Improbable Ending Moves Santa Clara to 7-2-1 in WCC

Phillip Muscarella (Don Jedlovec Photo)
Phillip Muscarella (Don Jedlovec Photo)

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Just two days after a double-overtime draw Wednesday night, the Santa Clara University men's soccer team was able to rally from a man down, getting Phillip Muscarella's goal with 1:45 left to beat USF 1-0 on the road Friday night at Negoesco Field in San Francisco.

With 16-minutes left in regulation, Santa Clara (10-6-1; 7-2-1 WCC) was forced to go down a man. The Bronco foul allowed USF to dominate possession in the late stages, but one opportunity was all SCU needed.

"The game itself was both teams trying to battle and stay on top of the momentum," said Santa Clara head coach and four-time WCC Coach of the Year Cameron Rast. "It was going back and forth. It seemed like at moments when we were on top or had chances, something happened where there was lots of extra curricular stuff going on that didn't have much to do with the game. We adjusted quite well, took control of our energy and emotion and did not allow them a late goal. Really proud of our guys."

A long throw-in from the corner by Matt Escobar generated a shot by Erik Hurtado and Muscarella would take advantage of the ensuing loose ball in front of the net, heading it in to give SCU the win.

The game was locked in a scoreless tie for over 74 minutes and it seemed as if San Francisco (5-7-3; 3-5-1 WCC) was in complete control following the late red card on SCU with 16 minutes left in the second half.

No opponent has faced SCU more often than USF. The rivalry dates back to Santa Clara's first year of soccer (1967) and the all-time series stands at 32-23-9 in favor of the Dons. Most of those wins came early in the series. Since the teams joined the WCC in 1988, Santa Clara has gone 22-9-4 against USF, including winning three of the last four.