November 9, 2004

Men's Soccer Concludes Regular Season Home Schedule This Weekend

Nov. 9, 2004

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -

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This Week: Loyola Marymount and San Diego
The 19th-ranked Santa Clara men's soccer team will look to avenge a pair of road losses when it hosts Loyola Marymount and San Diego in its final regular season home matches. Prior to Sunday's contest with the Toreros, the Broncos will honor their four seniors as each will be playing in their last regular season contest at Buck Shaw Stadium.

Loyola Marymount currently sits atop the West Coast Conference standings with a 8-2-1 mark in conference play. Last weekend, the Lions fell to San Francisco before defeating Saint Mary's in overtime. LMU boasts one of the strongest offenses in the conference, with a league-high 35 goals on the season. The Lions also pace the conference with 22 goals scored in WCC matches.

On October 17, LMU handed Santa Clara a 4-0 loss in Los Angeles. The loss to Loyola Marymount marked only the fourth SCU loss to the Lions in the history of the series. The Broncos own a 18-4-1 record against LMU, which includes a 1-0 overtime victory in Los Angeles in the NCAA Tournament last season.

San Diego enters the week with a 7-8-3 mark and a 4-5-2 record in West Coast Conference action. On Sunday, the Toreros posted a late comeback against 19th-ranked San Francisco to send the contest into overtime. USD then scored the game-winner in the 103rd minute to post the upset over the conference's second place team.

In the first meeting between the Broncos and the Toreros, Santa Clara suffered its first loss of the conference schedule, as USD posted a 2-0 win in San Diego on October 15th. The Broncos hold an edge in the overall series with a 17-9-1 record against their conference foe.

Last Matches: Broncos Defeat Gonzaga, Fall to Portland
In their first full weekend at home since September, the Broncos split a pair of conference matches heading into their final home weekend. On Friday night, SCU posted a 2-0 win over Gonzaga before dropping a 2-1 decision to Portland on Sunday afternoon.

Santa Clara jumped ahead of the Bulldogs early, scoring both of its goals in the first 12 minutes of action. Ryan Wolfe put the Broncos on the board in the second minute when he headed in a cross from Kelechi Igwe. It was the first goal of the season for Wolfe. Igwe would then add to the Santa Clara lead in the 12th minute as he scored on a penalty kick at the 11:32 mark. Igwe's penalty kick conversion marked the first time the Broncos have scored in that situation in 2004 in three attempts.

Defensively, the shutout marked the ninth of the season for SCU, which is the West Coast Conference's leading total. Senior Kent Harkness and freshman Christopher Moreo combined to blank the Bulldogs, as Moreo played the final 9:42 of the contest.

On Sunday, the Pilots would return the favor as two early goals led Portland to the victory. The Pilots scored in the 21st and 40th minutes to take a 2-0 lead into halftime. In the second half, SCU came out on the attack, recording 12 shots in the period. Jason Cunliffe would connect on one of those shots in the 64th minute to post the Broncos' lone goal of the contest. Peter Lowry assisted on the goal as his free kick was headed in by Cunliffe.

Broncos Maintain National Ranking
The Santa Clara University men's soccer team continues to be a mainstay in the top-25 polls as the Broncos are ranked in three polls this week. SCU has been ranked every week during the 2004 season. Santa Clara is currently tabbed 19th by Soccer America, while being ranked 21st by Soccer Times. College Soccer News ranks the Broncos 29th.

The West Coast Conference is making its mark in the national rankings this week as three teams are ranked by College Soccer News as San Francisco and Loyola Marymount join SCU on the list. Portland also entered the polls this week as they Pilots are ranked 23rd by Soccer America.

SCU Among the Nation's and Conference's Best
The Broncos are among the country's leaders in three different team categories in the NCAA Division I statistics. SCU currently ranks 13th in shutout percentage with a 0.50 mark after recording shutouts in half of its contests this season. Santa Clara also ranks 20th in win-loss percentage with a 0.722 mark. The defense also is among the country's best in goals against average as its 0.780 average ranks 16th. The Bronco's marks in shutout percentage and goals against also pace the West Coast Conference.

Individually, Harkness continues to rank among the nation's top goalkeepers. His 0.778 goals against average is good for 20th in the NCAA and tops among WCC netminders.

In the conference statistics, Santa Clara ranks near the top in both offensive and defensive categories. SCU is second in the conference in goals scored with 26 on the season. The Broncos also show strong defensive numbers with the WCC's lowest goals allowed average and highest shutout total with nine. Individually, Medhi Ballouchy is tied for sixth in the WCC with 13 points and third with seven assists. Peter Lowry also ranks second in game-winning goals with four in 2004.

DeVey and Weatherly Earn Academic Honors
Santa Clara University men's soccer forwards Will Weatherly and Keith DeVey were each named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District VIII Men's Soccer Team on Monday. It was the second such honor for Weatherly, while it was the first of DeVey's career.

Weatherly, who also earned this recognition a year ago, is an accounting major at Santa Clara with a 3.653 cumulative grade point average. This past summer, Weatherly interned at Price Waterhouse in preparation for his career after graduation from the Mission Campus. DeVey picked up his first honor from CoSIDA in the first year he was eligible to be named to the team. The sophomore communication major excels in the classroom as well as on the field as he has a 3.739 cumulative grade point average.