Santa Clara Stuns USF with 3-2 Comeback Victory at Negoesco Stadium
Charles Wollin's Post-Game Interview with Glenn Vass
Charles Wollin's Post-Game Interview with Head Coach Cam Rast
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – With their backs firmly against the wall, the Santa Clara University men's soccer team came back from a two-goal deficit to beat league rival USF 3-2 Wednesday night at Negoesco Stadium to remain in the race for the 2011 West Coast Conference title.
Trailing 2-0 with less than 20 minutes left, Santa Clara (8-5-4; 4-4-1 WCC) rallied for three late scores, capped by back-to-back goals from Glenn Vass and Mykell Bates, just 24 seconds apart in the final moments.
As he did during Sunday's win over San Diego, Eric Masch sparked the Santa Clara offense, scoring off a set piece in the 76th minute, which set up the dramatic finish in a game that both teams desperately needed to win to have a legitimate shot at making the NCAA's.
"After taking two goals in the first half, we had to reorganize ourselves," said Santa Clara head coach Cameron Rast about the comeback. "As the game went on we gained a lot of momentum, especially on the attacking end. All of the sudden at 70 minutes, when Masch scored, we started to feel it. The biggest question with any game, is when you start attacking, can you break through? Erik Hurtado started to put some (USF) players on their heels, we generated corners and executed. That's something you need to do on this turf field, is score off set pieces."
Vass's equalizer came via a cross from Bates, then Bates himself would get airborne to net the game-winner off a short-corner kick from teammate Wesley Culver. Bates had moved up from his defensive position after USF established a two-goal edge.
San Francisco (6-8-2; 4-4-1 WCC) used free kick goals from Danny Kirkland to go into the locker room with a commanding 2-0 lead. However, the Dons were out-shot 22-6 on the night. USF had beaten SCU 2-0 back on Oct. 5 at Buck Shaw Stadium.
"This was pretty nuts to be a part of," added Rast. "This kept us in the race, but it's only one game, we have to win the next three. Sunday (Senior Day against St. Mary's) should be a battle."
The Broncos are focused on winning their last three to have a shot at the program's fourth WCC title in six years. However, the victory over USF moved Santa Clara to within one victory of its 22nd winning season in 24 years. With additional playoff implications at stake, Sunday's 'Senior Day' match against league-leading St. Mary's takes on added importance. Game time is set for 2 p.m at Buck Shaw Stadium.