Second-Ranked Men's Soccer Continues Road Swing, Heads to Southern California
Oct. 12, 2004
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -
This Week: San Diego and Loyola Marymount
The second-ranked Santa Clara men's soccer team will continue its five-match, four-week road swing this weekend when it travels to Southern California for pair of matches at San Diego and Loyola Marymount.
San Diego enters the week in third place in the West Coast Conference with a 1-1-2 mark in conference play and a 4-4-3 record overall. The Toreros picked up its conference win at Gonzaga, fell to San Francisco and ended in draws with Saint Mary's and Portland. Ryan Guy paces USD with 11 points on the season. Guy, along with Andrew Ehrich, leads the Toreros with three goals on the year.
In the series with USD, Santa Clara holds a 17-8-1 advantage since 1981. Last season, SCU claimed a 2-0 victory over San Diego at Buck Shaw Stadium on November 8.
Loyola Marymount, which plays 16th-ranked Wake Forest on Friday night, is the only other remaining unbeaten team in WCC play as the Lions have a 3-0-1 WCC mark heading into the week. LMU has posted a 5-3-3 record overall in 2004, having won four of its last five matches.
A year ago, the Lions were the only team to beat the Broncos in conference action. However, SCU posted a 1-0 win at LMU in the NCAA Tournament to avenge the earlier loss. In the series between the schools, SCU holds a 18-3-1 lead over LMU.
Last Week: Santa Clara Sweeps Pacific Northwest Schools
The Broncos continued their stretch of shutouts as SCU held Portland and Gonzaga scoreless in a pair of wins in the Pacific Northwest. Santa Clara posted a 1-0 victory in front of 1,938 fans in Portland on Friday night before claiming another 1-0 win in Spokane, Wash. on Sunday.
Defensively, SCU did not allow a goal on the weekend, extending its shutout streak to four matches and 399 minutes. No opponent has been able to score a goal on the Broncos since September 26. Senior goalkeeper Kent Harkness notched his fifth and sixth shutouts on the season, while Santa Clara tallied its seventh and eighth as a team.
On the offensive side, SCU maintained its shooting advantage, taking 26 shots in two matches to its opponents' 12. Against Gonzaga, the Broncos out-shot the Bulldogs 16-7, which included 10 shots on goal.
Sophomore midfielder Hector Guzman tallied both game-winning goals over the weekend to increase his season output to three. Each of his goals have been game-winners, with his first coming against San Francisco on October 3.
Guzman Named WCC Player of the Week
Sophomore midfielder Hector Guzman was named the West Coast Conference's Player of the Week on Monday after leading the Broncos to a pair of victories last weekend. It is the first such award for Guzman and the second for the Broncos this season after Medhi Ballouchy earned the weekly distinction on September 6.
The San Jose, Costa Rica native came off the bench to score a pair of second half game-winning goals as SCU went 2-0 in its trip to the Pacific Northwest. On Friday night, Guzman posted the Bronco's lone goal less than a minute into the second period as Santa Clara defeated Portland. Sunday, Guzman would tally another game-winner as his goal in the 56th minute against Gonzaga was all the Broncos would need to earn the win.
Guzman's weekend goals were the second and third of the season for him after scoring the game-winner in the 88th minute against San Francisco on October 3rd. Combined with the weekend matches, Guzman has scored the Bronco's game-winner in each of the last three matches. Guzman is tied in the conference standings, along with teammate Peter Lowry, with three game-winning goals. In conference play, he paces the WCC with three scores.
Broncos Rise to Second in the Rankings
The Santa Clara University men's soccer team earned its highest ranking of the season on Monday as Soccer America tabbed the program second in the country. It marks the highest ranking for the program since it was ranked second during the 2000 campaign. The Broncos were among the country's top 10 programs in each of the other three national polls. College Soccer News ranked SCU third, while Soccer Times tabbed the Broncos fifth. Santa Clara also moved back into the NSCAA's top 10 this week, as it was ranked ninth by the coaches.
SCU Defense Paces the Nation
The Bronco back line and senior goalkeeper Kent Harkness have allowed only four goals in 12 matches to post the country's best 0.33 goals against average. Only Albany can match the Broncos goals allowed total, but have played one less match on the season. With eight shutouts, SCU ranks second in the nation with a 0.67 shutout percentage. The Broncos are also among the country's elite in win-loss percentage with a .917 percentage that ranks fifth.
Individually, Harkness continues to rise among the nation's top goalkeepers. His 0.344 goals allowed average is second in the NCAA Division I after holding Portland and Gonzaga scoreless over the weekend. Only Stanford's Andrew Kartunen has a lower total than Harkness, after playing in just six matches this season.
Ballouchy Named WCC Player of the Month
Sophomore midfielder Medhi Ballouchy was named West Coast Conference Player of the Month, for the month of September. He shares the honor with San Francisco's Aaron Chandler. This weekend, Ballouchy notched his team-high 11th point of the season with an assist at Saint Mary's. Last month, the Casablanca, Morocco native was one of only two players in the West Coast Conference to put up double digit points, while pacing the conference with four assists in September. Ballouchy earned two tournament MVP honors, an all-tournament team selection, two national team of the week awards and a WCC Player of the Week honor during his first month as a Bronco. Currently, Ballouchy is atop the SCU point standings with 11 and paces the team and conference with five assists this season.