PORTLAND, Ore. - Freshman Rodrigo Da Silva, a prep star from Walnut Creek, scored his first career goal for Santa Clara, a second-half equalizer as the Broncos and Pilots played to a 1-1 draw in front of 1,543 fans Sunday afternoon.
Santa Clara (4-9-4; 2-5-2 WCC) goes 1-0-1 on its two-game Northwest road trip. Sophomore Eric Masch netted an overtime winner for SCU Friday night versus Gonzaga. The young Broncos - who have faced eight teams ranked by the NSCAA - are playing some of its best soccer of the season heading into Friday night's nationally televised match with USF.
"We were put under a lot of pressure in the first half," said Santa Clara head coach and former U.S. Olympic Team captain Cameron Rast. "The second half was a different story. By the time we scored we were really controlling the game. There was an offside call that wiped-away a goal for us in the second half. We very easily could have got this one today."
Portland (8-4-3; 3-3-2 WCC) entered the week ranked seventh in the NSCAA West Region's top-10. The Pilots fired-off 24 shots and had taken the lead when Michael Nielson scored at the 35-minute mark.
Freshman Larry Jackson was solid in goal for the Broncos, saving seven while successfully dealing with 14 Pilot corner kicks.
"The game really got wide open and Larry (Jackson) did such a good job," said Rast. "Portland did a really nice job late in the game, stepping up and responding to the momentum we had going."
Erik Hurtado, who paced SCU's offense with three shots, was credited with the assist on Da Silva's tying goal midway through the second half.
"It was a beautiful day here in Portland," added Rast. "Clear, 60 degrees and they have some great fans, all in good taste."
Santa Clara will play long-time rival USF Friday, November 6 at 8 p.m. The match will be televised live on the Fox Soccer Channel.