the history of the Santa Clara Men's Soccer Program. In the program's 38 years in existence, SCU has posted a 400-232-79 overall mark with a 106-83-21 record in West Coast Conference play.

Six different head coaches have led the Broncos towards this winning milestone, starting with Sal Taormina, who coached the program from 1967-71. After Dave Chaplik and Ralph Perez led the team from 1972-1985, current Los Angeles Galaxy head coach Steve Sampson took the helm of the program. Sampson led SCU to an unbeaten 20-0-3 mark in 1989 before Mitch Murray took over in 1991. Sampson, who is the only Bronco coach with 100 wins, led SCU to its first National Championship in his first season with the program. Current head coach and former SCU player, Cameron Rast earned his 30th career win this season in only his third year as head coach.

Harkness Among the Country's Leaders
Senior goalkeeper Kent Harkness ranks among the nation's top netminders this season as his 0.52 goals against average is good for 11th in Division I. In over 686 minutes of action entering the weekend, the Spring, Texas native has allowed only four goals. The Broncos have held four different opponents scoreless with Harkness keeping George Mason and Stanford off the scoreboard for 90 minutes. Harkness has also posted 14 saves in eight starts.

Ballouchy Breaks Into Double Digits
Sophomore midfielder Medhi Ballouchy notched his tenth point of the season in only his seventh match on Friday night as he scored the Broncos' first goal against Stanford. The Casa Blanca, Morrocco native is one of only two players in the West Coast Conference to put up double digit points this season as USF's Aaron Chandler has 13. Ballouchy paces Santa Clara with his point total after posting three goals and four assists already this year. His four assists are also tied for tops in the WCC, along with Ryan Guy of San Diego. One of the Broncos biggest offensive threats, Ballouchy has tallied a point in six of SCU's eight matches of 2004.

In the Rankings
The Santa Clara University men's soccer team continued to be ranked among the nation's top teams this week, earning a spot in each of the four major polls. Soccer America lists the Broncos fourth in the country, while Soccer Times and College Soccer News ranks the program sixth. SCU is also ranked by the NSCAA (16). Three Bronco opponents appear the polls, including West Coast Conference foe Portland. The Pilots are currently ranked 20th by Soccer America.

Broncos Earn National Recognition
Medhi Ballouchy, Jason Pan and Ryan Purtell have each been named to national teams of the week this year, giving the Broncos an honoree in each of the first three weeks of the season. Ballouchy was named to College Soccer News' Team of the Week on September 7 in after his first weekend in a Bronco uniform. A senior defender, Pan was picked by Soccer America honors after leading SCU to the GMU/Comfort Inn Classic title on September 14. Purtell was honored a week ago by College Soccer News following his MVP performance in the SCU/adidas Classic.

Season/Match Tickets on Sale
Season and individual match tickets for Santa Clara University's nationally-recognized soccer teams are on sale through the Department of Athletics' official website www.SantaClaraBroncos.com, and the athletic ticket office at 408-554-4660, between the hours of 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

In conjunction with its exclusive Internet partner, College Sports Online, the athletic department has developed an online ticket application that provides fans with the ability to purchase season tickets, family plans, individual matches or an all-sports pass via the official athletic website. A men's and women's soccer season ticket package that includes the 17 home matches is available for the adult price of $65 each, while a family plan provides a family of five admission to each game for the low price of $100. Youth (12 and under) and senior (over 65-years-old) season tickets are also available for $30. Single games are priced at $7 for adults, $5 for youths and seniors and $2 for non-Ruff Riders SCU students as well as members of Bronco Kidz. Single match team passes are also available for $35.

Head Coach Cameron Rast
Third Year - Santa Clara `92

Cameron Rast begins his third season at the helm of the Santa Clara men's soccer program. Already in 2004, Rast has posted his 30th career victory as a head coach with SCU's 2-1 win over Loyola College. In only his second year as the head coach, Rast led the Broncos to the National Semifinals. After eight years as an assistant coach and four as a player, Rast has reached the College Cup in three different capacities while at Santa Clara. With his 10 combined years as a coach at SCU, Rast has produced 78 All-WCC selections and eight All-Americans. The 2003 WCC Coach of the Year, Rast will look to take his team back to the NCAA Tournament in 2004.