May 24, 2004
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University men's soccer team will face six opponents that played in last year's NCAA Tournament and will play each of its six conference opponents twice each in a new league format as it prepares for a run at a second-straight College Cup appearance in 2004.
The Broncos, led by third-year head coach Cameron Rast, open the fall season with four straight matches away from the friendly field of Buck Shaw Stadium and only three at home during the month of September. The tables turn later in the season, however, as Santa Clara concludes its regular-season with five-straight at home.
"The 2004 schedule will be a great challenge for our team," said Rast. "It has all the traditional rivalries that we face each year and some teams we will face for the first time. Once again we will host our annual adidas Classic in September which is always one of the highlights of the season.
"New to this year is our conference going to a double round robin format, which should make the league race much more interesting. And, our annual trip out of region will take us to George Mason where we will face the host and Loyola College. For a young team coming off a successful season it will be important to settle in as quickly as possible and improve as the season goes along. I am very excited about our group and look forward to seeing how well we can play this fall."
Of Santa Clara's 14 opponents this fall, six (California, Davidson College, Loyola Marymount, Portland, San Diego and San Jose State) played in last season's NCAA Tournament.
A new West Coast Conference format provides for each of the seven league men's teams to face each other twice, once each at each school's site. In a scheduling quirk, the Broncos play six of its first seven league games on the road. Conversely, the Broncos will end the season with five-straight league contests at home.
Santa Clara went 16-4-4, won the WCC title and advanced to the program's fifth College Cup last fall. The Broncos dropped a heartbreaking 1-0 decision in double-overtime to eventual champion Indiana in the NCAA semifinals.
The Broncos opened the NCAA Tournament with three-straight overtime wins then defeated the University of Michigan by a score of 3-1 to advance to the College Cup.