SPOKANE, Wash. – Santa Clara University
rallied from a goal down to comeback and defeat homestanding
Gonzaga University 3-1 Friday afternoon in Spokane. It was Santa
Clara's 2010 West Coast Conference opener.
Santa Clara (4-4-1; 1-0 WCC) received second-half goals from Eric Masch and Mykell Bates, which proved to be the difference, allowing SCU to win on the road for the third time this year.
It appeared it was not going to be the Broncos' day when a penalty kick was missed by Brandon Zimmerman in the opening moments. Not long after, Gonzaga (3-6-0; 0-2-0 WCC) went ahead 1-0 on an early goal from Colin Flynn.
"We weren't panicking at halftime but you could tell the belief was not fully there at halftime, (our players) weren't sure," said Santa Clara head coach Cameron Rast. "But we kept grinding and stayed focused, and midway through the second half we were putting all kinds of pressure on them."
Erik Hurtado set-up Masch with a cross in the 70th minute, which tied it at 1-1. Bates – who put three shots on goal – knocked in the go-ahead score with 10 minutes left. With the Broncos leading 2-1 in the closing moments, Hurtado sealed the victory with an unassisted effort in the 88th minute. He was credited with three points on the day.
"It was good second half for us," said Rast. "Once we got even, that took tons of pressure off us and things got much easier. Then the guys took the next step and finished it off. The guys did a great job of keeping their focus today."
Santa Clara - who has played just two home games this year - is opening its league schedule in the Northwest this weekend. SCU moves on to play No. 25 University of Portland Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
After the current road trip, the Broncos will play six of its final 10 games on their home field at Buck Shaw Stadium.