SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Winners of four-straight and in the midst of playing four games in 10 days, the Santa Clara University men's soccer team faces a test of endurance this week as they prepare for rivalry games against St. Mary's College and the University of San Francisco.
The Broncos – off to a 2-0-0 start to West Coast Conference play – will battle St. Mary's at 4 p.m. Wednesday in Moraga, then return home to host long-time rival San Francisco at 7 p.m. Sunday night at Buck Shaw Stadium.
"Coming into conference, we knew the best way to win games is grinding it out like we did today," said SCU junior defender and team co-captain Mark Daus following Sunday's 1-0 victory over LMU. "Locking it down in the back, and great goalkeeping by Larry (Jackson). Then we had Max (Ornstil) and Murphy (Campbell) winning all the balls, and the second balls, in the midfield for us."
The hard-fought victory over LMU was the third consecutive shutout win for Santa Clara (5-4-0; 2-0-0 WCC) and senior goalkeeper Larry Jackson. He was honored by CollegeSportsMadness.com as the online publication's West Coast Player of the Week on Monday.
Jackson's senior classmate Erik Hurtado also received regional and national attention for his performance over the weekend. The preseason All-America senior forward from Beaverton, Ore. netted his third consecutive game-winning goal Sunday and was named the WCC Player of the Week for the fourth time in his career. Hurtado was also picked for the National Team of the Week by CollegeSoccerNews. Hurtado is tied for 12th in the nation with .78 goals per game.
"Anytime you get Erik (Hurtado) one-on-one with cover we are always going to be excited, whether something comes of it or not," SCU head coach Cameron Rast said following Friday night's 2-0 win over USD. "There are very few guys in the country that can do what he does in a one-v-one situation and I think that is why he is special."
St. Mary's (4-2-3; 0-1-1 WCC) is attempting to build on its record-setting season in 2011. The Gaels captured their first-ever league championship (edging-out Santa Clara by one point in the standings) and went on to advance to the NCAA College Cup Quarterfinals versus North Carolina. SMC finished the year ranked No. 14 in the final 2011 NSCAA Top 25 Poll.
"So far this season we have taken it one game at a time," Hurtado said Tuesday about preparing for SMC and USF this week. "We are focused on St. Mary's right now. Today during training we adjusted to how they play. Defensively for us, they tend to kick long balls direct into the box so we worked on our headers and winning the second ball so we can play after that."
USF (3-3-2; 1-1-0 WCC) split its pair of recent games in the Northwest, losing to Portland 1-0, before winning at Gonzaga 2-1. The Dons should prove to be an interesting match up for Santa Clara as they have defeated San Jose State 2-0 and tied Cal 0-0, two teams that knocked off the Broncos earlier this season. USF will be playing its home opener against Saint Mary's Friday prior to Sunday night's match at Buck Shaw.
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 Sunday night's game with USF. Fans can also keep up with all scoring updates Sunday via SCU's official athletics Twitter feed @SCUBroncos. On Wednesday at St. Mary's, the Gaels will be offering live stats on SMCGaels.com. The match will also be streamed live on SMCGaels.com, via subscription service on Gaels Live.
Fans interested in ticket information for Wednesday's game at SMC should visit SMCGaels.com. Single game tickets for all Santa Clara home games are priced at $8 per adult and $5 for youth and seniors. 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 Sunday night. Additionally, Sunday's match with USF is Youth Jersey Night. Kids 12 and under, wearing a soccer jersey, will be admitted FREE with a paid adult.
Santa Clara is 38-5-5 all-time against St. Mary's, however the two local teams have split the past eight meetings 3-3-2. Most recently, the Broncos posted a 2-1 'Senior Day' victory over the Gaels last season at Buck Shaw Stadium. SCU is 16-4-2 all-time in Moraga. No opponent has faced SCU more often than USF. The rivalry dates back to Santa Clara's first year of soccer (1967) and the all-time series stands at 31-22-9 in favor of the Dons. Most of those wins came early in the series. Since the team's joined the WCC in 1988, Santa Clara has gone 20-9-4 against USF, including winning two of the last three.
SCU HEAD COACH CAMERON RAST
* 119-62-38 career record
* 62-19-22 at Buck Shaw Stadium
* No. 2 all-time in WCC wins (62)
* 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
Santa Clara extended its win streak to four, capping off the opening weekend of West Coast Conference play with a 1-0 victory over visiting Loyola Marymount. It marked the third consecutive shutout win for the Broncos, who blanked San Diego Friday night. Santa Clara (5-4-0; 2-0-0 WCC) – a program that has won 11 WCC titles – is off to an ideal start within league play following a grueling non-conference slate that resulted in a 1-4-0 start to the season back in early September. Making the most of a through-ball from teammate Glenn Vass, Erik Hurtado's breakaway game-winner in the second half Sunday was his seventh of the year, his fourth goal in the last three games and third-straight game-winner. LMU (2-6-2; 0-1-1 WCC) was coming off a double-overtime draw with St. Mary's on Friday.
"Very proud of the guys for really turning a season around," said Santa Clara head coach and former U.S. Olympian Cameron Rast Sunday. "We started off with a record that was nothing to brag about, but now we're looking at ourselves and feeling like, hey we might have something here."
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. St. Mary's appears at No. 44 in the Top 48 Tournament Rankings and comes in at No. 7 as the only WCC team ranked in the NSCAA Far West Region.
WCC STANDINGS (Oct. 2, 2012)
Santa Clara 2-0-0 (6)/5-4-0
Portland 2-0-0 (6)/4-4-1
USF 1-1-0 (3)/3-3-2
San Diego 1-1-0 (3)/3-6-0
St. Mary's 0-1-1 (1)/4-2-3
LMU 0-1-1 (1)/2-6-2
Gonzaga 0-2-0 (0)/4-5-0
WCC League-Leaders PDF
HURTADO FEATURED BY THE SANTA CLARA NEWSPAPER - MAKES HISTORY
When senior forward Erik Hurtado steps on the soccer field, his goal is quite simple. "I just go out and try to score as many goals and get as many assists as I can," said Hurtado, a preseason All-American. read more ...
ERIK HURTADO EARNS WCC & NATIONAL HONORS (Oct. 1)
Santa Clara preseason All-American Erik Hurtado was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week for the fourth time in his career. Hurtado scored two goals as the Broncos opened up WCC play with a 2-0 win over San Diego and a 1-0 victory over Loyola Marymount the weekend of Sept. 28-30. The senior forward was picked for the National Team of the Week by CollegeSoccerNews on Oct. 1 as well. Hurtado was terrific for Santa Clara during the team's four-game win streak in late Sept., netting the game-winning goals in each of the last three contests of the month.
LARRY JACKSON GARNERS NATIONAL PRAISE (Oct. 1)
Santa Clara goalkeeper Larry Jackson helped the Broncos post three consecutive shutout victories in late Sept., and four-straight wins overall. On Oct. 1, CollegeSportsMadness.com named Jackson its West Coast Player of the Week. Jackson had eight saves in the first two WCC games of the 2012 campaign, keeping preseason league-favorite San Diego and LMU off the scoreboard en route to a pair of SCU wins. The senior from nearby East Palo Alto earned a 5-1-1 record in seven starts last season and was tabbed as an All-WCC Honorable Mention pick. This season Jackson is 5-3-0 and his three shutouts bring his career total to 10 in 29 starts.
RYAN MASCH NAMED WCC'S PLAYER OF THE WEEK (Sept. 17)
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.
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 ever since. 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 has eight returning final-year players: Erik Hurtado, Larry Jackson, Wes Culver, Murphy Campbell, Danny Maeda, Gabriel Romero, 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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