September 17, 2012

Santa Clara Earns Key Road Victory Over Stanford, 2-1

PALO ALTO, Calif. – Freshman Ryan Masch scored twice in the first half and senior goalkeeper Larry Jackson made eight saves, helping Santa Clara come up with some critical defensive stops late in the second half to hold off Stanford 2-1 at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium Sunday night.

Masch – a local product of San Jose's Bellarmine Prep – put the Broncos up immediately by blasting in a shot from the top of the box in the fourth minute. Masch added to the lead prior to the halftime intermission when he took a great feed from teammate Harrison Hanley and chipped it up and over the head of Stanford's keeper, making it 2-0.

The victory was important for Santa Clara (2-4-0), a team that has shown flashes of brilliance early on this season but had not won since August 31 - when Masch netted a game-winner from nearly the same spot as his opening goal Sunday, allowing SCU an impressive road win at Duke.

"I'm really excited. I wouldn't say I scored a ton of goals in club," said Masch, who is part of SCU's nationally-ranked recruiting class of 2012. "We have been creating a lot of chances, getting in and behind and I really love sitting on top of the box and letting balls come to me. So I have to say a lot has to do with these (teammates) I am playing with."

Stanford (3-3-0) was fresh off two wins, including an overtime victory against San Jose State Wednesday and a road win at No. 11 UC Irvine last week. The Cardinal trailed throughout, but sliced the SCU lead in half with 20 minutes left when Adam Jahn gathered a cross from Austin Meyer and was able to score.

"We allowed a late goal, which has really been the tale of our season so far," said Jackson, when asked about the game's contentious closing moments. "We have been up in the first half or even in our last two games, but for some reason or another we have given up a goal late. It's been tough to get back from that, and today we showed great strength and great poise to get back on top, or in this case stay on top."

Stanford out-shot Santa Clara 13-2 in the second half, but Jackson, a two-time All-West Coast Conference honoree from East Palo Alto, played his best game of the year, and received timely help from SCU's starting back-line: Phillip Muscarella, Matt Escobar, Mark Daus and Wes Culver.

"This game was important to us in a lot of ways," said Santa Clara head coach Cameron Rast. "The timing was especially important. We put in a hard week of work and there were guys that really busted their tails this week and reset themselves. Because of that, it became important for us to get a result. They invested a lot, because they invested a lot they wanted to see a result that was positive for us."

Sunday's match was part of the Bay Area Classic series, with both team's meeting every year since 1967. The Broncos have now captured road wins over the Cardinal in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2012.

Next up is a single game with NJIT this coming Friday, Sept. 21 at 5 p.m. – part of a men's and women's SCU soccer doubleheader at Buck Shaw Stadium. It will be Santa Clara's final non-conference match before opening up WCC play against league-favorite San Diego on Friday, Sept. 28.