Santa Clara Edged 1-0 in Four Hour Long Match

OMAHA, Neb. – After opening the season with a 3-2 double overtime victory on Friday and waiting through a three-hour weather delay at halftime on Sunday night, the Santa Clara men's soccer team fell to Creighton by a final score of 1-0. The loss puts the Broncos at 1-1-0 and the Bluejays 2-0-0.

Santa Clara returns to Buck Shaw stadium on Fri., Sept. 5 at 5 p.m. to take on Massachusetts and then hosts Northern Illinois on Sun., Sept. 7 at 12 p.m.

"This opening weekend the team battled hard and showed their grit," said Bronco head coach Cameron Rast. "We played much better in the first half tonight than we did on Friday. Tactically we were very good and organized while not giving away anything easy. The lightning delay did take some momentum away and Creighton was able to really get after the game. Overall, we created good chances to score and saw that we are able to compete with top teams. We have to continue to focus on carrying out the game plans, but overall I'm pleased with our performance."

The teams decided to move up the start time of the match to 4 p.m. PST—one hour earlier then originally scheduled—on Sunday morning in an attempt to avoid inclement weather in the forecast on Sunday evening.

The Broncos outshot the Bluejays 11-6 while both teams had five shots each on goal. Santa Clara also garnered five corner kicks to Creighton's four.

Brennan Castro and Jared Hegardt each had two shots on goal while seven other Broncos attempted shots during the match. Kendall McIntosh made four saves for the Broncos.

At the start of the game, Castro fired a shot on goal in the seventh minute but Connor Sparrow made the save to keep the game at zero. McIntosh then came up big for the Broncos with a save in the 19th minute from the foot of Timo Pitter.

Both teams walked off the field at halftime scoreless. Santa Clara outshot Creighton 4-1 and had a 4-1 edge in corner kicks in the first half.

The Broncos spent the next two hours and 51 minutes waiting out rain and lightning that filled the Omaha skies above Morrison Stadium. The fans and teams were finally allowed to return to the field for a 15-minute warm up before the 7:30 p.m. PST start time to the second half.

"During that halftime, we didn't know how long the delay was going to be so the team relaxed, stayed loose and changed out of wet clothes," said Rast. "It's a good challenge and a difficult one to continue the momentum we gained at the end of the first half."

Creighton broke through with a goal in the 59th minute to make the score 1-0. Jose Ribas sent a through ball past the Santa Clara defense that set up Ricky Lopez-Epsin at the left side of the box to score in the lower right corner. It was the second career goal for Epsin. 

Dylan Autran was able to fire off a shot at the 75th minute from the top of the box, but it went just wide. The Broncos kept the pressure on the home team with another shot by Yoshi Chaffin in the 80th minute.

Freshman Valdemar Andersen had a huge defensive play to keep the game in the Broncos reach when he headed the ball out of play near Santa Clara's goal line after it got past McIntosh.

In a final attempt in the last two minutes, Castro trapped a long cross and slid to put up a shot but was blocked. Then Steve Eneme took a strike from the penalty spot with one-minute left but went wide.

After a total of four hours and 22 minutes, Creighton was able to finish out the game and get the 1-0 win.

Game Notes: Creighton now leads Santa Clara 2-0-2 all time … attendance 1,719 … a total of five yellow cards were given.

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