November 1, 2006

Santa Clara Men's Soccer Weekly Update

Nov. 1, 2006

This Week For Bronco Men's Soccer
After wrapping up the West Coast Conference title last weekend, the Santa Clara University men's soccer team completes the regular season with two home matches at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Broncos take on the Portland Pilots on Friday, Nov. 3 at 7:00 p.m. PT and then play the Gonzaga Bulldogs on Sunday, Nov. 5 at 1:00 p.m. PT. The Broncos earned a win ealier this year at Portland 2-1 and played to a 0-0 tie with Gonzaga on the road. Sunday is Senior Day for Santa Clara as it will honor seniors Keith DeVey and Erik Ustruck prior to the game.

Last Week For Bronco Men's Soccer
The Broncos swept two games in Southern California beating San Diego 2-1 in overtime on Friday, before earning a tough 2-0 win over Loyola Marymount on Sunday. On Friday night, freshman Chris Sauter was the hero, scoring early in the overtime period to lead SCU to the win. Amaechi Igwe also scored against the Toreros. On Sunday, Keith DeVey and Jide Ogunbiyi scored second half goals to lead the Broncos to the win, while Josephn Buttitta made fives saves to post his seventh shutout of the year. The wins give Santa Clara 23 points in the conference with two games remaining, six points clear of LMU, which has only one game left.

WCC Championships
Santa Clara clinched its ninth WCC title over the weekend with two wins over San Diego and LMU. The Broncos last won the conference championship in 2003 when they advanced to the NCAA College Cup. The program also won the Pacific Soccer Conference in 1979 under head coach Dave Chaplik.

Head Coach Cameron Rast
Cameron Rast (Santa Clara '92) is in his fifth season at the helm of the Santa Clara men's soccer program and has a 65-25-12 (.696) overall record and a 29-13-4 (.674) mark in West Coast Conference matches. He has led the Broncos to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last three seasons and his 2003 team advanced to the NCAA College Cup, where it lost a double-overtime decision to eventual national champion Indiana. He has now led the team to two WCC titles after clinching the 2006 championship on Sunday. After eight years as an assistant coach and four as a player, Rast has now reached the College Cup in three different capacities while at Santa Clara. He is already in the top-10 on the WCC career list for league wins. Rast is assisted by Eric Yamamoto, Rusty Johnson and Tim Martin.

NCAA Tournament
The Broncos conclude the regular season this weekend but they are guaranteed a spot in the NCAA Tournament after receiving an automatic berth for winning the conference. The NCAA Tournament selection show will be aired live on Monday, Nov. 6 between 2:00 - 3:00 PT on ESPNEWS. The first round of the tournament takes place on Friday, Nov. 10 or Saturday, Nov. 11.

Series vs. Portland
The Broncos have had a relatively even all-time series against Portland with SCU holding a 14-10-5 record against the Pilots. In 2004 and 2005, the teams split the season series. At Buck Shaw Stadium, the series has also been close with Portland winning two out of the past four games at the Broncos' home stadium. Santa Clara won the first game between the teams this year 2-1 with goals coming from Matt Hatzke and Sean Danzeiser.

Series vs. Gonzaga
While the series between Gonzaga and Santa Clara dates only to the 1993 season, the two teams have played a number of tight, memorable games. Santa Clara leads the series 9-5-2 after the two teams tied 0-0 on Oct. 8. Broncos goalkeeper Joseph Buttitta kept the game tied with an amazing reaction save on Gonzaga's John Reha in the closing moments of overtime. At Buck Shaw Stadium, the Broncos have never lost to the Zags, holding a 7-0-1 edge at Santa Clara.

Portland in 2006
The Pilots are coming off an impressive two-win weekend as they beat San Francisco and Washington to move themselves over .500 for the season overall. Following a three-match losing streak in mid-October, the Pilots have won three out of four to move out of the basement in the WCC. The team is led by Alex Elliott, who has scored nine goals on the season, and Christopher Sanders, who has scored seven goals while dishing out three assists.

Gonzaga in 2006
The Zags have been a streaky team in conference all season. After opening the year with three straight losses to fall into the conference cellar, Gonzaga then posted a 3-0-1 record in the next four games to jump into the thick of the conference race. However, Gonzaga got swept by Loyola Marymount and San Diego at home and then fell to non-conference foe Washington to fall below .500 and out of contention in the conference. The Zags did the Broncos a favor last weekend by beating San Francisco 2-1 in overtime to help SCU clinch the WCC title.

Eight-Game Unbeaten Streak
The Broncos are currently riding an eight-game unbeaten streak and have posted a 6-0-2 record in that span. They have allowed just four goals in those eight games. The run began on Oct. 1 with a 2-1 win over San Diego. The Broncos went unbeaten in October, completing their first undefeated month since Oct. 2003, the same season that they advanced to the NCAA College Cup.

Unbeaten on the Road
The Broncos swept two road games last weekend at San Diego and Loyola Marymount to finish their conference road schedule. SCU posted a 5-0-1 record on the road in conference, its first unbeaten run on the road in conference since 2001 when they went 3-0-0. Since the introduction of the double round robin format in 2004, SCU had not lost fewer than three games on the road in conference play.

WCC Leaders
Cameron Rast's squad has a number of individuals among the WCC's league leaders after 18 games in 2006. Senior Keith DeVey is tied for 10th in points with 11 and seventh in goals with five. Junior Peter Lowry along with freshmen Jeff Cosgriff and Amaechi Igwe are all tied for ninth in goals with four this season. Goalkeeper Joseph Buttita now leads the league in shutouts with seven and goals against average (0.76).

Broncos as a Team
As a team, the Broncos also find themselves near the top of the ladder in a number of statistical categories. The Broncos, currently on a eight-game unbeaten streak, are tied for second in goals (28), while placing first in corner kicks with 128. SCU's corner kick total is 43 higher than the next closest team. The team has allowed only 16 goals on the year, tied for lowest total among conference teams. Their 0.85 goals against average is tops in the conference. The Broncos also have the second highest home attendance in the league with an average of 1,324 fans through seven home dates.

DeVey Eyes Top Scorers
Keith DeVey netted his fifth goal of 2006 against Loyola Marymount on Sunday and the 19th of his career. The Kula, Hawaii resident is now tied for ninth all-time in Bronco history for goals. He is tied with Peter Cochran, Alberto Cruz and Derick Brownell. With two more goals, he could jump all the way into a tie for seventh in school history.

Rast Moves Into Third
Cameron Rast won two games last weekend to pass former Bronco coach Steve Sampson and move into third place all-time in wins at SCU. He now has 65 wins. Steve Sampson earned 64 wins from 1986-90 on the Mission Campus. The all-time leader is Mitch Murray (1991-2001), who has 143 victories followed by Dave Chaplik with 92. Rast is the second-fastest coach in school history to reach the 50-win plateau, just behind Murray.

Buttitta Player of the Week
Sophomore goalkeeper Joseph Buttitta continues to impress in his first year as the starting goalkeeper for SCU. He earned his league-leading seventh shutout over the weekend against LMU and allowed just one goal against San Diego. He was named WCC Player of the Week for his performance. He has four shtouts in the past eight games and did not allow more than one goal in any of those matches. He also leads the WCC in goals against average at 0.76.

Ogunbiyi Gets First of Season
Sophomore Jide Ogunbiyi scored his first goal of the season on Sunday to seal the game for the Broncos against LMU. Ogunbiyi was hampered by injuries early in the season, but has come on strong of late and now has one goal and three assists on the season.

Sauter's Heroics
Earlier this season, freshman Chris Sauter was robbed in overtime by a amazing save against San Jose State in a 0-0 tie. Friday night, he was in the same situation as he rose up for a header on a Peter Lowry free kick, but this time, he was able to find an opening and his header hit the back of the net. The goal was the first of his collegiate career and it gave SCU a 2-1 win over San Diego. On the season, the right defender has started 14 games and been instrumental in the team's defensive success.

Lowry Up Top, DeVey In Middle
Junior captain Peter Lowry has moved from his role of central midfield into the forward line for the past month, while Keith DeVey has slid into the role of attacking midfielder. The results have been positive as SCU has yet to lose with that formation.

Lineup Consistency
Despite a number of injuries and a tough early-season schedule, Santa Clara has had great consistency in its starting lineup. Through 18 games in 2006, seven players have started every game; Joseph Buttita, Matt Marquess, Jamil Roberts, Peter Lowry, Erik Ustruck, Brian Martin and Keith DeVey. The only three positions that have seen changes are right back, left back and forward. Amaechi Igwe has started 15 out of 18 games this year.

Balanced Attack
The Broncos attack has been very balanced in 2006 as 12 different players have scored goals and 14 different players have notched at least one point.

Iron Man
Broncos defender Matt Marquess has proven to be a rock on the back-line for SCU the past two seasons. After starting against USF last weekend, Marquess has now played in 40 consecutive games for SCU. This season, he has stared all 18 games and played 1,697 of a possible 1,702:54 minutes. He leads all Broncos in minutes played. Jamil Roberts, who has also started every match, is second with 1,682 minutes played. The pair have started every game together in central defense.

Ustruck And DeVey - Last Ties to College Cup
In 2003, Cameron Rast led the Broncos to the College Cup in just his second season as head coach. Two members of that team remain as SCU attempts to make a return trip to the Final Four. Erik Ustruck was a freshman on that 2003 team, while Keith DeVey was a redshirt freshman. That team lost to Indiana in double overtime in the semifinals.

Home Sweet Home
Buck Shaw Stadium has provided an excellent home-field advantage for the Broncos over the years. They have posted a 192-71-25 record good for an incredible .710 winning percentage. The team has lost only five home games in Rast's tenure at SCU.