SANTA CLARA, Calif. – In Bay Area Classic college soccer action Friday night, visiting California defeated Santa Clara 2-1 under the lights of Buck Shaw Stadium. It was the season opener for both schools. Leading 1-0 in the second half, Cal tacked on what proved to be the decisive goal when San Jose native Tony Salciccia converted a penalty kick in the 76th minute.
Santa Clara answered moments later when Glenn Vass found the bottom right corner of the net, which tightened things up until the final horn. SCU benefited from a pair of terrific saves from senior goalkeeper Larry Jackson, and its offense had a number of chances to equalize in the closing moments, but the Broncos simply ran out of time.
"I think we saw what college soccer is all about," said Santa Clara head coach Cameron Rast. "I do think that neither team necessarily played their best and are a little better than what they showed, but this game was physical, had a high pace to it, and was a battle."
Cal - who avenges a 4-2 loss to Santa Clara last season in Berkeley - was able to execute a set piece in the opening half, just 17 minutes into the match, when Seth Casiple's corner kick was knocked in by Alec Sundly, following a redirect from Kyle Lunt.
"We got caught on a couple set pieces and that's a tough one to swallow," said Rast. "In terms of battling back and getting our goal and having a chance or two to score another, that's what you want. However, we are going to need to get better and we're going to have to get better on the road, which is tough to do."
The Broncos will now travel down to Florida's central coast to train at the historic Vero Beach Sports Village prior to playing in Duke's John Rennie/Nike Invitational Tournament Friday, Aug. 31 against Duke and Sunday, Sept. 2 versus North Carolina State.