Sept. 28, 2005
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The last 12 meetings between Santa Clara University and San Jose State in men's soccer have been decided by two goals or fewer. When the two teams take the Spartan Stadium pitch on Thursday, more of the same is expected.
Tomorrow night, the eighth-ranked Broncos travel just eight short miles for a 7 p.m. kickoff at San Jose State in the third, and final, Rivalry Series event of the week between the two schools. Tickets are available at the Spartan Stadium gates. All SCU students, faculty and staff will be admitted for just $2 with their campus ACCESS card. The game will feature a live audio broadcast on SantaClaraBroncos.com.
Make sure to come out to Buck Shaw Stadium Sunday night for the WCC opener against Saint Mary's College. It's free adidas giveaway night for the first 250 fans.
Santa Clara enters tomorrow's match with a 5-2-0 record after registering its third shutout of the season Friday with a 3-0 victory over Florida International on Friday. Senior Hector Guzman (San Jose, Costa Rica) scored the game-winner in the 13th minute on a header off a cross from Bronco All-America midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy (Casablanca, Morocco).
Sophomore Peter Lowry (Fair Oaks, Calif.) scored SCU's second goal on a penalty kick in the 26th minute, while freshman defender Jide Ogunbiyi (Gwynedd, Pa.) headed-in a cross in the 33rd minute of the match. Lowry's PK was his third of the season without a miss.
Rast made a couple of lineup changes against the Golden Panthers and the team was without the services of Kelechi Igwe, who missed the match after drawing a red card against Cal in the team's prior match. Guzman earned the starting nod at the forward position against FIU, along with Ryan Wolfe (Laguna Beach, Calif.). Matt Hatzke (San Jose, Calif.) moved to the left back position and Matt Marquess (Palo Alto, Calif.) started in the place of Jeff Scott (Granite Bay, Calif.) at the right back spot.
"I really just felt it was the right time of the season to look at some things differently," said Rast, following Friday's match. "We are heading into the conference season and we need to get more experienced depth. With the double round robin schedule, the league season is so long and anything can happen with the team. So, it is important that we are able to feel confident that we can make changes and still remain effective and compete for a WCC and national championship."
Junior reserve forward Keith DeVey (Kula, Hawai'i) remains the team's leading scorer with five goals and one assists on the season. Lowry has a total of seven points, while eight other players have at least one assist on the year.
Defensively, centerbacks Jamil Roberts (Fremont, Calif.) and Ogunbiyi have anchored a unit that has surrendered just under one goal per game on the season and allowed just two goals in its last four outings. Senior keeper Kevin Sweeney (San Jose, Calif.) is expected to earn his second-straight start on Thursday after shutting out FIU and registering seven saves against the Golden Panthers.
San Jose State is 3-3-2 on the season following a 3-1 loss at San Francisco on Friday. The Spartans are scoring 1.2 goals per game while limiting their opponents to just over a goal per outing.
Spartan head coach Gary St. Clari, a 1976 graduate of SJSU, is one of only two coaches in the 78-year history of San Jose State soccer, is 143-133-21 in his 16th season.
Following Thursday's match, Santa Clara returns home Sunday night for its West Coast Conference opener against Saint Mary's College. The 7 p.m. kickoff at Buck Shaw Stadium will feature a special adidas giveaway for the first 250 fans in attendance.