Nov. 2, 2004
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -
This Week: Gonzaga and Portland
The 15th-ranked Santa Clara men's soccer team will continue its homestand this weekend when it hosts Gonzaga and Portland in a pair of West Coast Conference matches at Buck Shaw Stadium. On Sunday, Big Toe Soccer water bottles will be given away to the first 400 fans in attendance.
Gonzaga enters the weekend fresh off an upset of first-place Loyola Marymount. The Bulldogs handed the Lions their first conference loss with a 1-0 victory in Spokane, Wash. on Friday night. Gonzaga is currently 6-11-0 on the season with a 2-7-0 mark in conference action. Yet to win a conference match on the road this season, the Bulldogs are 1-4-0 away from Martin Field.
Santa Clara notched a 1-0 win in Spokane on October 10th. Hector Guzman scored the game-winning goal for the Broncos as they swept through their trip to the Pacific Northwest. In the series, SCU holds a 7-4-1 advantage and has never lost to the Bulldogs on its home field.
Portland has been playing well in the late part of the season as the Pilots have won three of their last four matches. Both Alejandro Salazar and Matthew Dallman pace the team with four goals this season, while Luis Robles is the only goalkeeper who has seen time for Portland. Robles is allowing 0.97 goals per game, while tallying 64 saves on the season. Robles and SCU's Kent Harkness lead the WCC with six shutouts on the year.
In the first meeting between the Broncos and Pilots this season, SCU posted a 1-0 win in Portland. Hector Guzman once again provided the game-winner for SCU. In the series, Santa Clara holds a 12-8-5 edge over the Pilots, posting wins in their last two meetings.
Last Matches: Santa Clara Splits Matches After Bye Week
After having a week off from competition, the Broncos returned to action last weekend. On Friday night, SCU dropped a 1-0 contest at San Francisco before returning to Santa Clara on Sunday to post a 2-1 win over conference rival Saint Mary's.
Santa Clara allowed a Don goal in the first five minutes before shutting down the USF attack for the remainder of the match on Friday. In its last match of a five-match road trip, the Broncos tied a season-high with five saves with senior goalkeeper Kent Harkness playing all 90 minutes of the match.
In its return to Buck Shaw Stadium, Santa Clara recorded the victory over the Gael's on Halloween Night. Ryan Purtell gave the Broncos an early lead with his second goal of the season in the tenth minute. Medhi Ballouchy assisted on the score with his team-leading seventh assist of the season. In the 22nd minute, Peter Lowry added what would prove to be the SCU game-winner, as Will Weatherly assisted on the goal. The score was Lowry's fourth on the year with each of his goals being a Bronco game-winner.
The Gael's would add a goal of their own in the second half, but it would be the only time they would find the back of the net. In the 80th minute, SMC midfielder Adam Zielske was red-carded, forcing the Gael's to play a man down for the remainder of the contest.
Broncos Maintain National Ranking
The Santa Clara University men's soccer team continues to be a mainstay in the top-25 polls as the Broncos are ranked in three polls this week. SCU has been ranked every week during the 2004 season. Santa Clara is currently tabbed 15th by Soccer America, while being ranked 17th by Soccer Times. College Soccer News ranks the Broncos 21st.
The West Coast Conference is making its mark in the national rankings this week as three teams are ranked by College Soccer News as San Francisco and Loyola Marymount join SCU on the list. USF is also ranked by Soccer America and Soccer Times.
SCU Among the Nation's and Conference's Best
The Broncos are among the country's leaders in three different team categories in the NCAA Division I statistics. SCU currently ranks 12th in shutout percentage with a 0.50 mark after recording shutouts in half of its contests this season. Santa Clara also ranks 17th in win-loss percentage with a 0.750 mark. The defense also is among the country's top-15 in goals against average as its 0.718 average ranks 14th. The Bronco's marks in shutout percentage and goals against also pace the West Coast Conference.
Individually, Harkness continues to rank among the nation's top goalkeepers. His 0.718 goals against average is good for 15th in the NCAA and tops among WCC netminders.
In the conference statistics, Santa Clara ranks near the top in both offensive and defensive categories. SCU is second in the conference in goals scored with 23 on the season. The Broncos also show strong defensive numbers with the WCC's lowest goals allowed average and highest shutout total with eight. Individually, Medhi Ballouchy is tied for fourth in the WCC with 13 points and second with seven assists. Peter Lowry also ranks second in game-winning goals with four in 2004.
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.
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.