Posted: Oct 05, 2019
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Javier Ruiz Duran's goal in the 73rd minute broke a scoreless deadlock to lead Santa Clara men's soccer to a 2-0 win over CSUN in the nonconference finale. The shutout stretched the Broncos win streak to four matches, all of them coming on the road. The match also marked the third consecutive shutout for the Broncos who have not conceded a goal in the last 321 minutes going back to UNLV's first half goal on Sept. 22.
"Every game is a big challenge for us and we have to fight through it. The good part is, we are fighting it," said Broncos head coach Cam Rast. "The players are working their tails off, not just the starters but also those that come off the bench. It's been a team effort and commitment to making it work and they are earning the results as a group."
After a defensive first half with neither team getting good looks, Santa Clara (6-3-1) came out on the attack to open the second half peppering the CSUN (5-4-1) defense with six shots in the first 14 minutes before Ruiz Duran's goal.
"In the first half, we got a little bit on our heals against CSUN's two dangerous players – Daniel Trejo and Johnny Rodriguez - who each had eight goals entering the match. So we had to be tight with our defense," said Rast. "We did a good job of hanging in and not panicking as I thought we could break into our moments as the run of the game evened in the second half. We got aggressive in the second half and they struggled to deal with our competitive approach."
The game-winning goal was the junior co-captain's second goal of the season to tie for the team lead along with Sam Agosti, Eduardo Lopez Perez, Alan Camacho Soto. Julian Bravo would later join the group when he scored an insurance goal late in the match to give the Broncos a 2-0 lead.
Ruiz Duran's goal came courtesy of an assist from Alejandro Barajas who took over the team lead in that category with his fourth of the season. Barajas played in a cross to the far post that Ruiz Duran redirected in.
In the 89th minute, Bravo gave the Broncos a two goal cushion despite being shorthanded with Sakari Carter getting his second yellow card of the match in the 86th minute.
Broncos goalkeeper Guillem Badenes Mecho was credited with four saves in his third consecutive clean sheet and fourth overall for the season.
"Guillem is just steady for us with his maturity, decision making, and the quality of how he plays," said Rast. "He dad to punch one out at the end which was critical and there were some heavy shots he held onto. His play builds confidence and trust with the backline and that helps to get some clean sheets."
Rodriguez led all players with four shots out of 11 total by the Matadors. Ruiz Duran, Bravo and Osei led the Broncos with two shots each, accounting for half of Santa Clara's 12 shots. Both teams had four shots on frame.
• The three straight shutout wins are the first since 2012 when the Broncos beat NJIT, San Diego and LMU at home.
• The Broncos have allowed one or fewer goals in all ten matches this season.
• Alejandro Perez wore a #33 jersey in the match instead of his customary #28.
Santa Clara opens West Coast Conference play hosting nationally-ranked Saint Mary's on Saturday. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. PT.