SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Bronco men's soccer team (6-8-0) will travel up to the Pacific Northwest this weekend to kick off the second half of West Coast Conference play. The Broncos will face the Portland Pilots (8-7-0, 3-4-0 WCC) Fri., Nov. 1 at 7 p.m., which you can follow live on TheWt.v., and then the Broncos head to Gonzaga Sun., Nov. 3 to take on the Bulldogs (8-3-3, 3-1-3 WCC).
"I feel good about the weekend," said Bronco head coach Cameron Rast. "Portland is a great place to play, it has a great fan base and we've had some good results there. We also look forward to going to Gonzaga who is doing really well this year. Both places we enjoy going to and we've been pretty successful on the road which is good for us."
Coming off a bye week last weekend, the Broncos hold a record of 3-3-0 in WCC play. Senior Harrison Hanley leads the Broncos with nine points for his four goals and one assist in the season. Not too far behind is freshman Edson Cardona who has proven that he can compete at the collegiate level with three goals and one assist.
"We didn't change a lot, we didn't feel like we needed to," said Rast about having last weekend off. "We worked hard, we're going to work hard and focus on the things that we needed to work on. We played an inter-squad scrimmage on Saturday and we were able to work on some tactical aspects of the game, we were able to train for longer stretches and really address areas that we need to improve. In the end I really think we are going to be ready for this weekend."
The Pilots fell to the Bulldogs on Wednesday after Gonzaga's junior Clark Phillips knocked in two goals to give the Zags a 2-1 victory. Portland's freshman Eddie Sanchez leads the team and the WCC in points with 25 for his 11 goals and three assists. Phillips and sophomore Conner Bevans lead the Bulldogs with 10 points each. Phillips leads the team with five goals and Bevans leads the team with four assists.
The Broncos are ready to compete this weekend and are focused on what they need to do to get the job done.
"The focus of what we need to do becomes a little more urgent because there are teams that we need to get results against in order to win the conference," continued Rast. "The goals don't change, we need to play well, play well enough to win and to execute in the right moments and that is what we are prepared to do."
2013 Season Review Thus Far
Santa Clara is pegged to win the West Coast Conference as voted by WCC head coaches in preseason polls and predicts senior Mark Daus and sophomore Ryan Masch to gain All-WCC team honors.
The Broncos started off slow as they fell in their first four matches against Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, then-No. 19 University of Washington, Bay Area rival Stanford and then-No. 9 New Mexico making their record 0-4-0.
The Broncos claimed their first victory against Central Arkansas 2-0 with senior Keigo Kameya picking up his first goal of the season. The second goal was recorded as an own goal.
The Broncos kept the momentum going as they earned two more wins at San Jose State 1-0 with a late goal by sophomore James Huffer, and at UC Irvine 2-1 with a goal by freshman Edson Cardona and a late game-winner by senior Harrison Hanley.
The Broncos fell to then-No. 2 California in overtime to finish up their non-conference play. The Broncos held the top ranked team scoreless for 100 minutes despite the Bear's steady attack.
Senior Carlos Montes picked up the game-winning goal in the 94th min. at San Diego in the team's WCC opener.
In game two and three of WCC play, the Broncos fell 4-0 at LMU and 1-0 in overtime in a hard fought battle vs. USF.
The Broncos immediately bounced back in an exciting 2-1 overtime win at St. Mary's who had so far been undefeated in conference. Hanley notched a goal in regulation for the Broncos and picked up the game-winning assist to Cardona in overtime.
Hanley had another standout performance vs. Gonzaga scoring two goals in the Broncos' 2-1 victory over the Zags.
The Broncos finished the first half of conference falling to the Portland Pilots but didn't go down without a fight. Cardona put away his third goal of the season to get the Broncos up on the board.
Live coverage of the game at Portland can be watched on TheW t.v.