Oct. 12, 2000
STANFORD, Calif. - The Santa Clara men's soccer team dropped a 2-0 decision to fourth-ranked Stanford Thursday in front of 608 fans at New Maloney Field. The match marked the third-straight for the Broncos against teams ranked among the top-seven in the country and the third of a four-match road swing.
"We had several half-chances," said SCU head coach Mitch Murray. "Against teams like Stanford, you have to make half-chances. Their second goal really seemed to take the heart out of us. Had we not made a mistake and given-up that goal, it would have been a 1-0 game and we would have been right in the thick of things.
"Their experience is the difference right now. From what I have seen, Stanford is the best team in the country right now. That is mainly due to their experience."
Stanford outshot the Broncos by a narrow 11-10 margin in the match, while SCU junior keeper Rusty Johnson (O'Fallon, Ill.) recorded a game-high four saves. Fouls were nearly even with the Cardinal committing 21 fouls to SCU's 20. Santa Clara dropped to 5-6-0 on the season, while Stanford improved to 10-1-1.
The Broncos held Stanford without a shot during the first 27:12 in the game but was outshot by a 6-2 margin over the final 17:48 of the opening half. Santa Clara narrowly missed an opportunity to take an early lead in the game 14:48 into the first period. Junior Tony Cota (Santa Clara, Calif.) blasted a shot that hit the cross bar and was kicked out of bounds by the Cardinal.
The Cardinal took a 1-0 lead on a Roger Levesque header in front of the goal from a Scott Leber cross at the 33:51 mark of the game. SCU had a chance to tie the score twice in the second half. Freshman Philip Johnson (Bellevue, Wash.) sent a shot wide at the 43:57 mark of the game, while Jeff Stewart's header at the 44:52 mark was knocked out of bounds by Stanford goalkeeper Adam Zapala.
Stanford extended its lead to 2-0 with a Ryan Nelsen goal at the 53:50 mark in the match. Following a corner kick by the Cardinal, Nelsen's shot found the near corner of the goal just off the outstretched hands of SCU goalkeeper Johnson.
Junior Anthony Chimienti (San Jose, Calif.) missed his first start of the season after suffering from an infected foot. He has played with a bruised foot and slightly sprained ankle for the past two-and-a-half weeks.
Santa Clara ends a four-match road swing Sunday at second-ranked Portland State. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. at Portland's Merlo Field. Santa Clara owns a 9-5-1 series lead against Portland, including a 3-0-1 mark in the last four meetings.