Nov. 15, 2003
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - In a what amounted to a meaningless game for Santa Clara, the 4th-ranked Broncos dropped their regular season finale to Loyola Marymount by a 3-0 score Saturday afternoon at Sullivan Field on the LMU campus.
The loss was Santa Clara'a first since September 28, dropping its overall record to 13-3-3 and 5-1-0 in West Coast Conference play while the Lions improved to 12-6-1 overall, 3-3-0 in league action. Loyola Marymount's victory snaps SCU's seven match unbeaten streak that saw them go 6-0-1 during that time span.
The Broncos, who had already clinched the 2003 WCC title and secure the league's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament, fell behind at the 29:17 mark when LMU's Armando Melendez took a fifteen yard shot that beat Santa Clara keeper Kent Harkness low on the near post for a 1-0 lead. The goal was his third of the season and came off assists from Junior Ybarra and Bobby Burling.
After halftime the Lions wasted no time in scoring their second goal, as Matthew Kovar netted a goal at the 48:47 mark, slipping the ball into the net after a mad scramble in the penalty box area. Michael Brewer and Danny Williams picked up assists on the goal.
Sean Rhynard who beat relief goalkeeper Matt Biggam on a deflected ball near the top of the goal box tallied the final Loyola Marymount goal. Biggam was assessed a red card on the play as he stopped the ball with his hands out of the box, but the advantage was given to LMU on the play, taking the score to 3-0 with Yuji Teranishi picking up the assist.
Santa Clara played numerous players throughout the game to keep players fresh for the upcoming NCAA Tournament. Following Biggam's red card, defender Zach Knight was put into goal for the final 8:37 of the match.
Shaun Kalnasy played the final 52:28 for the Lions between the pipes as registered seven saves during the time to secure the shutout. Audren Cashman and Kelechi Igwe each took four shots to lead the Broncos but it was Jason Pan whose two shots on goals proved to be most dangerous in the match.
With the win the Lions may have secured a spot in this year's NCAA Tournament. A spot they were received last season with their 15-4-2 mark. The irony of today's loss is that last season the tables were turned as the Broncos evened up their WCC mark at 3-3-0 with a 3-0 victory over LMU who was ranked No. 10 in the nation at the time.
The Broncos will hear of their 2003 postseason position Monday afternoon at approximately 1 p.m. Pacific Time, live on ESPNews. With 48 teams getting berths into the postseason, the Broncos are poised to be one of the top-16 seeds who host and get byes into the second round which will be played on November 26. If they are not one of the top-16 seeds, the Broncos will play in the first round on Friday or Saturday, November 21 or 22.