Men's Soccer Ranked No. 1 in WCC in Preseason Polls

Written by Lauren Matheson '13, Sports Assistant

SANTA CLARA, Calif.-- Reporting to camp next month, College Sports Madness ranked Santa Clara Broncos men's soccer team in its preseason poll at No. 1 in the West Coast Conference. The Broncos finished the 2012 season with an 11-6-2 overall record and placed second in the West Coast Conference with a record of 8-2-2. 

The Broncos open the 2013 season at Buck Shaw Stadium against Southern Illinois University Edwardsville at 7 p.m. on Aug. 30.

SIUE concluded its 2012 season with a record of 13-7-0. The Cougars were nationally ranked for much of the 2012 season reaching as high as No. 22 and finishing their season ranked No. 37 in the NCAA Rating Percentage Index (RPI).

The Broncos have a lot to replace this year after graduating 2012 WCC Player of the Year Erik Hurtado and 2012 WCC Goalkeeper of the Year Larry Jackson.

"The younger players will have to rise to the challenge. Losing Larry is a loss but we feel Kendall McIntosh is of similar abilities and I think he is ready for it," said Bronco head coach Cameron Rast. "Erik has some special qualities that very few players in the college game have. His ability to go by players and open up defenses, you just don't see very often and we were fortunate to have him in our program for four years. What that will do is force everybody to really grow their game and increase their role and we look forward to that part of it." 

The men will be returning senior co-captain Mark Daus, who picked up All-WCC First Team honors in 2012. They also return 2012 All-WCC Honorable Mentions junior Matt Escobar, sophomore Ryan Masch and senior Carlos Montes. Many of the returning players have been hard at work this summer playing regionally and internationally.

Daus played for the Portland Timbers U-23 team over the summer break. He made the Premier Development League Team of the Week in the 11th week after his game-winning goal against Victoria Highlanders FC. 

Also in the PDL, FC Tucson brought in Montes, Escobar, sophomore Max Ornstil and sophomore James Huffer. Down in Southern California, senior co-captain Phillip Muscarella and senior Harrison Hanley practiced with the Ventura County Fusion. 

McIntosh played with the U.S. U-20 Men's National Team in the 2013 Toulon Tournament from May 28-June 8 in Toulon, France. McIntosh was selected to represent the U.S. in the group stages of the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup but unfortunately the U.S. was unable to advance past group stages.

The Broncos will be welcoming in 15 new players to camp in August including five U.S. Soccer Development Academy players. This group includes players from all over the world including California natives Edson Cardona, Brennan Castro, and Parker Holland. Coming in from out of state are Micah Cabagbag (Honolulu, Hi.), Alexander Ligeti (Boca Raton, Fla.), Steve Eneme (York, Penn.) and one international player, Haru Kent (Tokyo, Japan). 

Notes: With the 2013 spring season in the books, the Broncos finished with a record of 2-1-3 with ties against Stanford, UC Davis and SJSU, a loss against UCSB and a win against a local men's team.