Broncos Outlast Florida International

Sept. 23, 2005

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - With a new-look starting lineup and one of the team's top playmakers on the sidelines, it appeared as though the 12th-ranked Santa Clara men's soccer team looked ripe for the upset.

But, the Broncos were the aggressors right from the first whistle then cruised to a 3-0 victory over a talented 25th-ranked Florida International squad Friday night in the annual adidas Classic at Buck Shaw Stadium.

Santa Clara improved to 5-2-0 on the season, while the Golden Panthers suffered only their second loss of the year and fell to 4-2-0. Santa Clara will return to action Thursday in a Rivalry Series matchup at San Jose State as part of the adidas Classic. FIU will play at San Francisco on Sunday.

"I thought we looked very sharp and started the game very quickly," said SCU head coach Cameron Rast. "We did a good job of forcing the issue and creating opportunities and we found ourselves up by three goals early. If I had to say there was one thing I feel we need to learn from this match, it is how to play with a lead. We weren't as sharp in the second half and didn't quite force our flow to the game."

Senior Hector Guzman (San Jose, Costa Rica), in his first start of the season, opened the scoring for Santa Clara with a header off a Mehdi Ballouchy (Casablana, Morocco) cross in the 13th minute of the game. Guzman started in the place of Kelechi Igwe (Belmont, Calif.), who was forced to miss the game due to a red card booking at Cal on Sunday.

Just eight minutes later, a FIU defender was called for a handball in the penalty area and referee Colin Arblaster awarded the Broncos a penalty kick. Peter Lowry (Fair Oaks, Calif.) blasted a laser into the left side of the goal past Golden Panther keeper Shawn Crowe (3-2-0) to give SCU a 2-0- lead in the 26th minute.

In the 33rd minute, West Coast Conference Player of the Week Jide Ogunbiyi (Gwynedd, Pa.) took advantage of a beautiful header in front of the goal for his second goal in three games. The play began with a corner kick by Jamil Roberts (Fremont, Calif) that went to the far post and was headed in front of the goal by Jeff Scott (Granite Bay, Calif.) and Ogunbiyi took advantage of it.

In his first start as a Bronco, keeper Kevin Sweeney (San Jose, Calif.) earned a shutout and registered seven saves, a few of which were fingertip saves that prevented FIU from scoring.

"I thought Kevin played well, particularly since it was his first substantial action of the year," said Rast. "He is working hard on positioning and directing the defense as well as not coming out quite so far. But, he made a few plays that certainly would have been goals."

In the second half, Rast substituted liberally with Ted Kristensson (Ludvika, Sweden) and Aaron Clubb (Burnsville, Minn.) seeing their first action of the season and Jonathan Barbarin (San Diego, Calif.) and Cardiff Schmitz (Lake Oswego, Ore) entering their second game of the year.

Sophomore transfer Matt Marquess (Palo Alto, Calif. / UC Santa Cruz) earned his first start at right back, while Matt Hatzke (San Jose, Calif.) started at left back instead of his usual forward position.