SANTA CLARA, Calif. - In the opening game of a soccer doubleheader at Buck Shaw Stadium Friday night, the Santa Clara University men's soccer team will host the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) at 5 p.m. It marks the Broncos' final non-conference match of their 2012 campaign.
Approximately 30 minutes following the conclusion of the men's game with NJIT, the SCU women's soccer team will play host to Cal State Northridge.
The Santa Clara (2-4-0) men are coming off an impressive 2-1 road victory over local rival Stanford, which put the Broncos back on track after a pair of disappointing home losses two weeks ago. After a hard-fought one-goal setback to then-No. 3 Creighton on Sept. 7, SCU was upset by San Jose State by a score of 5-3 on Sept. 9.
"This game was important to us in a lot of ways," said Santa Clara head coach Cameron Rast following the bounce-back win in Palo Alto Sunday night. "The timing was especially important. We put in a hard week of work and there were guys that really busted their tails this week and reset themselves. Because of that, it became important for us to get a result. They invested a lot, because they invested a lot they wanted to see a result that was positive for us."
Led by two-time All-West Coast Conference forward, senior Erik Hurtado (pictured), and six other returning final-year players, the Broncos are aiming for the program's second WCC title in three years. Despite owning the league's best overall record in 2011 SCU came up just shy of repeating as WCC Champs a year ago.
Rast made it clear back in June that he expected the team's tough non-conference schedule to prepare his group for league play and a possible run at playoffs as the season developed. Thus far, Santa Clara has matched up with Cal, Duke, No. 17 N.C. State, No. 7 Creighton, San Jose State and Stanford.
NJIT (5-4-0) – ranked No. 9 in the NSCAA's North Atlantic Region Top 10 – is yet another quality opponent. The Highlanders, who play as a Division I Independent, opened the year with a pair of shutout victories over Virginia Military Institute (3-0) on Aug. 24 and at Saint Joseph's (2-0) on Aug. 27. NJIT is making the trip out West to face Santa Clara on Friday, then San Jose State Sunday.
There will be FREE live video and up to the minute live stats provided for every Santa Clara home game this season on SantaClaraBroncos.com - including this weekend's game against NJIT. Fans can also keep up with all scoring updates via SCU's official athletics Twitter feed @SCUBroncos.
A valid men's or women's ticket is good for both games of Friday night's doubleheader. Single game tickets are priced at $8 per adult and $5 for youth and seniors. Season tickets for all home games start at $50 for adults and $35 for youth and seniors. The SCU athletic department is also offering a season ticket 'Family Plan,' which includes five tickets to every home game for just $100. Fans can purchase tickets online (www.SantaClaraBroncos.com/buytickets), over the phone at 408-554-4660 or by visiting the SCU Ticket Office, located at The Leavey Center, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara campus, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Santa Clara players will be signing autographs near the main entrance to Buck Shaw Stadium following the game Friday night.
NJIT, who began playing a Division I schedule in 2004, has never matched up with Santa Clara.
SCU HEAD COACH CAMERON RAST
* 116-62-38 career record
* 59-19-22 at Buck Shaw Stadium
* No. 2 all-time in WCC wins (60)
* Four-time WCC Coach of the Year
* Santa Clara Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee - 2006
* NCAA National Champion at SCU - 1989
* US Olympic Team Captain - 1992
* NCAA All-America Player – 1989 & 1990
LAST TIME OUT
Freshman Ryan Masch scored twice in the first half and senior goalkeeper Larry Jackson made eight saves, helping Santa Clara come up with some critical defensive stops late in the second half to hold off Stanford 2-1 at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium last Sunday night. Masch – a local product of San Jose's Bellarmine Prep – put the Broncos up immediately by blasting in a shot from the top of the box in the fourth minute. Masch added to the lead prior to the halftime intermission when he took a great feed from teammate Harrison Hanley and chipped it up and over the head of Stanford's keeper, making it 2-0. The victory was important for Santa Clara (2-4-0), a team that had not won since August 31. Stanford (3-3-0) had won two straight.
RYAN MASCH NAMED WCC'S PLAYER OF THE WEEK
The West Coast Conference named Santa Clara University freshman forward Ryan Masch (San Jose, Calif./Bellarmine Prep) its men's soccer Player of the Week for September 17, 2012. Masch scored both of the Broncos' goals in a 2-1 win at Stanford on Sunday. Both of Masch's goals at Stanford, the Broncos' lone match of the week, came in the first half. The first came in the fourth minute from the top of the box. He now has three goals this season. Masch is the younger brother of former SCU All-WCC player and student Eric Masch '12.
"I'm really excited. I wouldn't say I scored a ton of goals in club," said Ryan Masch on Sunday, who is part of SCU's nationally-ranked recruiting class of 2012. "We have been creating a lot of chances, getting in and behind and I really love sitting on top of the box and letting balls come to me. So I have to say a lot has to do with these (teammates) I am playing with."
IN THE RANKINGS
Santa Clara began the year appearing in the TopDrawerSoccer.com Top 48 Tournament Rankings in each of the first three weeks. The Broncos have yet to appear in the NSCAA Far West Region Top 10 or NSCAA Top 25 (NJIT is ranked No. 9 in the North Atlantic Region).
WCC STANDINGS (Sept. 19, 2012)
St. Mary's 3-1-2 (11)
USF 2-1-2 (8)
Portland 2-2-1 (7)
Gonzaga 2-3-0 (6)
San Diego 2-3-0 (6)
Santa Clara 2-4-0 (6)
LMU 1-4-1 (4)
WCC Men's Soccer
The West Coast Conference schedule begins next weekend (Sept. 28 and Sept. 30) with Santa Clara opening its league slate by hosting preseason WCC favorite San Diego. In fact, USD and SCU were picked one and two in the 2012 WCC Preseason Poll. The Broncos will host San Diego Friday, Sept. 28 and LMU Sunday, Sept. 30.
FRI, Sept. 28 - San Diego @ Santa Clara
SUN, Sept. 30 - LMU @ Santa Clara
WED, Oct. 3 - Santa Clara @ St. Mary's
MASCH, JACKSON & HURTADO EARN ALL-TOURNAMENT HONORS
2012 John Rennie/Nike Invitational All-Tournament Team (Durham, N.C.)
NC State: Alex Martinez (MVP), Jon Ray, Gbenga Makinde, Fabian Otte
Santa Clara: Erik Hurtado, Larry Jackson, Ryan Masch
Duke: Sebastien Ibeagha, James Belshaw
Delaware: Mark Garrity, Ben Sampson
Three members of Santa Clara's No. 7-ranked recruiting class – all former U17 US National Team members - Ryan Masch, Max Ornstil and Jared Hegardt are already playing extended minutes for the Broncos. Masch netted the game-winning goal at Duke on Aug. 31 and scored twice against Stanford Sept. 16. Hegardt has been projected as the WCC Freshman of the Year. Additionally, SCU added freshman defender Matt Escobar to its roster in early Sept. and he started against SJSU and Stanford. Escobar - a local product of nearby Bellarmine High School - had originally signed to play at the University of Portland.
FOLLOW SCU MEN'S SOCCER ON TWITTER @SCUBroncoSoccer
The Santa Clara men's soccer program offers a direct link to its fans and supporters via Twitter. Check out @SCUBroncoSoccer to access the very latest.
Santa Clara returns eight final-year players: Erik Hurtado, Larry Jackson, Wes Culver, Murphy Campbell, Danny Maeda, Gabriel Romero, Takahide Kameya and Alex Fitschen. The first four players listed have each earned All-WCC honors during their SCU careers thus far.
SCU STOPS IN VERO BEACH FOR EARY-SEASON TRAINING
Santa Clara traveled to Florida's central coast Saturday, Aug. 25 through Wednesday, Aug. 29, spending the majority of the week training at the historic Vero Beach Sports Village prior to the Broncos two games at Duke's John Rennie/Nike Invitational Tournament in Durham, N.C. "Anytime you can get on to a dedicated training facility that's dedicated to performance it's great," said Rast during the team's stay in Vero Beach. "All the guys are in little apartments, close to the field, which has a really nice, brand new Bermuda surface. As much as we love (Stanton Field), it's great to practice on grass. We are being treated like a professional program and that is exactly the way we want our guys to feel."
CHECK OUT THE 2012 MEN'S SOCCER VIRTUAL GUIDE
Featuring an updated and fresh design with new videos and game-day action photos and snapshots of behind-the-scenes Bronco fun, Santa Clara Athletics released a new 2012 Men's Soccer Virtual Guide. The virtual guides, exclusive to SantaClaraBroncos.com take place of the traditional paper media guides and feature a number of new pages on the Mission campus and Santa Clara Athletics.
HURTADO PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN/ALL-WCC
The reigning West Coast Conference points-leader, Santa Clara Bronco senior forward Erik Hurtado, was named a 2012 Preseason All-American by College Sports Madness and was honored as a preseason All-WCC player. Hurtado has enjoyed a terrific collegiate career thus far, having drawn praise from the NSCAA as a 2011 All Far-West Region selection. He led the WCC in 2011 with 19 points and 85 shots as a junior. Hurtado has twice been named an All-WCC First Team player, along with earning WCC Player of the Month honors and three times being selected as the WCC Player of the Week. He was tabbed as the National Player of the Week by College Soccer News during his sophomore season in which he helped SCU win the WCC Championship.
"When we put a schedule together it is important to make it demanding of great soccer from our team," said Cameron Rast, who has guided SCU to four WCC titles in his 10 years as head coach. "We have to push our group for them to reach their potential. To do this we look to play the top teams in the country. This year I think we have done just that." Scheduling top 20 teams is nothing new for Rast and the Broncos. SCU went 6-1-3 to begin the 2011 season, beating Stanford and 14th-ranked Cal, while drawing with No. 6 UCLA. The Broncos owned the WCC's best overall record (11-5-4) and upped their all-time mark at home to 59-16-20 since Rast was elevated to head coach in 2002.
MLS STAR RETURNS TO BUCK SHAW
Mehdi Ballouchy, former SCU All-American and No. 2 overall pick in the 2006 MLS SuperDraft, was recently acquired by the San Jose Earthquakes. The Earthquakes play their home games at Santa Clara University's Buck Shaw Stadium.
"I feel very comfortable here," Ballouchy upon his return to San Jose. "I actually came back during the offseason and worked out with the (SCU) team. Just being around Leavey, Santa Clara, and the coaches was fun, because I remember I was in their shoes not so long ago."
Ballouchy was a First Team NCAA All-American while playing at Santa Clara in 2004 and 2005. He helped the Broncos advance into the NCAA tournament in both years, achieving a national ranking as high as No. 4 by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). He was named the 2005 West Coast Conference Player of the Year and was taken No. 2 overall in the 2006 MLS SuperDraft by Real Salt Lake. He became the highest overall pick ever from Santa Clara and the sixth Bronco to be selected in the first round.
BRONCO TEAMMATES TAKEN IN 2012 MLS DRAFT
Santa Clara University teammates Mykell Bates and Brandon Zimmerman were taken in the Major League Soccer 2012 Supplemental Draft. Toronto FC selected Bates with the fourth pick of the second round (No. 61 overall). Zimmerman went to the Philadelphia Union with the 13th pick of round four (No. 108 overall).
2011 SEASON HIGHLIGHTS
* Santa Clara enjoys 23rd winning season in past 25 years
* Broncos post WCC's best regular season overall record (11-5-4)
* Team ranked No. 18 by College Soccer News (Oct. 4), also ranked nationally by NSCAA and TopDrawerSoccer.com
* 2011 NCAA Men's Division I NSCAA All-Far West Team: Erik Hurtado (Second Team), Mykell Bates (Third Team)
* Eight Broncos garner All-WCC honors; First Team: Mykell Bates, Brandon Zimmerman, Erik Hurtado. Freshman Team: Glenn Vass. Honorable Mention: Eric Masch, Connor Mitchell, Larry Jackson and Wesley Culver
* Seniors Eric Masch and Kevin Klasila named WCC All-Academic
* Broncos shutout nine opponents, allow league-low 18 goals
* SCU goes 7-2-3 at home
* Santa Clara wins five consecutive matches to close out the season
* Brandon Zimmerman named to TopDrawerSoccer.com's National Team of the Week (Oct. 2)
* Mykell Bates finishes the year No. 22-ranked pro prospect among seniors by TopDrawerSoccer.com
* Three Broncos named WCC Player of the Week: Kevin Klasila (Aug. 29); Erik Hurtado (Sept. 12 & 19); Eric Masch (Nov. 7)
* Erik Hurtado named WCC Player of the Month (September) – leads league in shots (85) and points (19)
* Cameron Rast moves into second all-time in WCC coaching wins (60-29-19)
* Santa Clara defeats Stanford (Aug. 27), ties then-No. 6 UCLA (Sept. 2) and tops then-No. 14 Cal (Sept. 16) – win in Berkeley is SCU's first since 1980
SANTA CLARA MEN'S SOCCER BY THE NUMBERS
* 54 Broncos advanced to play professional soccer
* 57 All-WCC First Team honorees
* 31 WCC Honor Roll selections
* 28 Played on the USA Youth National team
* 23 Winning seasons in 25 years
* 19 NCAA Tournament appearances
* 17 All-Americans
* 13 WCC Players of the Year
* 13 Teams ranked in the top 5 nationally
* 11 WCC Titles
* 8 15-plus win seasons
* 7 WCC 'Coach of the Year' Awards
* 7 Played on the USA Senior National team
* 6 Academic All-Americans
* 5 College Cup Final Fours
* 5 Far West Region Coaches of the Year
* 4 Teams ranked No. 1 nationally
* 3 WCC Freshmen of the Year
* 2 Players currently playing in the MLS
* 1 USA Olympian
* 1 National Championship
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