League-Leading Broncos Host Gaels Friday Night

Santa Clara Men's Soccer Virtual Media Guide

SANTA CLARA, Calif. –
Picked fifth in the West Coast Conference preseason poll, Santa Clara has exceeded expectations and controls their own league-championship destiny heading into the final two weekends of the regular season.

The Broncos have played exceptional soccer on the road (5-0-1 vs. WCC) and return to their home field at Buck Shaw Stadium for their final three games of the regular season. Next up is a Friday night game against local rival St. Mary's College. Kick-off is set for 7 p.m. at Buck Shaw Stadium.

No WCC team has been as hot as Santa Clara, who is unbeaten since September 19. However, Friday's opponent, St. Mary's, has won three straight to remain in the league title race. SMC is the top-ranked WCC team in the NSCAA Far West Region poll.

Friday, Nov. 5, 7 p.m.
St. Mary's @ Santa Clara Live Stats | Video

GAME PROMOTIONS!

*FREE Pepsi/Bronco logo flags will be given away to the first 300 fans
*FREE t-shirts, courtesy of Soccer International, will be tossed into the stands following pre-game introductions
*All youth soccer players in uniform, accompanied by a paying adult, will be admitted for FREE as part of Santa Clara's 'Take-a-Kid to the Game' program during the month of November
*RUFF RIDERS – get to the game early as FREE pizza, provided by Tony & Alba's, will be given away before the game in the student section. There will also be a RUFF RIDER halftime contest
*SCU players will be signing autographs after the game near the main entrance

TICKETS
(BUY NOW!)
Single-game tickets start at $8 for adults and $5 youth and seniors. SCU Ruff Riders receive FREE admission. Other SCU students and 'Bronco Kids' can buy single-game tickets at $2. Special group rates are also available. To buy tickets online click here, or visit the Leavey Center ticket office (500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, Calif.) or by calling directly at 408-554-4660.

LIVE COVERAGE

Friday night's game with St. Mary's will be broadcast live on Santa Clara's official athletics website (SantaClaraBroncos.com), the live video feed (without audio) can be purchased for $7.95. Additionally, FREE live scoring will be offered on SantaClaraBroncos.com, see the links above.

MATCH NOTES
*SCU is led by ninth-year head coach Cameron Rast (101-50-34)
*Santa Clara has moved into first place in the WCC standings
*The Broncos have not lost since Sept. 19, a road defeat at Stanford
*All three of SCU's final regular season games will be played at home
*Only 5 of SCU's 17 games have been played at Buck Shaw Stadium
*Santa Clara is 50-13-19 at Buck Shaw Stadium under Rast
*Rast eclipsed the 100-win milestone last weekend with wins at USD and LMU
*Seven different Broncos have scored game-winning goals this season
*Erik Hurtado, who scored twice against USD Friday, leads the Broncos in points (10), shots (33) and shots on goal (13)
*Santa Clara's 26 goals this season is a league-best
*SCU's defense has allowed just 197 shots, second best in the WCC
*Santa Clara defeated SMC 2-1 in Moraga on October 10
*Eric Masch and Cal McKee provided goals for SCU in that victory over SMC
*The Broncos have dominated the all-time series with SMC, 31-3-5
*SMC has won three straight entering the week
*The Gaels will host San Francisco Wednesday night before playing at SCU
*The Gaels beat three ranked teams during non-conference play in September
*Gaels Dylan Leslie and Justin Grinder have each totaled 21 shots vs. WCC opponents, ranking second in the league entering the week
*SMC has one of the top ranked defenses in the WCC, keeper Doug Herrick is first in goals against average (0.88), shutouts (6) and save percentage (.842)
*LOOKING AHEAD: Home games with Portland and Gonzaga wrap up the regular season next weekend

SANTA CLARA

The Broncos (8-4-5) have won three straight and have not lost since September 19, an 11-game unbeaten streak. Santa Clara has finished their regular season road schedule 6-1-2, the program's best road mark since they won the WCC title in 2007. Santa Clara – who starts seven underclassmen - has seen a remarkable improvement in its offensive production from a year ago. The Broncos have gone from one of the lowest-scoring teams in the league last season to the highest-scoring team. SCU has 26 goals in 17 games, with at least two in six of their last seven matches. Sophomore forward Erik Hurtado, team-captain Mykell Bates, All-WCC players Eric Masch and Brandon Zimmerman and sophomore Wesley Culver have each collected eight or more points this season. Junior keeper Kevin Klasila made a season-high nine saves to help SCU beat LMU Sunday. Klasila and the Broncos defense have limited opponents to one goal in 9 of the last 11 games.

ST. MARY'S

The Gaels (9-5-1) seem to have the best shot of any WCC team at making the NCAA Tournament without winning the league and claiming the WCC's automatic postseason bid – due largely to a solid non-conference record early in the season. The Gaels are ranked fourth in the NSCAA Far West Regional poll and are just few votes outside of the latest NSCAA Top 25. The Gaels are coming off an outstanding 2009 season in which the team had its best record in program history (10-5-5) and qualified for the NCAA Tournament. After a 4-1-1 start to the 2010 season, SMC was ranked in the Top 25 for the first time in nearly 20 years. SMC won twice on their home field last weekend, beating Gonzaga 2-1 and Portland 2-0. The Gaels are playing low-scoring games against WCC teams this year; their goals (8) and goals-allowed (5) through eight league matches are lowest in the league.

ERIK HURTADO NAMED WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Santa Clara University sophomore forward Erik Hurtado was named the West Coast Conference Men's Soccer Player of the Week, as announced Monday by the league office. Hurtado scored twice and distributed an assist, accounting for three of the Broncos' four goals in a pair of weekend victories over San Diego and No. 21 LMU. Hurtado - an All-WCC player as a freshman - put three shots on goal Friday night and scored twice in SCU's 2-1 victory over USD, the first heading in a corner kick and the second was the game-winner via a penalty kick. On Sunday, in a first-place showdown with LMU, Hurtado found teammate Connor Mitchell on a cross that led to the tying goal deep into the second half. Santa Clara would complete the comeback and remain undefeated in WCC play.

WCC STANDINGS (Points)

1.  (19) Santa Clara 5-0-4/8-4-5  
2.  (17) Portland 5-2-2/8-3-5
3.  (16) LMU 5-2-1/9-5-2          
4.  (15) St. Mary's 5-3/9-5-1
5.  (9) San Diego 3-4-1/6-7-2
6.  (5) USF 1-6-2/3-10-3
7.  (3) Gonzaga 1-8/4-12

SCU HEAD COACH CAMERON RAST
Santa Clara University alumnus Cameron Rast is in his ninth season at the helm of Bronco men's soccer. He has led his alma mater to five NCAA tournament appearances and three West Coast Conference titles. Six of his student-athletes have been named All-Americans and 13 have moved on to play professional soccer. A former All-America player on Santa Clara's National Championship team of 1989 and U.S. Olympic Team captain in 1992, Rast took over as SCU head coach in 2002 after eight seasons as an assistant coach. Under his guidance the Broncos won the WCC title in 2003 and claimed back-to-back conference championships in 2006 and 2007. Rast owns a 101-50-34 career record at Santa Clara and is 50-13-19 all-time at Buck Shaw Stadium.

QUOTABLE
"We endured a first half where (SMC) was creating the majority of the chances," said SCU head coach Cameron Rast after the Broncos defeated the Gaels 2-1 on October 10.  "We had to really rely on our system, and what we worked on throughout our week of practice as the game moved on. Our guys did a great job of that today, especially after Friday night (a 2-2 tie with USF), a really long and emotional game that didn't go our way." 

SANTA CLARA TRADITION

1 National Championship
5 College Cup Final Fours
18 NCAA Tournaments
52 Future Professionals
10 WCC Championships
8 Seasons of 15+ wins
4 Teams ranked No. 1 nationally
13 Teams ranked in top 5 nationally
209-79-38 at Buck Shaw Stadium
189-117-45 vs. WCC all-time

2010 SEASON HONORS

WCC Player of the Week
Erik Hurtado (11/1)
All-Tournament Team @ Marquette Invitational (9/12)

Erik Hurtado
Brandon Zimmerman
All-Tournament Team @ UC Irvine Collegiate Classic (9/6)

Brandon Zimmerman
Carlos Montes

All-WCC Preseason Team

Erik Hurtado
Eric Masch

UP NEXT

The Broncos play three-straight WCC home games to close out the regular season, hosting Portland (11/12) and Gonzaga (11/14) next weekend.