SANTA CLARA, Calif. (Omaha, Neb.) – Opening the 2014 season on the road this weekend, the Santa Clara men's soccer team came back from a 2-0 deficit in the first half to win 3-2 in double overtime over host Nebraska-Omaha. The Broncos start off the season 1-0-0 while the Mavericks are 0-1-0.
Santa Clara stays on the road to face Creighton on Sun., Aug. 31 at 5 p.m. PST in Omaha, Neb. Live webcasts for purchase and free live stats will be available for viewers during the match.
"We got our first real taste of pressure tonight playing for results," said Bronco head coach Cameron Rast. "Wins and loses really count now so we are looking for the players who are determined and have the right mentality to compete in this competitive environment. Tonight, we did a good job performing in the last minutes of the halves and scoring on set pieces, which proved to be the deciding factor to win the match."
The Broncos attempted five shots against Nebraska Omaha and were able to put three in the back of the net, giving the team a .600 shot percentage. Carlos Delgadillo, Benjamin Kucera and Edson Cardona scored the goals for Santa Clara while Matt Escobar tallied an assist. Goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh made five saves for the Broncos.
The Mavericks scored the first goal of the match in the 18th minute off of a cross from Mark Moulton who put the ball behind the left defensive side of the Broncos to the head of Vance Rookwood. One minute later, Omaha found themselves up 2-0 with a goal by Nick Miller off of a corner kick.
Santa Clara kept up the pressure in the first half and answered back in the 45th minute of the first half. Escobar's long throw in from the right side found the foot of Delgadillo who fired it home, making the score 2-1. This is Delgadillo's first collegiate goal.
"Early in the match, each team battled to see who could control the speed of play," said Rast. "Omaha did a good job making it difficult for us to find the rhythm we were capable of in the beginning. At halftime, we reorganized and created a better position for us in the second half."
The majority of the second half remained 2-1 in the Maverick's favor. Down a man for the final 15 minutes of the match, Burr Ridge, Ill. native Kucera found the back of the net with a strike in the 89th minute, tying the score and sending the first official match of the season into overtime on the road.
Making the necessary adjustments and reorganizing 10 players for overtime competition, the Broncos found the golden opportunity in the 108th minute. Sophomore Cardona successfully converted the penalty kick past Omaha's goalkeeper to cap the first win.
"Ben is in his old stomping grounds this weekend so it was great to see him get that goal before heading to Creighton on Sunday," said Rast. "Edson scored the second set piece goal tonight, giving the team a lot of confidence on set pieces. Sunday we must play better and maintain focus on our goals of having a good start and performing well in transition moments that help find and prevent goals."
Santa Clara finishes the weekend at Creighton on Sun., Aug. 31 at 5 p.m. PST in Omaha, Neb.
Game Notes: Attendance 538 … a total of six yellow cards and one red card were given.
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