Sept. 14, 2005
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - It sure doesn't seem to get any easier for the Bronco men's soccer team.
After playing arguably the toughest schedule in the country to open the first two weeks of the season, seventh-ranked Santa Clara (3-1) finally opens its home slate Friday against local rival Stanford (1-2-1) in a game annually billed as the Silicon Valley's Super Classico.
The match, scheduled to begin at 8 p.m., is part of a doubleheader with the fourth-ranked Bronco women's team, which faces third-ranked UCLA in a 5:30 p.m. kickoff. Tickets are available by calling 408/554-4660 or by clicking here. Both games of the doubleheader will feature live online coverage through an audio broadcast and the popular Gametracker.
Friday's game will also feature the return of the Santa Clara University student body. All SCU students who are members of Ruff Riders, the school's official student spirit organization, receive free admission with a valid ACCESS card. For incoming students, Ruff Rider memberships will be available at the front gate of Buck Shaw Stadium or registration is available online by clicking here.
SCU students don't forget to register for Ruff Riders to receive free admission to all Bronco athletic events.
"Obviously being 3-1 with the schedule we've played is a positive thing for our team," said fourth-year SCU head coach Cameron Rast. "But, this weekend is going to be a really tough challenge. Regardless of either team's win-loss record, the Santa Clara versus Stanford matches are always hard-fought and end-up with a very tight result. It's really the same way with Cal. When you have the familiarity among the players, the coaches and the programs, in general, it's nearly impossible for the matches not to be real classics. They are always great for the fans, without a doubt."
The two matches are part of the Bay Area Challenge, a unique concept where two Bay Area soccer teams from the West Coast Conference, Santa Clara and San Francisco, face two Bay Area Pacific-10 Conference teams, Stanford and California, each year on the same weekend.
After starting the season with consecutive victories over second-ranked UCLA and Fullerton on the road, the Broncos split a pair of games at the Maryland adidas Classic in College Park, Md. The Broncos gave up a trio of first-half goals, all labeled by Rast as a result of defensive errors, to the then fifth-ranked Terrapins in a 3-1 loss on Friday. Two days later, Santa Clara regrouped for an impressive 4-0 victory over previously undefeated Georgetown, which had knocked-off then 16th-ranked Virginia Commonwealth by a score of 3-1 in its prior match.
Against the Hoyas, junior forward Keith DeVey added two more goals to his team scoring lead. Television replays also showed that he was responsible for the assist that led to Kelechi Igwe's goal against the Terrapins. The Kula, Hawai'i native was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week for the second-straight week.
Stanford split its two games last weekend at the adidas Cal Legacy Classic, falling to CS Northridge, 0-1, and defeating Vanderbilt, 2-0. Marcus Ryan tallied a goal and an assist in the victory over the Commodores while teammate Galen Thompson chipped in the second goal. Freshman keeper Josh Nesbit was credited with his first collegiate shutout and notched eight saves in the win.
Following the weekend's action, Santa Clara returns home on Sept. 23 to host highly-regarded Florida International in the Santa Clara adidas Classic at Buck Shaw Stadium. On Sept. 29, the Broncos play a Rivalry Series match at San Jose State before starting league play on Oct. 2.