MORAGA, Calif. – Homestanding St. Mary's held serve in West Coast Conference men's soccer action Friday afternoon, defeating visiting and 18th-ranked Santa Clara 2-0. Agustin Cazarez initiated the scoring early in the second half and senior classmate Julian Godinez added another for the Gaels.
Santa Clara (6-3-3; 2-2 WCC) – ranked No. 18 by College Soccer News and No. 24 by the NSCAA - was coming off its first home loss to USF since 1994, a 2-0 setback Wednesday night at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Broncos entered the week unbeaten in their last seven outings.
"Today we did not have the abilty to settle the ball, and because of that we struggled to put pressure on them," said SCU head coach Cameron Rast. "We are not creating great chances right now. We need to be able to get in behind defenses and we did not do that today."
The Broncos were going up against a St. Mary's (3-3-4; 2-0-1 WCC) defense that continues to be the best in the WCC. The Gaels posted two shutouts last weekend to open league play. Two of SMC's three losses this season were on the road to ranked teams; then-No. 17 UCLA (2-1) and No. 3 Creighton (1-0).
Following a scoreless first half, Cazarez's goal came seven minutes after the intermission, set up by sophomore Nick Marshall. Godinez struck from 10 yards out with 25 minutes to play to put SMC in command at 2-0.
The Broncos wrapped up a stretch of playing four games in eight days. SCU beat Portland 1-0 last Friday and Gonzaga 2-0 on Sunday prior to its Bay Area rivalry games this week. The WCC men's soccer scheduling format has each team playing twice, so Santa Clara will get another shot at both USF and SMC.
"When you play four games in eight days there is not a whole lot of time to reshape our game or make too many adjustments," said Rast. "We are 2-2 in league and it is a long road; by no means are we out of the title chase. The key for us is to focus on ourselves and to try and get more connected as a group. We have to be sharp with our moments."