Santa Clara Keeps Rolling, Drops St. Mary’s 2-1

Santa Clara Keeps Rolling, Drops St. Mary’s 2-1
Cal McKee in center, is congratulated by his teammates after scoring what would turn out to be the game-winner against SMC. (Don Jedlovec Photo)

SANTA CLARA, Calif.  – Santa Clara University's men's soccer team remains unbeaten in West Coast Conference play after a 2-1 road victory at St. Mary's Sunday.

The Broncos (5-4-3; 2-0-2 WCC) moved into sole possession of second place in the WCC standings, setting up a first-place showdown with league-leading LMU Friday night at Buck Shaw Stadium.

Eric Masch and Cal McKee came off the bench to score for Santa Clara on Sunday, demonstrating the depth of the Broncos 2010 team. Masch – an all-league forward – used a pass from Keigo Kameya to connect from 12 yards out in the 57th minute to put SCU up 1-0.

"We endured a first half where (SMC) was creating the majority of the chances," said Santa Clara head coach Cameron Rast. 'We had to really rely on our system, and what we worked on throughout our week of practice as the game moved on. Our guys did a great job of that today, especially after Friday night, a really long and emotional game that didn't go our way."

The Gaels (6-4-1, 2-2-0 WCC) – who entered the match 3-1-1 on their home field in Moraga  - answered with a penalty kick goal in minute 63. The goal by Dylan Leslie, his first of the year, evened the score at 1-1.

In the 70th minute, Santa Clara had a throw in from the sideline, which was touched by Mykell Bates and directed toward McKee, who netted a shot from eight yards out. It would prove to be the game-winner, thanks to the solid play of Santa Clara's defense and the six saves provided by keeper Kevin Klasila.

The Broncos are 3-0-3 since September 19th. The first half of the Broncos' WCC schedule wraps up with key home games against LMU and San Diego next weekend.

"Definitely a big weekend coming up for us," added Rast. "This is a young group. It took us a while to get where we needed to be, but we are really starting to hit our stride."