November 22, 2006

Santa Clara Men's Soccer Heads To East Coast For Quarterfinal Showdown With Wake Forest

Nov. 22, 2006

Next Up For Bronco Men's Soccer
The Santa Clara men's soccer team continues its trek to the College Cup as the team heads to Winston Salem, N.C. for a Friday night match against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Wake Forest defeated Towson University 2-1 to reach the quaterfinals. The game will be played on Nov. 24 at 4:00 p.m. PT at Spry Stadium. Wake Forest won the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season title.

Last Game For Bronco Men's Soccer
The Broncos survived a hard-fought game against the Indiana Hoosiers in the third round of the NCAA Tournament, winning 5-4 on penalty kicks, following a 0-0 tie. Jeff Cosgriff scored the winning penalty kick while Joseph Buttitta saved Indiana's final shootout attempt. Santa Clara had lost three straight games to Indiana in the NCAA Tournament prior to its shootout win last weekend. The Broncos have gone to overtime in both of their NCAA matches so far.

On Wake Forest
Head coach Cameron Rast: "Wake Forest is a good team and they have a lot of players that can take guys on and create opportunities. They also have a lot of team speed so we will have to be ready for that as well. I am expecting another closely contested game on Friday night."

NCAA Tournament
The Broncos have qualified for the NCAA Tournament 17 times including this season. They have appeared in five College Cups and won the national title in 1989. Overall, SCU has a 22-13-6 record in the tournament and are 11-2-1 at home. Last season, the Broncos defeated Ohio State 1-0 before falling to California on penalty kicks in the second round. This is the team's fourth consecutive appearance.

NCAA Records
Shawn Percell (1996-99) holds the program record for tournament goals with five in his career. Current head coach Cameron Rast (1988-91) is tied with Kyle Smith (1997-99) for second with four goals apiece. Jeff Baicher (1989-90) and Sean-Michael Callahan (1996-99) are tied for first in assists with four, while Percell leads in points (12). Current goalkeeper coach Rusty Johnson holds the record for most saves in tournament play as he made 19 saves in his career from 1998-99. Kevin Sweeney now holds the record for goals against average after posting two shutouts last season, leaving him with a 0.00 GAA.

Cosgriff Comes Through
Freshman Jeff Cosgriff was the hero Saturday night against Indiana as he struck the winning penalty kick in the first round of sudden death penalty kicks. His penalty gave the Broncos a 5-4 win in the shootout.

In the Quarters
By beating Indiana, SCU reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003 and for the sixth time overall. The Broncos possess a stellar 5-1-0 all-time record in the quarterfinals. Their lone loss came in 1995 against Portland.

Broncos vs. Wake Forest
In the quarterfinals, Santa Clara will face Wake Forest for just the second time in school history. The Broncos and Demon Deacons played to a scoreless draw on Sept. 13, 1996 at the USF Classic in San Francisco. Current Bronco head coach Cameron Rast was an assistant on that Santa Clara team.

Wake Forest in 2006
The Demon Deacons captured the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season championship and have reached the NCAA quarterfinals for the first time in school history. Wake Forest went 5-2-1 in the ACC to win the regular season title. Overall, the Demon Deacons own a 17-3-3 record, with their only losses coming to Duke (twice) and Maryland. They lost 1-0 in overtime to Duke in the ACC Tournament final after surviving penalty kick shootouts in the quarterfinals and semifinals of the tournament. The team has five players that have scored at least five goals, led by Steven Curfman, who has five goals and eight assists on the year. Marcus Tracy, Zack Schilawski and Wells Thompson have six goals each. Brian Edwards has posted 12 shutouts on the season between the pipes.

Shootout History
Santa Clara has had mixed resutls in its history in NCAA Tournament shootouts. SCU lost its first-ever shootout in the NCAA Championship game to Virginia 3-1 in 1991. The Broncos then captured two straight shootouts, knocking off Stanford 6-5 in 1999, following a 2-2 tie in regulation, and then beating Southern Methodist 4-1 in 2003 after a 1-1 tie. Last year, the Broncos fell to the California Golden Bears 6-5 in the shootout after a 0-0 tie. With the win over Indiana, SCU is now 3-2 all-time in shootouts.

Familiarity
Santa Clara assistant coach Eric Yamamoto has spent time coaching with the United States national team programs at the Under-16, Under-17 and Under-18 levels. Because of that, the Broncos head into Friday's game with good knowledge about some of Wake Forest's top players. During his time at U.S. Soccer, Yamamoto has coached four of Wake Forest's current players, Jamie Franks, Patrick Phelan, Ryan Solle and Julian Valentin.

Going Home
Bronco senior Erik Ustruck grew up in Saint Louis, Mo. and attended St. John Vianney High School. A win by the Broncos over the Demon Deacons on Friday would send Ustruck back to his hometown for the NCAA College Cup. The College Cup is being hosted by Saint Louis University and the games will be played at Robert R. Hermann Stadium, where Ustruck attended many soccer games while growing up.

No Stranger To Extra Time
The Santa Clara men's soccer program knows all about overtime in the NCAA Tournament. SCU has played at least one overtime game in every postseason appearance since 1999. SCU had lost three straight overtime games in the tournament prior to this year, falling to California in 2005 on penalty kicks and losing 2-1 in 2004. In 2003, Indiana beat Santa Clara 1-0 in overtime. However, SCU has now advanced through two overtime games in 2006, beating Washington 3-2 and winning the shootout 5-4 against Indiana. In 2003, SCU had four of their five tournament games go to the extra session, winning once on penalty kicks (4-1 vs. SMU) and beating Loyola Marymount (1-0) and Coastal Carolina (3-2), before the loss to Indiana. Overall, 18 of the Broncos 41 postseason matches have needed overtime to determine a winner.

Youthful Impact
The Santa Clara Broncos lost 11 letterwinners following the 2005 season after reaching the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The 2006 team features only two seniors and has 14 newcomers to the team, 13 freshmen and one sophomore transfer. On the season, those 14 newcomers have combined for 18 goals and 11 assists on the season. Three of the team's top five scorers are new to the team this year, Amaechi Igwe, Brian Martin and Sean Danzeiser. Against Indiana, three freshmen started as did sophomore transfer Brian Martin, while two freshmen, Jeff Cosgriff and Ryan Brown, came off the bench. Freshman Sean Danzeiser missed his first match of the year against the Hoosiers.

McCarthy's First Assist
Co-WCC Freshman of the Year Stephen McCarthy picked a good time to earn his first assist of the season. McCarthy got a pass from Keith DeVey and dropped it back for Brian Martin, who blasted home the Broncos second goal of the night against Washington on Nov. 15. McCarthy has been a mainstay throughout the year in the mdifield, starting 21 out of 22 games. He was also named All-WCC Honorable Mention in 2006.

Unbeaten Streak Snapped
The Santa Clara Broncos pushed their unbeaten streak to nine games with a 3-0 win over Portland on Nov. 3. However, the unbeaten run was snapped on Nov. 5 as the Gonzaga Bulldogs pulled out a 2-1 overtime victory in the season finale. George Josten scored the winning goal in overtime to end the Broncos run. The nine-game unbeaten run was the longest unbeaten streak since 1999 when the Broncos won 11 in a row to start the season. While the unbeaten run is over, the Broncos are still 8-1-3 in their past 12 games.

Unbeaten on the Road
The Broncos swept two road games Oct. 27 and 29 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 had a number of individuals among the WCC's league leaders in the regular season. Senior Keith DeVey and Amaechi Igwe tied for eighth in points with 13, while DeVey tied for sixth in goals with six. Junior Peter Lowry and Igwe tied for ninth with five goals each. Sophomores Brian Martin and Jide Ogunbiyi tied for eighth with four assists. Goalkeeper Joseph Buttita now led the league in shutouts with seven and goals against average (0.79).

Broncos as a Team
As a team, the Broncos finished near the top of the ladder in a number of statistical categories. The Broncos finished third in goals (32), first in shutouts (8), while placing first in corner kicks with 145. SCU's corner kick total was 49 higher than the next closest team. The team allowed only 18 goals on the year, the second lowest total among conference teams. Their 0.86 goals against average was tops in the conference. The Broncos also had the second highest home attendance in the league with an average of 1,178 fans for seven home dates.

DeVey Among Top Scorers
Keith DeVey netted his sixth goal of 2006 against Portland on Nov. 3 and the 20th of his career. The Kula, Hawaii resident is now tied for eighth all-time in Bronco history for goals. He is tied with Steve Robertson. With one more goal, he would jump into a tie for seventh in school history.

Rast Moves Into Third
Cameron Rast has now passed former Bronco coach Steve Sampson and moved into third place all-time in wins at SCU. He now has 67 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 Nearing Record Books
Sophomore goalkeeper Joseph Buttitta continues to impress in his first year as the starting goalkeeper for SCU. With his shutout of Indiana, he now has eight on the season, placing him in a tie for 10th all-time for shutouts in a season in SCU history. He is also on the verge of moving into the top 10 all-time in single-season saves. He has 54 saves in 2006, three behind Rusty Johnson, who had 57 in 1999. He finished the regular season with a 0.79 goals against average and seven shutouts. He was named the WCC Player of the Month for October for his stellar play.

Tight Games
The Broncos have had 16 of their 22 games decided by one goal or end in ties in 2006.

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 lost just once with that formation, while posting a 8-1-3 record.

Lineup Consistency
Despite a number of injuries and a tough schedule, Santa Clara has had great consistency in its starting lineup. Through 22 games in 2006, seven players have started every game; Joseph Buttita, Matt Marquess, Jamil Roberts, Peter Lowry, Erik Ustruck, Brian Martin and Keith DeVey. Amaechi Igwe has started 19 out of 22 games this year, while Stephen McCarthy has started 21 out of 22.

Balanced Attack
The Broncos attack has been very balanced in 2006 as 13 different players have scored goals and 15 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 appearing in all 22 games this year, Marquess has now played in 44 consecutive games for SCU. This season, he has started all 22 games and played 2,052 of a possible 2,087:44 minutes. Jamil Roberts, who has also started every match, leads the team in minutes with 2,062 minutes played. The pair has 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.

NCAA Goals
Coming into the 2006 postseason, three current Broncos had scored goals in the NCAA Tournament in their careers. Erik Ustruck scored a goal as a freshman in 2003 against Michigan in the Regional Final to help SCU advance to the College Cup. Keith DeVey scored a first half goal against Cal in 2004 in a first-round overtime loss. Also, Peter Lowry scored on a free kick against Ohio State in the first round last year at Buck Shaw on Nov. 15 to give SCU a 1-0 win.

NCAA Experience
Entering this year's College Cup, Santa Clara had nine players with NCAA Tournament experience led by Erik Ustrcuk with eight NCAA games under his belt and Keith DeVey with six. Overall, the team had 31 games of NCAA experience. Brian Curry (3), Matt Hatzke (3), Peter Lowry (3), Matt Marquess (2), Jide Ogunbiyi (2), Jamil Roberts (3) and Scott Sweeney (1) had all played in the tournament.

Home Sweet Home
Buck Shaw Stadium has provided an excellent home-field advantage for the Broncos over the years. They have posted a 194-72-25 record good for an incredible .710 winning percentage. The team has lost only six home games in Rast's tenure at SCU.