Posted: Oct 25, 2017
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara men's soccer returns to the Pacific Northwest on Friday to play at Portland in a West Coast Conference matchup. The Broncos (2-11-0, 2-1-0 WCC) sit in third place in the WCC standings, a point behind San Diego and Portland as it looks to climb up the league standings.
Back in September, the Broncos travelled up north to play a pair of nonconference matches against Seattle University and Washington.
The Broncos are coming off a loss against San Diego State in a nonconference match last Saturday. Its matchup against Portland is the start of four consecutive conference matches, three of them on the road, to finish the 2017 regular season.
Santa Clara is 22-17-8 all-time against Portland with the first meeting coming in 1978. The last meeting between the two programs occurred in 2016 when the Pilots defeated the Broncos, 1-0, scoring in the 84th minute.
THE BRONCOS (2-11-0, 2-1-0 WCC)
In the nonconference finale against San Diego State last weekend, Broncos head coach Cameron Rast turned to his bench to assess their play with the critical stretch of conference play coming up.
Five players, Matthew Sipowicz, Dylan Carrubba, Martin Riedler, John Spurling and Stefano Paolina each saw their first action of the season and two goalkeepers, Aran O'Brien and Seamus Hudnut, played.
The regulars have had time to rest and heal up for Friday's match. Valdemar Andersen and Carlos Delgadillo lead the team in goals scored with five each. Andersen has scored in each of the three conference matches with two of them coming on penalty kicks.
The Broncos have amassed 10 goals in the three league matches, while allowing seven.
For the season, the Broncos have started four goalkeepers. Henning Jolivet has led the way starting six matches allowing 17 goals while making 23 saves. However, Dakota Havlick has started in all the WCC matches after starting the season opener, for a total of four starts on the season. Havlick has a 2.74 goal-against average. Seamus Hudnut started one match and played in another, allowing four goals while being credited with two saves. And Aran O'Brien has started two while allowing seven goals and making 11 saves.
THE Pilots (7-5-1, 2-0-1 WCC)
Portland currently sits atop the WCC standings with a 2-0-1 record along with San Diego.
The Pilots played San Diego to a 1-1 draw back on Oct.13 in San Diego. That draw was sandwiched between two wins, at home against Pacific, 3-1, and on the road against Loyola Marymount, 3-0.
Offensively, Portland leads the lead in goals scored with 30 in 13 games for a 2.31 goals per game average. Benji Michel and Rey Ortiz lead the way with Michel leading the league in goals with 10 and Ortiz leading the league in assists with 11. No other player in the WCC has more than five goals and five assists on the season.
Defensively, the Pilots are second in conference in goals allowed with 15, behind leader San Diego which has yielded just 11 goals.
Paul Christensen has started all 13 matches in goal carrying a 1.10 GAA with four shutouts to his credit to go along with his 7-5-1 record.