Oct. 4, 2005
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - It might be only the second week of league play, but this weekend's two-match road trip to Southern California could have a significant impact on the fifth-ranked Santa Clara men's soccer team's title chances this season.
The Broncos play a 7 p.m. match Friday evening at 21st-ranked San Diego then travel to Los Angeles to face Loyola Marymount Sunday afternoon in a 2 p.m. start. Both West Coast Conference matches will feature live online Gametracker coverage via SantaClaraBroncos.com.
"Obviously it is too early to say that one or two matches will make or break our chances to compete for a conference championship," said SCU's fourth-year head coach Cameron Rast. "But, we haven't had a lot of success at San Diego recently and LMU has really played well against us on their field the last couple of years. I know our guys will be ready for these games and look forward to the challenge before them."
Santa Clara enters Friday's match with the WCC's top offensive squad, while the Toreros are the league's best defensive unit. SCU has a 7-2-0 record and a 1-0-0 mark in WCC matches following its 2-0 victory at San Jose State and 3-2 overtime win over Saint Mary's College last week. The Broncos are currently riding a three-match win streak and has limited its last six opponents to just four total goals.
San Diego ranks at the top of the WCC and 13th nationally in goals allowed with just four in its seven matches this season.
Junior forward Keith DeVey leads SCU in scoring with 14 points and six goals, both of which rank second among WCC players. Twelve of the Kula, Hawai'i native's 16 shots have been on frame and two of his goals are game-winners.
Junior midfielder Erik Ustruck earned WCC and National Player of the Week (Top Drawer Soccer) honors after scoring a goal and adding two assists against Saint Mary's. The St. Louis, Mo. native has started all nine games at midfield for the Broncos.
The Bronco offense has generated a league-high 19 goals in nine matches, for an average of 2.11 per match. SCU also has the most points with 56 on the season.
Santa Clara was disappointed to drop both matches last season on its Southern California road trip -- 20 at San Diego on Oct. 15 then 4-0 at LMU two days later. SCU entered the first match of the trip at USD with a sparkling 11-1 record.
The Broncos own an 18-9-1 series record against San Diego, but have not won at Torero Stadium since 1996 and are just 5-6 there since 1986. Seven of the last 10 matches between the two schools have been decided by one goal.