Nov. 22, 2005
BERKELEY, Calif. - The Santa Clara and Cal men's soccer teams have met in the postseason just twice prior to Tuesday and, on both occasions, the matches have been decided in overtime. So, it was no surprise that the two teams would play 110 minutes today to a scoreless draw.
In an entertaining, end-to-end affair that would sway the opinion of even the most ardent detractor of the game of soccer, Cal advanced to the NCAA College Cup third round with a 5-4 advantage in penalty kicks.
The Broncos conclude their season with a 13-6-3 record, while Cal moves on with a 13-3-3 mark.
After the two teams tied in regulation then played two scoreless overtime periods, the two teams entered penalty kicks. Kicking first in the sequence, all five of Cal's penalty kick attempts found the back of the net. With four Broncos making their tries and SCU behind by a score of 5-4, Mehdi Ballouchy missed his attempt just left of the goal on the deciding try.
Both teams had near misses in both overtime periods. In the 93rd minute, a Ballouchy cross just missed the feet of a streaking Hector Guzman just 10 feet from goal. Just 20 seconds later, Cal's Pieter Berger sent a open shot low and wide of an open goal. In the 102nd minute, Ballouchy sent a hard shot from 25 yards out that was saved by Cal keeper Erik Kronberg.
In the 105th minute Guzman drew a foul from Cal's Andrew Felder at midfield. After Matt Marquess took the free kick, Ryan Wolf sent a header just over the goal. Two minutes later Guzman slid the ball past an open goal from 20 yards out after beating the onrushing Kronberg. In the 109th minute, Cal's Calen Carr missed a sliding shot in front of the goal that sailed inches over the top of the crossbar.
The Broncos maintained a significant majority of possession throughout the second half and narrowly missed a number of crowd-pleasing scoring opportunities.
A flurry of SCU scoring attempts in the final three minutes of regulation nearly ended the match.
Senior Jeff Scott missed a chance to put the Broncos ahead in the 66th minute when he broke open on the left side blasted an open shot wide of the goal. Just four minutes later, following a SCU corner kick, sophomore Matt Hatzke blasted a shot from 30 yards out through an open seam in the Cal defense and hit the upper right crossbar.
In the 42nd minute, Cal keeper Erik Kronberg came outside the penalty box for a challenge and punched the ball out. Erik Ustruck gathered the ball 45 yards from the goal and launched a desperation shot that looped over the keeper's head and just over the crossbar onto the back of the net. Less than one minute later, Hector Guzman missed a similar shot from 20 yards out on the left side by mere inches. In the 44th minute, Guzman missed a point blank header that was blocked out the end line by the Cal defense. On the ensuing corner kick, Guzman hit another shot that connected with the upper left crossbar.
Early in the match, the two teams each controlled an equal percentage of possession with both looking to score an early opportunistic goal on quick counterattacks. Santa Clara outshot the Bears by an 8-6 margin during the first 45 minutes as both teams maintained a frantic pace throughout the half.
Despite several excellent opportunities, Santa Clara was unable to take find the back of the net in the first half. One of the best chances for a Bronco score came in the 44th minute when Peter Lowry sent a free kick over the crossbar in a nearly identical placement as his game-winner Friday against Ohio State. Carr, the Pac-10 Conference Player of the Year, had two dangerous chances in the first half. In the second minute of the match, he went one-on-one with SCU keeper Kevin Sweeney and launched a shot that hit the upper right corner of the crossbar. In the 44th minute, he again found woodwork after getting past the onrushing Sweeney near the right endline. Carr send a low shot across the front of the goal and wide left for a Bronco goalkick.
Ustruck received the match's first yellow card caution with just six seconds left in the first half when he attempted an aggressive shot after Kronberg was deemed to have already gained possession at the top of the penalty box.