Oct. 4, 2009
Final Stats | Action Photos
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Brandon Zimmerman's penalty kick goal with 45 seconds remaining gave Santa Clara University a 1-0 victory over Gonzaga University Sunday.
Shutout in their last two outings, Santa Clara Head Coach Cameron Rast told his team before the match its players needed to learn how to finish games.
Santa Clara (3-5-2; 1-1-0 WCC) eventually broke down Gonzaga's defense, firing-off a season-high 17 shots en route to its first win in six tries. The Broncos had played five ranked teams in its previous nine matches before Sunday's win over the Zags.
Inside the final minute Zimmerman dribbled into the box, positioning himself for one of his game-high five shots before being taken down from behind by GU's Nick Love. Zimmerman drilled the penalty kick, converting the point-blank, game-winner and spoiling a terrific performance by Zags' goalie Scott Barnum.
"We keep believing in what we're doing," said Rast, about his Broncos' team who was coming off a one-goal loss to No. 21 Portland Friday. "Our level of play has been continually getting better. But we needed to get a result."
Gonzaga (3-4-2; 0-2-0 WCC) - picked third in the WCC preseason poll - received an outstanding individual effort from Barnum, who had seven saves - six in the first half.
As they had done Friday, Santa Clara created a number of early scoring chances, forcing Barnum to save three shots in the opening 15 minutes.
Barnum made a fantastic save to deny Erik Hurtado on a breakaway opportunity created by a perfectly weighted pass from the midfield. Despite nine shots and six corners in the first half, the Broncos' scoreless streak reached 350-plus minutes before Zimmerman's late heroics.
The Zags nearly scored a late goal of its own. With 10 minutes left Stefan Eysteinsson and Nick Barclay's give-and-go try resulted in a Santa Clara foul and a Barclay free kick from 20 yards out. The shot sailed over the SCU line of defense and would have found the top-left corner of the net if not for a leaping save by Santa Clara's Larry Jackson.
Santa Clara remains in contention for its 11th WCC men's soccer title. Next up is a road match at the University of San Francisco Friday, October 9 at 7 p.m.