April 9, 2004

Men's Soccer Opens Spring Training Games

April 8, 2004

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University men's soccer team began its spring training season last weekend with a pair of victories at the John Blanche Memorial Soccer Complex in Temecula, Calif.

The Broncos opened its season with a 3-1 victory over Cal State Northridge then followed that with a 2-0 shutout of UC Riverside. The matches were part of the Southern California Premier College Classic, a two-day festival of soccer featuring 39 collegiate teams and 81 youth teams playing 126 games on 14 fields.

"I was very pleased with our performances last weekend," said Santa Clara Head Coach Cameron Rast. "We have a number of objectives that we want to achieve during our spring season and these two matches helped us a great deal. We need to get some of our younger players used to playing competitive matches and I felt it was a really positive thing to play away from home. I thought all our players focused on what we needed to accomplish, both individually and as a team, and we had a positive experience."

In the first game against Northridge, the Matadors scored early in the game on a corner when Dylan Staack volleyed a shot from point blank range past Bronco goalkeeper Ryan Wood. Down 1-0 at halftime, with the wind at their backs, the Broncos mounted a second-half comeback. Alex Tablin-Wolf swung a ball in the penalty area that took a deflection for an own goal to tie the score at 1-1. Later in the game, Devin Skrade glanced a corner kick across the goal from a near post to give SCU a 2-1 lead. Tannen Wels followed up with a goal late in the game to give Santa Clara the 3-1 victory.

In the second game against Riverside, the two teams were forced to deal with rainy and windy condition. Despite the elements, The Broncos got on the board right away with a shot from Ryan Wolfe at the top of the box that found its way inside the near post. In the second half, Keith DeVey finished on a breakaway opportunity for Santa Clara's second goal of the game.

Bronco freshman goalkeeper Wood, taking the place of departed MLS first-round pick Steve Cronin, posted a good weekend with an 0.5 goals against average and the first collegiate shutout of his career against Riverside.

Santa Clara returns to action with a pair of games on April 24 against Sacramento State and San Francisco State in Sacramento.