March 29, 2007

Santa Clara Men's Soccer: Notes From Japan

PHOTO GALLERY

March 29, 2007

MOMOYAMA, Japan - The Santa Clara men's soccer team is in the midst of its spring break trip to Japan. The team arrived on Sunday, March 25 in Toyko and then traveled to Momoyama, where they stayed at Momoyama Gakuin University. The team has played four games so far in a split squad format, playing Kansai University twice and Saint Andrew's twice. The team posted a 1-2-1 record in those games.

On Tuesday, SCU lost one of the games to Kansai University 3-0 and won the second 2-1. Kansai was a national semifinalist last year. Both Santa Clara and Kansai split their teams into two groups for the games. In the second game, freshmen Ryan Brown and Kellen Wantulok scored for the Broncos.

"Kansai's two teams were very technical and well-organized," said head coach Cameron Rast. "We had some good chances in the first game that we could not finish, but they played well. We got down in the second game, but we battled back. Brian Martin had an excellent game and helped bring us back."

The next day, the Broncos had two more games, this time against St. Andrew's. The team opened with a 2-2 draw in game one with Wantulok netting his second goal in two days. With the team trailing 2-1, freshman Ross Smith scored on a corner kick to equalize. SCU fell 4-0 in game two.

"We had a very strong first game on Wednesday," said Rast. "It was a physical game, but we matched them all the way. It was nice to see us come back and earn the tie at the end. We got down early in game two and could not overcome the deficit, and some players went down with injuries that left us shorthanded. Scott Sweeney had an impressive day though and gave us a lift."

The Broncos play two more games Thursday and then will catch a J-League match on Friday night before returning to California on Saturday.