Oct. 19, 2006
Santa Clara, Calif. - The Santa Clara men's soccer team, currently ranked No. 14 in the country, plays a crucial West Coast Conference match on Friday, Oct. 20 at Buck Shaw Stadium. The match against the Broncos biggest rival, the University of San Francisco Dons, kicks off at 7:00 p.m. PT. The game features the top two teams in the conference and will be critical in deciding the 2006 WCC champion.
"Our games with USF are always a battle," said Broncos head coach Cameron Rast. "We have to come out and be aggressive early and try and get on the board. We have to use our home field to our advantage and try to keep them under pressure throughout the game."
In the first meeting between the teams on Sept. 24, Keith DeVey scored an early goal to get the Broncos off to a dream start and they led 1-0 at halftime. Sean Danzeiser then got free in the 64th minute and blasted a shot past Dons goalkeeper Geremy Uhl to put SCU up 2-0. Despite a 71st minute goal by USF's Matt Languis, the Broncos held on for the 2-1 win.
Since that game, both teams have played well as Santa Clara has posted a 3-1-2 record, including a five-game unbeaten streak in their past five matches. San Francisco has won four in a row and moved into second place in the WCC standings. SCU leads the WCC with 14 points with USF only two points behind.
SCU is coming off an emotional overtime victory on Sunday over Saint Mary's with freshman Jeff Cosgriff scoring the game-winner. San Francisco did not play last weekend and should be well-rested for the match.
"It is game that will be important in the final WCC standings," sand Rast. "Both teams expect to be competing for the WCC title right to the end, so we want to make sure that we secure three points at home."
USF is led by 2004 WCC Player of the Year Aaron Chandler and 2005 WCC Defender of the Year Rob Valentino. Chandler has scored four goals and notched two assists and was dangerous against SCU in the teams' first meeting. Valentino commands a big presence in the back for the Dons,while Dons goalkeeper Geremy Uhl is also having another fine season, leading the WCC in goals against average at 0.83 and notching five shutouts.
The Broncos once again hope that their balanced attack finds holes in the USF defense. Keith DeVey, Peter Lowry and Jeff Cosgriff all have scored four goals to lead the way for SCU and 10 players have scored at least a goal for Rast's squad this season. DeVey needs just one goal to move into the top-10 all-time in goals scored in Bronco history.
"It is great getting contributions from everyone," said Rast. "It makes us hard to scout and allows to throw different combinations at people. For example, Jide (Ogunbiyi) played the entire second half and overtime for us on Sunday and assisted on the winning goal."
To purchase tickets to Friday's pivotal WCC match, call the Bronco Ticket Office at 408-554-4660 or click here.