SANTA CLARA, Calif. – In its final spring game of the year, Santa Clara men's soccer played to a 2-2 tie vs. Stanford on May 24. As is the case in spring, Santa Clara had moments of solid play and moments where things didn't go according to plan.
"In some respects I was very pleased with the game vs. Stanford," said Santa Clara head coach Cam Rast. "We scored two very good goals in the run of play. Our ability to sustain a level of performance was good for the most part. There were a couple of moments in the game that didn't go well where we made a series of mistakes. In the end, we played to win the game, which is the right thing to do. Unfortunately we didn't win but it was a reminder that we are an unfinished product. We relied on a lot of juniors and a lot of freshman throughout the spring. Because of that it was a good chance for us to understand how to play together."
As for the spring season as a whole, Rast was pleased with what his team accomplished, but knows there is much more to be done.
"Spring season was interesting for us this year," said Rast. "We didn't have the depth in terms of the number of players that were able to be out at training. That allows us to really spend some time individually with players in spots they might play. It also limits us in that we are unable to do different exercises. The guys see each other every day so by the time we get to the end of spring things gets a bit repetitive. I thought the guys did a good job and as a group we stayed true to wanting to play."
Rast and his coaches had six areas they wanted to focus on during the spring: to build from the back, establish possession in the back of the field, create clear chances, make sure communication was good, make sure tactical awareness and adjustments were good and the teams' mentality.
"When you train through the spring what you're trying to gain is some consistency in the areas you are trying to address," said Rast. "In the six areas that we talked about I think we did gain more consistency. The level of performance was higher at the end. Our ability to work on the areas we highlighted became evident. We aren't where we want to be yet, but that becomes the challenge for us. When we get back we want to be ready to go so we can put the new group together and spend some quality time improving."
No team is complete out of the spring. The Broncos made strides to becoming the team they want to be and found other areas where they need to improve.
"The results were fair but it also showed us a great opportunity to grow," continued Rast. "That's what you want from the spring. You want to challenge yourself and to not have everything go perfectly, but to find what you can focus on in the summer and improve upon in the fall."