Sept. 30, 2003
This Week: Broncos Return Home for Two Matches
Santa Clara men's soccer returns home for their third and fourth home matches of the year, taking on Stanford Thursday evening and Sacramento State on Sunday night. Both matches are scheduled for 7 p.m. starts.
Santa Clara vs. Stanford
The Broncos and Cardinal have met 41 previous times entering Thursday night's matchup with Stanford holding a 20-16-5 all-time series advantage. The four-game advantage in the all-time series can be attributed to the last five years in which Stanford has posted a 6-1 record against the Broncos. The lone victory for SCU during that time was a victory at Stanford on November 19, 1999 when the Broncos handed Stanford a shootout loss in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Santa Clara would go on to their second straight College Cup following that victory. The Cardinal enter this year's matchup with a 2-5-1 overall record. Matt Janusz leads the team in scoring with his three goals and one assist. As a team the Cardinal are being outscored 11-8 on the season.
Santa Clara vs. Sacramento State
The Broncos and Hornets have met 24 previous times entering Sunday evening's contest in Santa Clara. SCU has dominated the series, posting a 22-1-1 record that includes a 1-0 victory in Sacramento last season. The lone victory for the Hornets in the series came during the 2000 season when they defeated SCU by a 2-1 score in double-overtime. The third largest victory in Bronco history came on October 29, 1980 when SCU handed the Hornets a 13-0 loss. Sacramento State enters the week with a 2-6-1 overall record, having been most recently defeated by a 6-1 score at San Jose State. Sam Sneed leads the Hornet offense with his two goals and two assists while Matt McDougall's 2.01 goals-against average is the tops on the team. On the year the Hornets have been outscored 20-5.
Last Week: Broncos Drop First Matches of Year
Santa Clara dropped its first match of the 2003 season last Tuesday with a 2-1 loss at San Jose State. The Broncos rebounded with an impressive 2-1 win over No. 19 Tulsa on Friday before dropping its final match of the week on Sunday by a 2-1 score at UMKC. The 1-2-0 record for the week dropped SCU's overall record to 7-2-2.
Playing Well Against Ranked Teams
Santa Clara has played four ranked teams thus far in the 2003 season, posting a 2-0-2 record in thos four matches. With wins over then No. 4 SMU and then No. 19 Tulsa, the Broncos have shown they belong among the nation's elite. Their two ties against nationally ranked teams came against then No. 7 Creighton and then No. 21 California. Both ties were 0-0, double overtime contests and are the only matches that the Broncos have been shutout this season. On the contrary, SCU has shutout seven of its 11 opponents.
Fonseca Provides Steady Play
Senior Kirk Fonseca is quietly having a standout season for the Broncos, sharing the team lead in both points and assists, the midfielder from Bakersfield, Calif., has nearly matched his previous career total in points. He began his senior campaign with 10 career points, coming on three goals and one assist. This year he has started 10 of the team's 11 matches and both of his goals have come on only nine shots this season.
Freshmen Playing Well
Freshmen Tannen Wels and Erik Ustruck have made valuable impacts to the team in only their first season on the Mission Campus. Each have played in 10 of the team's 11 matches with Wels adding one goal and three assists. Wels shares the team lead in assists with Kelechi Igwe and Kirk Fonseca. Ustruck has found a way to make his time on the field count, as two of his five shots have been on goal.
This Defense Never Rests
It's no secret that the strength of the No. 5 Santa Clara men's soccer team lies on the defensive side, but just how dominant they have become coninues to bewilder opposing offenses. The Broncos have allowed only six goals in their 11 matches thus far in 2003, posting a 0.56 goals-against average. Amazingly enough, the defense has depth as well. This was no more evident that in the Broncos' 6-0 win over George Washington. With the score reading 4-0 at halftime, head coach Cameron Rast pulled most of his starters in favor of the reserves. Much like the starters, the second line of defense played so well that George Washington was unable to get off a single shot in the entire match.
In the Rankings
The Santa Clara University men's soccer dropped to No. 13 in both the College Soccer News and Soccer Times Top-25 polls. They also fell to No. 20 in the Soccer America Poll and No. 22 in the NSCAA Coaches' Poll. Thus far this season, Santa Clara has been ranked as high as No. 5 after starting the season unranked in all four major polls.
Sophomore Kelechi Igwe, junior Will Weatherly and senior Kirk Fonseca currently share the points lead through the team's first 11 matches. Igwe and Fonseca each have two goals and a team-leading three assists while Weatherly has a team-leading three goals to go along with one assist. All three players each had a goal in the Broncos' 6-0 win over George Washington, while Fonseca had two assists and Weatherly had one in the victory that sealed the SCU adidas Classic championship.
Up Next: West Coast Conference Begins
Santa Clara begins West Coast Conference play on Saturday, October 11th, with a 7 p.m. match at San Francisco. Following that are two home matches against Gonzaga and Portland on consecutive weekends. The Gonzaga match will be played at 7 p.m. in Buck Shaw Stadium on Saturday, October 18, while the match with Portland is also scheduled for 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 25.