Posted: Oct 02, 2018
CINCINNATI – Despite a bevy of quality chances in double overtime, including two Santa Clara shots that hit the posts in the final minutes, a winner was not on the cards as Santa Clara and Xavier played to a 3-3 draw on Tuesday night at Xavier Soccer Complex.
The Broncos (4-5-1) overcame a two-goal deficit scoring three straight times but conceded the game-tying goal to the Musketeers (3-2-5) in the 84th minute to send the match to overtime. It was the fifth overtime match for both squads this season where the Broncos are now 1-3-1 and the Musketeers have finished with a tie in each match.
"We started poorly but the team responded. This team has character and is beginning to understand how we want to compete against solid teams from good conferences," said Broncos head coach Cam Rast. "We can go anywhere on road and play anyone when we do the things we worked on. So I'm pleased from that aspect."
Santa Clara dug themselves an early hole, conceding two goals in the first 30 minutes, adjusting to the physical play of the Musketeers.
In the 17th minute, Xavier's high pressure forced a Bronco defensive miscue where Mustkeer midfielder Simen Hestnes picked up a turnover and beat Santa Clara goalkeeper Henning Jolivet one-on-one to go up 1-0.
The Musketeers extended its lead to 2-0 in the 30th minute when Cameron Belle delivered a pass to a streaking Samson Sergi on the left side who beat Jolivet to the far post from a sharp angle.
"Being on the road, we weren't sharp to begin the game. Plus it's a tight, turf field and Xavier is a physical and tough team," said Rast of his team that's been on the road for nearly a week having played at Georgia State last Saturday.
The Broncos looked to regroup at the half, however, just before intermission in the 43rd minute, freshman Eduardo Lopez Perez breathed life into the Santa Clara offense on a beautifully struck ball from 25 yards atop the box. The ball sliced and found the upper left corner beating the diving Musketeer goalkeeper Zachary Nelson. Lopez Perez's second goal of the season cut the Xavier lead, 2-1
"The goal by Eduardo gave us life and that was very important. We challenged the team at the half and they responded," said Rast.
Ten minutes into the second half, Miles Robinson delivered the equalizer. Javier Ruiz Duran slid the ball across from left to right to find Robinson who hit it low from outside the 18 to the far post.
And in the 77th minute, Robinson returned the favor delivering a similar pass through the box to Ruiz Duran who slipped it past Nelson to put the Broncos up, 3-2.
Xavier answered back in the 84th minute to knot the game up at 3-3. Off a Santa Clara goal kick, the Musketeers sent one long pass through the midfield, followed by a second through ball to Felix Boe-Tangen who tied it up.
In overtime, there were quality chances by both teams. In the 104th minute, Xavier sent a service inside the six for a Samson strike but Andres Jimenez gave up his body to block the shot with his face.
And with just two minutes remaining in the match, Robinson's header hit the right post, and Alan Camacho Soto's shot off the rebound, ricocheted off the left post, ending the game in a 3-3 draw.
"The takeaway is, on road, we played against two teams that are successful in Georgia State and Xavier and we came out with a win and a tie. But it feels a little disappointed it wasn't more," said Rast.
Santa Clara opens West Coast Conference play hosting LMU on Sunday at 1 p.m. PT.
• Alejandro Perez made his Bronco debut coming in the 41st minute to play the rest of the match logging 69 minutes.