SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Bronco men's soccer team (10-8-0, 7-3-0 WCC) will host LMU (12-4-2, 8-2-1 WCC) on Fri., Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. then will face USD (6-9-4, 2-6-3 WCC) on Senior Day Sun., Nov. 16 at 1 p.m.
In the WCC standings, the Broncos and Lions are fighting for the top spot. LMU, who will be playing their final game of the regular season on Friday, sits in the standings with 25 points while the Broncos trail close behind with 21 points. (A win in the WCC gives a team three points in the standings, a tie gives one point and a loss gives none.)
"This is the position you want to be in," said Bronco head coach Cameron Rast. "When you get to the last games of the regular season, you want to be playing for something, you want to be in the mix. We've played consistently well over the last month and I think we feel good about how we're playing and getting results. Having your fate in your own hands is a great position to be in right now."
The Broncos are coming off a 2-1 victory at USF where the Michael Gates tied up the game with a one-time strike to the back of the net and Mark Daus secured the win burying a penalty kick into the upper corner of the net. Senior Harrison Hanley leads the Broncos with five goals and two assists while seniors Carlos Montes trails not too far behind with four goals.
The Lions and Toreros matched up in a mid-week game Wednesday night where LMU pulled out a 3-2 win. Freshman Adrien Perez picked up two goals in the match and leads the Lions with 10 goals and five assists. Connor Brandt leads the Toreros with five goals and six assists.
"We didn't play well against LMU the last go around and we look forward to a chance to prove ourselves against them," continued Rast. "Both of these teams are solid and teams that you need to beat if you feel like you are a playoff team. LMU is a team that is still in the mix with us and San Diego has been playing really well as of late, these teams would only help us in preparation for the playoffs if that's in the cards for us."
Sunday will mark Senior Day for the Broncos as they honor their six seniors just before the starting line-ups are announced. The team will be honoring seniors David Torres, Phillip Muscarella, Harrison Hanley, Carlos Montes, Keigo Kameya and Mark Daus for their contribution and dedication to the program.
"All of the seniors have been having a good year for us," said Rast. "All of them are impacting our group and making big statements which is what you want out of your seniors. I'm happy that based on where we started the season to where we are now, that they're playing for something. They know how important these games are and you want that maturity on the field when it comes down to crunch time."
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.
To jumpstart the second half of conference, the Broncos traveled to Portland where they defeated the Pilots with an overtime goal by Montes in front of a crowd of 1225. The Broncos then traveled to Spokane where Hanley and Montes knocked in a goal each to give the Broncos the 2-1 victory.
After the weekend, Montes was named WCC Player of the Week (Nov. 4, 2013)
At San Francisco, the Broncos conceded an early goal but redshirt junior Michael Gates quickly tied it up with a one-time shot to the back of the net. Daus picked up the game-winner striking a penalty kick into the upper corner of the net to give the Broncos a 2-1 victory.
Live coverage of the matches this weekend can be watched on GameCentral.