Fourth Ranked Men's Soccer Blanks Third Straight Opponent in 1-0 Win at Portland
Oct. 9, 2004
PORTLAND, Ore. - The fourth-ranked Santa Clara men's soccer team posted its third consecutive shutout as Hector Guzman netted the game-winner 40 seconds into the second half to give SCU a 1-0 victory over Portland on Friday night in front of 1,938 rain-soaked fans. With the win Santa Clara improves to 10-1-0 overall (3-0-0 WCC) and has now won three straight.
"Tonight, we were the better team," said head coach Cameron Rast. "Portland was a couple players down and they gave it a great effort. However, we were able to create more opportunities and play a strong 90 minutes."
After an evenly played first half, Santa Clara wasted little time in breaking up the shutout after the break. The Broncos took the kickoff on their attacking half and sent a ball out to Medhi Ballouchy down the right side. Ballouchy beat the defense to the endline and serviced a ball to Hector Guzman inside the goal box. Guzman one-timed the ball to the near post for his second goal of the season.
The goal was the second for Guzman in as many matches as his first goal as a Bronco was the game-winner over San Francisco last Sunday. Ballouchy tallied his WCC-leading sixth assist of the season on the score and continues to pace SCU with 12 points.
The Broncos would create two strong scoring opportunities later in the half. A penalty kick attempt in the 53rd minute would allude SCU as Portland goalkeeper Luis Robles came up with a key save. Robles would make another crucial save in the 80th minute. Jason Cunliffe beat a pair of Pilot defenders and teed up a shot from the top of the box with only Robles to beat. The attempt to the left post was knocked down and gathered, but the Broncos would not allow another Portland shot for the final 10 minutes of action.
Santa Clara held a 4-3 edge in shots in the first half, but all four attempts were blocked by the Pilot defense before nearing the goal-line. Three of SCU's four attempts came on a free kick in the 11th minute, as Portland failed to clear the ball until after another Cunliffe attempt was knocked down and booted out of the box.
Santa Clara out-shot the Pilots 10-5 for the game, holding Portland to just one shot on goal. Senior goalkeeper Kent Harkness tallied his third straight shutout and his fifth on the season in the win.
The Broncos will continue their road trip on Sunday when they travel to Spokane, Wash to face WCC foe Gonzaga. Match time is set for 2:00 p.m.