August 28, 2003

Men's Soccer Opens Season at UC Irvine Tournament

Aug. 28, 2003

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University men's soccer team will open its 2003 season with a pair of games at the UC Irvine Tournament this weekend in Irvine, Calif. The Broncos will face Alabama A&M on Saturday evening at 5 p.m. before taking on Fresno State at 11:30 a.m. on Monday.

SCU holds a 2-0-1 all-time series advantage over Alabama A&M that includes a 3-0 win from 2002 and a 1-0 win in 2000. The all-time series with Fresno State is tied at 9-9-4 dating back to 1974. In their last meeting, the Broncos and Bulldogs played to a 1-1 tie in Buck Shaw Stadium during the 1998 season.

Head coach Cameron Rast begins his second season at the helm of his Alma Mater after guiding his troops to a 10-6-1 record in 2002, which included a 3-3-0 record in West Coast Conference play. He returns 20 letterwinners from last year's team, including nine starters.

Most notably among that group of returnees are four seniors and two juniors who all had major impacts on the 2002 squad. Senior captains Audren Cashman and Matt Upton will be the team leaders both on and off the field, solidifying a strong defense with their strength in the middle of the field. Fellow seniors Kirk Fonseca and Kellen Gilmore will each look to build on solid junior seasons that saw Fonseca score three goals and assist on four others while Gilmore garnered honorable mention All-WCC honors.

Two-time All-American Ryan Cochrane returns for his junior year alongside U.S. U-20 teammate Steve Cronin to anchor the Bronco defense. Soccer America tabbed Cochrane as one of four preseason All-Americans on defense. Cronin, who posted a 1.32 goals-against average in 2002, looks to return to form from his freshman season when his 0.79 GAA was among the league leaders and earned him honorable mention All-WCC honors.

Following this weekend's season opening tournament, the Broncos will return to southern California next weekend to participate in the Loyola Marymount Tournament on September 5th and 7th. Santa Clara will play 2002 College Cup participant Creighton in the tournament opener on Friday before taking on SMU on Sunday.