LOS ANGELES - LMU scored two second half goals to take down Santa Clara men's soccer, 2-0, on Saturday night to remain tied atop the West Coast Conference standings along with Saint Mary's.
"It was a tough night all around. We played fairly well and did what we wanted to do but to take a goal early in the second half wasn't necessary and it unlocked the game," said Broncos head coach Cam Rast.
After a scoreless opening half, the Lions (10-4-3, 5-0 WCC) drew first blood just four minutes into the second half off a set piece. Noel Caliskan received the corner kick outside the box on the right side and swung the ball into the box that Jack Sauls headed in from close range. The goal held up as the game winner as the Broncos were held scoreless by the tight LMU defense.
"LMU dropped deep and narrow as we had a couple of good chances. We went wide to create some opportunities against it but when we have the opening against a quality opponent like them, we have to be good in those moments," said Rast.
Santa Clara (8-6-1, 2-3 WCC) had two good looks to score in the opening half when Javier Ruiz Duran's shot in the 35th minute from 10 yards out was partially blocked by a sliding Lions defender, sailing the ball harmlessly over the goal. And in the waning seconds of the half, Manthey's shot inside the box missed high.
The Broncos would not get another shot off until the final minute of the match, including one off the post, but were unable to break through the Lions defense.
With the Broncos pushing numbers forward chasing after the equalizer and being a player short due to two yellow cards accumulated by Julian Bravo, LMU got an insurance goal in the 86th minute by CJ Neville.