Oct. 25, 2000
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Friday's contest at eighth-ranked San Diego begins a crucial four-match stretch to end the regular season for the Santa Clara University men's soccer team.
In addition to their West Coast Conference championship hopes, the Broncos are looking to return to NCAA postseason action for the sixth-straight year and the eighth time in head coach Mitch Murray's 10 seasons. The Broncos have advanced to the College Cup in each of the last two seasons and have a 7-2 record in the NCAA Tournament during that time. Last year, SCU advanced to the NCAA championship game before losing a tight 1-0 match to Indiana.
Following an eight-day layoff, the Broncos (7-6-0, 1-1-0) enter the USD match having won their last two outings. Santa Clara evened its WCC record with a 2-0 shutout at second-ranked Portland on Oct. 15. Last week, in its final non-conference match of the regular season, SCU defeated the College of Notre Dame by a 6-1 score at Buck Shaw Stadium.
San Diego is 11-1-2 on the season and 2-0-1 in the WCC. The Toreros are ranked anywhere from eighth in the country to 20th, depending on the poll. USD is 7-1 at home this season and has the league's highest-scoring offense, scoring 2.93 goals per game. Sophomore Ryan Cornier is third in the nation in scoring with an average of 2.67 points per game and fourth in goals with 1.07 per game.
Juniors Keith Burden (Niwot, Colo.) and Tony Cota (Santa Clara, Calif.) enter the San Diego match as two of the hottest players on the Santa Clara squad. Burden has converted each of his last three shot attempts for goals in the last two contests, while Cota added two goals and an assist in the College of Notre Dame match.
Santa Clara owns a 15-6-1 all-time record against San Diego, but is 3-3 in the last six meetings and has dropped its last two matches to the Toreros. Last season USD upset the No. 1-ranked Broncos in overtime by a 2-1 score at Buck Shaw Stadium. SCU outshot San Diego by a 17-4 margin but an 11-save performance by USD goalkeeper Matt Hall prevented the Broncos from the earning the win.
The Broncos return home Thursday, Nov. 2 for a 7:30 p.m. against Saint Mary's. Santa Clara will host San Francisco and Loyola Marymount to end the regular-season. For ticket information, contact the Santa Clara University Athletic Ticket Office at 408/554-4660 or purchase online at www.SantaClaraBroncos.com.