May 21, 2004

Broncos Test Defending MLS Champions

May 20, 2004

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University men's soccer team concluded its spring season Wednesday night with a 3-1 loss to the defending Major League Soccer champion San Jose Earthquakes at the Santa Clara Youth Soccer Park.

"The spring season was very useful for us," said head coach Cameron Rast. "We were able to establish a new attacking framework in which we hope to build on for next year. We played eight games on five playing dates which gave us a chance to look at many players aspiring to make our team next year as well as earn playing time. By the end of the spring, I think we were playing some of our best soccer and look forward to carrying some of that momentum into the fall campaign."

Rising junior Kelechi Igwe's first half goal gave the Broncos an early lead in the exhibition match as the 2003 NCAA semifinalists held a slim advantage in possession through the first of two 30 minute halves. Igwe scored a header from 10 yards out off a cross by rising senior defender Jason Pan.

Just before the whistle sounded for halftime, U.S. National Team midfielder Richard Mulrooney was taken down in the penalty area and the Quakes were awarded a penalty kick. Canadian international Dwayne De Rosario calmly deposited the ball into the left side of the goal for the equalizer.

At halftime the Earthquakes made several substitutions, bringing in former Santa Clara forward Jamil Walker and former Gonzaga standout Brian Ching at forward and U.S. National Team star Landon Donovan at central midfield.

San Jose took the lead in the second half when Walker took advantage of a Bronco defensive miscue between goalkeeper Kent Harkness and a defender to scored on a breakaway goal. The Quakes solidified their lead on a late goal by Ching to make the final score 3-1.

Santa Clara alum Steve Cronin played the entire match in goal for the Earthquakes and the rookie made a number of fine saves. Former Bronco Ryan Cochrane also played the entire game for San Jose and served as the team's captain.

The Quakes started the match with Walker and De Rosario at forward, Arturo Alvarez and Ian Russell on the wings and Mulrooney and Tighe Dombrowski in central midfield. Ramiro Corrales, Jeff Agoos, Cochrane and Wes Hart started in defense.

The Earthquakes return to MLS action on Saturday, May 22 when they host their archrival the Los Angeles Galaxy at 7 p.m. PT at Spartan Stadium.

The Broncos open their 2004 campaign on Sept. 2 with a match against UC Davis in the first round of the USF/Diadora Classic at the University of San Francisco. Santa Clara opens its home schedule on Sept. 16 against rival San Jose State in the annual adidas Classic at Buck Shaw Stadium.

For season tickets to Bronco soccer, contact the SCU Athletic Ticket Office at 408/554-4660.