Oct. 20, 2006
Santa Clara, Calif. - Once again a freshman stepped into the spotlight to lead the Santa Clara Broncos men's soccer team to a big win. Five days after freshman Jeff Cosgriff scored in overtime to beat Saint Mary's, freshman Amaechi Igwe scored the game-winner to lead Santa Clara to a key 1-0 victory over the University of San Francisco Dons at Buck Shaw Stadium. With the win, the Broncos are now five points up in the race for the West Coast Conference crown with just four games to play. SCU also stretched its unbeaten streak to six games with the win (4-0-2). Overall, the Broncos are now 9-3-4 and 5-1-2 in the WCC.
With first place on the line in the conference, both teams came out looking to score early and the Dons nearly broke through off the foot of Neil Stuart. The Dons forward broke into the box all alone on the right and fired a shot to far post. However, as he has done all season, Broncos goalkeeper Joseph Buttitta came up big with a diving save. The rebound fell to Aaron Chandler, who shot over the net to keep the game scoreless.
SCU's best chance of the first half came from senior Keith DeVey. Igwe started the play with a corner kick to the back post, where Stephen McCarthy beat his defender to head the ball back across the goalmouth. DeVey then headed a ball to the corner, but the Dons defense recovered to block the shot and keep the Broncos off the board.
After a slow start to the second half, the Broncos began to assert themselves with Igwe leading the charge. In the 67th minute, a great combination play led to a chance for Igwe. Cosgriff found Peter Lowry at midfield and Lowry sent Sean Danzeiser through with a deft touch. Danzeiser put the ball out wide to DeVey and he drove a low cross into the six-yard box for Igwe, who got a touch on the ball, but Dons goalkeeper Geremy Uhl made a great reaction save to prevent the goal. Minutes later, Igwe fired high from a tough angle after a give-and-go with Lowry.
However, the freshman from Belmont would break through in the 73rd minute. Igwe and Danzeiser played a give-and-go to set Igwe up at the top of the box. He spun and froze his defender before unleashing a low shot to the corner past a stunned Uhl to give SCU a 1-0 lead. The goal was Igwe's third of the year.
Buttitta preserved his shutout and the lead two minutes later by diving to his left to save a Matt Languis free kick. Despite some pressure by the Dons at the end of the match, the Broncos remained solid at the back to earn the three points and their sixth shutout of the year.
Santa Clara travels to Southern California for the third time this year to face two conference rivals next weekend. On Friday, Oct. 27, the Broncos will look for the sweep of San Diego at 7:00 p.m. PT at Torero Stadium. SCU won the first meeting 2-1 on Oct. 1 to start its current six-game unbeaten streak. Then on Sunday, Oct. 29, Santa Clara takes on Loyola Marymount at 2:00 p.m. PT. The Lions defeated Santa Clara 2-1 on Sept. 29 at Buck Shaw Stadium.