Aug. 31, 2000
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -
The No. 2-ranked Santa Clara men's soccer teams opens its 2000 season on the road Friday in a 5 p.m. contest at Sacramento State's Hornet Soccer Field. The match will be the first of the season for both teams.
Santa Clara, which is ranked second nationally in the NCSAA/adidas preseason poll, owns a 20-0-1 record all-time against the Hornets, including a 1-0 victory last season at SCU's Buck Shaw Stadium. The Broncos are 7-0 all-time against CSU Sacramento at Hornet Soccer Field In two of the last three contests between the two teams, there has been a one-goal difference in the final score.
Sacramento State will be a tough test for our team, especially since it is the first match of the season, said head coach Mitch Murray, who enters his 10th season as the winningest coach in SCU history with a 121-43-17 record since 1991. They have really played us tight in each of the last three years and last year's game was a tight 1-0 win for us on our home field. How we will play in the first game of the year is always hard to predict. We have a lot of new faces and there hasn't been a lot of time in the preseason for the guys to become familiar with each other. But, the primary goal on Friday is the same as it is for every game we play - to win.
The youthful Broncos will feature just three seniors this season: Joe Ascolese (Chattaroy, Wash.), Brett Davis (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.) and Michael Goehring (Fresno, Calif.). Ascolese will return to the Bronco lineup after missing last season due to injury. Elected a co-captain of this year's squad, the midfielder started in all 22 matches as a junior. Davis was one of only eight Bronco players to see playing time in all 23 matches last season, while Goehring scored three of his season's four goals in the 1999 NCAA Tournament, which ties him for the all-time Santa Clara single-post-season record.
The trio has helped lead Santa Clara to NCAA Tournament appearances in each of their three seasons, including back-to-back appearances in the Men's College Cup in 1998 and '99, three top-three WCC finishes and a top-5 finish in the national polls the past two seasons.
Santa Clara advanced to the NCAA Tournament finals last season and recorded a 16-4-3 overall record and finished second in the West Coast Conference. The Broncos peaked in the NCAA post-season, knocking-off Stanford, Duke, Alabama-Birmingham and Connecticut before falling to No. 2-ranked Indiana in the championship game. SCU went 6-2-1 last season against nationally-ranked teams, including a key 4-2 win over then-No. 1-ranked Duke in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Following the CSU Sacramento match, the Broncos travel to the University of San Francisco for matches against Alabama A&M and Cal Poly in the San Francisco Diadora Classic Sept. 8-10. SCU opens its home season Sept. 21-23 in the Santa Clara adidas Classic. Tickets to all SCU matches are available by telephone at 408-554-4660 or online at www.SantaClaraBroncos.com.