September 30, 2011

No. 25 Santa Clara Hosts WCC Opener Tonight at 7 p.m.!

Santa Clara's Interactive Virtual Guide
Practice Report: Player and Coach Interviews
Bronco Weekly Sports Wrap

SANTA CLARA, Calif.  –
The 25th-ranked Santa Clara University's men's soccer team begins its quest for a second-straight West Coast Conference title this weekend. SCU will entertain the University of Portland Friday night at 7 p.m., then Gonzaga University Sunday at 12 noon. The Broncos went 7-1-4 in league play last season, winning its fifth WCC title in 10 years.

Week #6 - Sept. 26, 2011-Oct. 2

PORTLAND (5-2-1) @ SANTA CLARA (4-1-3)
Friday, Sept. 30, 2011 • 7 p.m.
Game #9 • Home Game #7 • Santa Clara, Calif.
Watch Live
GONZAGA (2-4-1)* @ SANTA CLARA

Sunday, Oct. 2, 2011 • 12 noon^
Game #10 • Home Game #8 • Santa Clara, Calif.
Watch Live

*Gonzaga will play at San Francisco Friday night
^Sunday's game will be the first part of a men's/women's soccer doubleheader at Buck Shaw (the women's team will play SDSU at 2:30 p.m.)

WEEKLY NOTES
* Cameron Rast is in his tenth season as Santa Clara head coach (107-54-37)
* SCU is 55-15-21 all-time at home under Rast
* The Broncos are ranked No. 25 nationally by College Soccer News
* SCU is vying to win its second straight WCC Championship
* The Broncos (4-1-3) and Pilots (5-2-1) boast the best records in the WCC
* Three of the last five games between SCU and Portland have gone into overtime
* The Broncos have won four-straight over the Zags
* SCU is 10-6-3 all-time at home vs. Portland and 9-2-2 at home vs. Gonzaga
* Santa Clara's only loss this season was to No. 9 New Mexico (Sept. 4)
* Portland is riding a three-game winning-streak
* Junior forward Erik Hurtado leads the WCC in all offensive categories, including points (12), goals (4) and assists (4)
* Portland is regionally-ranked in the NSCAA Far West Region
* Senior goalkeeper Kevin Klasila and the Bronco defense has shutout four of its eight opponents
* SCU's league-leading offense averages 15+ shots per game
* The Broncos have been playing short-handed as of late, missing Brandon Zimmerman last Thursday vs. SJSU, while also being forced to play without seniors Eric Masch, Connor Mitchell, Alex Fitschen, David Castellanos and junior co-captain Murphy Campbell (out for season)

LIVE VIDEO BROADCAST - FREE!

Fans can watch every Santa Clara soccer HOME game online for FREE via SantaClaraBroncos.com with Live Scoring complementing the broadcast on the Broncos' all-access portal courtesy of StretchInternet. Charles Wollin will be providing play-by-play audio for Friday night's match with Portland.

TICKETS

Tickets are available for purchase online at SantaClaraBroncos.com/buytickets or by calling the ticket office directly at 408-554-4660. Season tickets start at just $25 for youth/seniors and $50 for adults.  For the best value, purchase a Family Plan for $100. The Family Plan includes two adult and three youth tickets to each and every home game. Single-game tickets start at $5 for youth/seniors and $8 for adults.

GAME PROMOTIONS

FREE pizza will be given away to Ruff Riders in attendance during the first half of Friday night's game with Portland – so get there early! Additionally, any child wearing their youth-league soccer jersey receives FREE admission to both games this weekend with a paying adult. Following Friday night's game, Santa Clara's players will be signing autographs near the north entrance.

IN THE RANKINGS
Santa Clara is currently ranked No. 25 by College Soccer News and has been ranked as high as No. 24 by TopDrawerSoccer.com. The Broncos are also receiving votes for the NSCAA Top 25 Poll and are ranked No. 9 in the NSCAA Far West Region. Portland comes in at No. 10 in the NSCAA regional rankings.

HEAD COACH CAMERON RAST (10th-year)

Since taking over the Bronco men's soccer program nine years ago, SCU alumnus and Hall of Famer Cameron Rast has led his alma mater to six NCAA tournaments and four West Coast Conference Championships. He was a former All-America player on SCU's 1989 co-National Championship team and U.S. Olympic Team captain in 1992. He spent eight seasons as an assistant coach at SCU from 1994-2001. Last year, in 2010, his ninth year as SCU head coach, the Broncos won the WCC title. Rast has reached the 100-win milestone as a head coach and has moved into third place all-time in WCC coaching victories. The announcement of Rast being named the 2010 WCC 'Coach of the Year' marked the fourth time he has earned the honor. The Broncos advanced into the NCAA College Cup Final Four in 2006. He owns a 107-54-37 career record and is 55-15-21 all-time at SCU's Buck Shaw Stadium.

SANTA CLARA

The Broncos (4-1-3) have emerged as one of the nation's top teams, ranked No. 25 by College Soccer News, with their only loss coming to No. 9 New Mexico. The SCU offense leads the league by generating over 15 shots per game and has scored 14 times in eight outings. However, last weekend SCU and Harvard played to a scoreless tie at Buck Shaw Stadium – despite the Broncos generating 18 shots and 13 corner kick opportunities. SCU will look to shake off that frustrating outing Friday night when they host Portland, a team SCU has not beat since 2008. The match will be the WCC opener for both teams and may go a long way in determining the ultimate league champion, as the two schools currently own the best records in the WCC. Santa Clara will be busy, playing four games in eight days. A match at home against USF (Thursday, Oct. 5) and a road date at St. Mary's (Friday, Oct. 7) are on tap next week.

PORTLAND
The Pilots (5-2-1) have won three straight, which includes victories over then-No. 20 UAB and Houston Baptist in Seattle. Portland has scored seven times during its three-game streak and sophomore midfielder Steven Evans was named the WCC Player of the Week for providing eight points during that stretch. The Pilots have already played three ranked teams this season, tying then-No. 22 Florida Gulf Coast 1-1 at home on Sept. 2, losing to then-No. 20 Northern Illinois 0-4 on the road Sept. 11 prior to its 3-2 win over UAB last Friday. Portland is 2-1 overall on the road and is ranked No. 9 in the latest NSCAA Far West Regional Poll.

ALL-TIME SERIES WITH PORTLAND

Despite the Pilots recent success against Santa Clara, the Broncos still hold a 16-14-8 all-time record against UP. Santa Clara's last win against Portland came in 2008, a 3-2 overtime win at Buck Shaw Stadium. The competitive nature displayed from both sides is apparent, as the matches have been pushed into overtime nearly 35 percent of the time.

GONZAGA
The Zags (2-4-1) have been shutout three times in seven games and have managed just one goal in their last three. Last weekend at Oregon State's Nike Classic, Gonzaga lost to unbeaten and regionally-ranked CSU Bakersfield 4-1 before drawing with UMKC 0-0. The Zags are generating 9.5 shots per game while allowing 20.7. GU was 1-11-0 in WCC play last season and 4-15-0 overall.

ALL-TIME SERIES WITH GONZAGA

The Broncos have won four-straight over the Zags and five of the last seven. The all-time series stands at 14-8-3 in favor of SCU and the Broncos are 9-2-2 all-time at home against the Zags.

PLAYING UP IN NON-CONFERENCE
Making the Broncos 4-1-3 non-conference record in 2011 that much more impressive, is considering who they played. The Broncos faced one of their toughest pre-conference tests in recent memory. Both UCLA and California advanced into the NCAA College Cup tournament's final eight last year, while New Mexico, Harvard and Stanford have been perennial NCAA qualifiers.

DID YOU KNOW?
SCU goalkeeper Kevin Klasila owns 15 career shutouts, needing just three more to break into the WCC's all-time top 10.

WCC STANDINGS (pts)
Portland 5-2-1 (16)
Santa Clara 4-1-3 (15)
San Diego 1-0 WCC/4-4-0 (12)
San Francisco 2-4-1 (7)
Gonzaga 2-4-1 (7)
Saint Mary's 1-3-3 (6)
LMU 0-1 WCC/2-7-0 (6)

This Week's Games:
Wednesday, Sept. 28
SAN DIEGO 2, Loyola Marymount 0
Friday, Sept. 30

Gonzaga @ San Francisco 7 p.m.
Portland @ Santa Clara 7 p.m.
Saint Mary's @ San Diego 7 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 2
Gonzaga @ Santa Clara 12 noon
Portland @ San Francisco 2 p.m.
Saint Mary's @ Loyola Marymount 3 p.m.

HURTADO/KLASILA NAMED WCC PLAYER'S OF THE WEEK

Through the first five weeks of play in 2011, the Broncos garnered three West Coast Conference 'Player of the Week' awards. On September 19, SCU junior attacker Erik Hurtado earned the honor of the second-straight time (Sept. 12 & Sept. 19). Hurtado, who continues to lead the league in most every offensive category, has emerged as an early candidate for the league's Player of the Year. His second award came after scoring and assisting in SCU's 4-2 road win at then-No. 14 Cal. Klasila drew recognition as the WCC Player of the Week on Aug. 29 after he shutout Stanford in the season-opener for both teams at Buck Shaw Stadium.

QUOTABLE
"We are tough and we are proving we can play some soccer," said Cameron Rast, SCU's four-time WCC Coach of the Year, after SCU beat No. 14 Cal on Sept. 16. "This win is important because we took a big step, a step that we haven't been able to take in the past few years. This separates this group from a lot of groups we have had in the past. This shows that we have the potential to be a special team."

BRONCOS AND THE MLS

Not only does the San Jose Earthquakes of the MLS rent out Santa Clara's Buck Shaw Stadium to call home, the Broncos have had a storied history of future professionals wearing the SCU uniform. SCU was ranked among the top NCAA programs producing MLS talent, according to MLSsoccer.com. Santa Clara is tied for second all-time among schools on the West Coast, producing 17 players who have been drafted by MLS clubs, including Mehdi Ballouchy, drafted second overall in 2006.

MYKELL BATES NO. 8 PRO PROSPECT AMONG COLLEGE SENIORS
Santa Clara senior co-captain Mykell Bates was listed as the nation's No. 8 best pro prospect among college seniors according to TopDrawerSoccer.com. The online publication is showcasing Joe Mauceri's observations on 'Joe's Big Board', a listing of the top 100 prospects for professional soccer in the college senior class.

ERIC MASCH TABBED FOR LOWE'S SENIOR CLASS AWARD
Santa Clara University final-year student-athlete Eric Masch has been selected as candidates for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. The award recognizes the attributes of senior student-athletes in four areas: community, classroom, character and competition. From the list of 30 candidates, a national media committee will select ten finalists for the 2011 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award in early October.

HOME SUCCESS
Contributing to the Broncos' strong soccer tradition is the team's home field advantage at Buck Shaw Stadium. Under Rast, the Broncos have gone 55-15-21 at home since he took over as head coach in 2002. The team is 214-81-40 all-time when playing at home, dating back to the program's first year of soccer in 1967.

THE WCC'S BEST TEAM (2010 CHAMPIONS)

The Broncos won the 2010 WCC Championship by posting a 7-1-4 conference record. No other WCC program has won more games (125) over the past decade or more WCC titles (5) than Santa Clara. Rast has been honored as the league's 'Coach of the Year' four times in his nine seasons and in the past three years, SCU is 31-13-16 against league opponents.

2011 PRESEASON AT US OLYMPIC TRAINING CENTER
Shortly after initiating its preseason training for the 2011 season, the Broncos traveled to Southern California for a week to practice at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.

BATES, HURTADO NAMED 2011 PRESEASON ALL-WCC
Mykell Bates and Erik Hurtado were among ten student-athletes around the league named to the 2011 Preseason All-West Coast Conference Team. Hurtado has emerged as one of the nation's most dangerous scorers. The junior from Beaverton, Ore., was named a 2010 All-WCC First Team player and garnered National Player of the Week honors last November by College Soccer News (CSN). Bates was also named an All-WCC First Team honoree in 2010. The senior and three-year starting defender from Roseville, Calif., led the team in minutes played (1,852) as a sophomore and is serving as team captain for the second straight year.

2011 Preseason All-West Coast Conference Team

Name School Yr, Pos.
Mykell Bates SCU SR D

Roger Downes LMU SR D
Steven Evans POR SO MF
Doug Herrick SMC SR GK
Erik Hurtado SCU JR F

Artur Jozkowicz LMU SR F/MF
Ryan Kawulok POR SR D
James Matern GON RSO MF
Stephen Posa USD SR F
Patrick Wallen USD SR F

FINAL WCC STANDINGS (2010)
Place Team WCC Record (Points)/Overall Record
T1. Santa Clara* 7-1-4 (25)/10-6-5

T1. LMU 8-3-1 (25)/12-6-2
3. Portland 6-3-3 (21)/9-4-6
4. San Diego 6-4-2 (20)/9-7-3
5. St. Mary's 6-6-0 (18)/10-8-1
6. San Francisco 2-8-2 (8)/4-12-3
7. Gonzaga 1-11-0 (3)/4-15-0

*Santa Clara claimed tiebreaker and WCC's automatic NCAA Tournament berth

SCU SOCCER TRADITION
1 National Championship
5 College Cup Final Fours
19 NCAA Tournaments
52 Future Professionals
11 WCC Championships
8 Seasons of 15+ wins
4 Teams ranked No. 1 nationally
13 Teams ranked in top 5 nationally
214-81-40 at Buck Shaw Stadium
108-42-25 vs. WCC all-time
31-13-16 vs. WCC in last three seasons