SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Santa Clara University men's soccer team continued its successful 2012 spring season by defeating Sunderland's U18 – the academy squad for the Premier League's Sunderland A.F.C. – by a score of 3-2 Monday night at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Broncos then played even with local rival Stanford on the road Wednesday night, drawing 0-0.
"We played a couple a matches this week and learned a bit from each of them," said Santa Clara head coach and four-time WCC Coach of the Year Cameron Rast. "The Sunderland game was a great experience. (Sunderland) stayed organized in front of us and had good team shape. We stressed quality in moving the ball and a high speed of play. (Our) guys stayed true to the process after going down a goal in each half which allowed us to see how they would react."
Rast was pleased with his side's resiliency, eventually breaking down the touring academy squad in the second half. The game Wednesday against Stanford was a contrast in style. Under a new head coach, the Cardinal pressured and tried to counter in transition.
The scheduling of two-games in three days was meant to simulate a West Coast Conference weekend for SCU, who plays every Friday and Sunday during the fall season.
"To this point the spring has been productive," said Rast, who is leading a group, which graduated seven seniors from its 2011 roster. "The guys have improved physically and are learning about the importance of quality in possessing the ball. We have about a week left and still another match should we find a suitable opponent. It would be great to let the guys run one more time together before they go off for summer preparations. We very much look forward to next year."
The Broncos are now 3-0-2 this spring, which includes previous victories over San Jose State and UC Davis. Unfortunately, this spring's scheduled match against the San Jose Earthquake reserves has been canceled.