Nov. 26, 2003
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Eric Irvine headed home the game-winning goal in the eighth minute of overtime, propelling the Santa Clara University men's soccer team to the third round of the NCAA Tournament with its 1-0 victory over West Coast Conference rival Loyola Marymount Wednesday afternoon at Sullivan Field.
"This was a good win for us," said head coach Cameron Rast. "Our guys worked very hard in preparing for today's match and it showed. We remained within ourselves and capitalized when we could. I am very pleased with the way we played."
Senior captain Matt Upton created room for the game-winner as he took a crossing pass from the left side and headed the ball that deflected off the crossbar to a waiting Irvine who powered the ball home for the Bronco victory. The goal was Irvine's third of the year.
"I was just at the right place at the right time," said Irvine who was standing right next to freshman Keith DeVey inside the six-yard box when the ball deflected to him. "I just headed it as hard as I could and when I saw my teammates celebrating, I knew it went in."
With the win the Broncos avenge their only loss in league play and move their season record to 14-3-4 while ending the Lions' season at 12-7-1.
20 first half fouls dominated play in the beginning as both teams manged four shots in the first stanza. Santa Clara controlled more of the play in the second half as they took five more shots than LMU, forcing Lion netminder Shaun Kalnasy to make five saves to keep the score knotted at zero.
Santa Clara goalkeeper Kent Harkness picked up his second shutout of the year on Sullivan Field as he was between the pipes in the Broncos' 0-0 draw with then No. 7 Creighton at the LMU Fall Classic in early September. Harkness made only one save on the day, but it was a big one as head prevented a point blank header from reaching the back of the net in the second half.
The Broncos attacked from all angles on the day as Jason Pan, Jason Cunliffe, Matt Upton and Will Weatherly all had multiple shots on the afternoon. Ryan Purtell also figured in the attack as the defender was dominant in the air and proved dangerous in the box on corner kicks and set pieces, creating chances for not only himself but for those around him on the second ball.
SCU improves to 18-11-4 all-time in NCAA Tournament play with the win and increase their all-time series record against LMU to 21-3-1. The Broncos advance to the third round for the fifth time in program history and first since their back-to-back College Cup appearances in 1998 and 1999.
For their efforts the Broncos will now take on Coastal Carolina who upset 4th-seeded North Carolina on Wednesday by a score of 3-0 in Chapel Hill, N.C. Santa Clara will host Coastal Carolina Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. in Buck Shaw Stadium.