SANTA CLARA, Calif. - With a long offseason coming to a close, Santa Clara men's soccer starts its quest to repeat as West Coast Conference Champions on Wednesday at 10 a.m. PT with an exhibition match at San Diego State's SDSU Sports Deck.
The Broncos ended the 2015 season with a record of 11-8-1 and 5-1-1 record in conference play to claim the program's fifth (2003, 2006, 2007, 2010) league title under head coach Cameron Rast and 20th all-time. Under Rast, the 2015 WCC Coach of the Year, the team advanced to the round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament but lost to Stanford, the eventual NCAA Champions.
"Our game with San Diego State is going to be able to give us a lot of information about our players and where we are in the young season," Rast said. "It's also a chance to be on the road. Any time you have a chance to play an opponent away from home you're going to learn about your team. You're going to learn about different environments and see them under different stresses. It's important for us to make the guys a little a uncomfortable because we're going to be on the road this year playing a lot of good teams and it's important to see how they will peform."
Despite missing three games due to injury, junior forward Carlos Delgadillo was the leading scorer for the team and the conference in 2015 with 10 goals. Delgadillo also dished out the most assists of the returning Broncos with four. Delgadillo and junior defender Valdemar Andersen were All-WCC first team honorees. Also returning to the squad is sophomore defender Luis Urias, the reigning WCC Freshman of the Year. Senior defender Parker Holland earned all-conference honorable mention honors while sophomore midfielder Matthew Sipowicz garnered WCC All-Freshman team accolades.
The Broncos will have a void to fill in goal with 2015 WCC Co-Goalkeeper of the Year Kendall McIntosh graduating. Rast and associate head coach Eric Yamamoto, who coaches the goalkeepers, have four goalkeepers to choose from heading into the season.
Looking at the Aztecs of San Diego State, they finished the 2015 season with an 8-8-3 record (2-7-1 in conference). Head coach Lev Kirshner returns his second-leading scorer from the 2015 season in Jeroen Meefout, who scored four and dished out three assists as well. Kyle Adams, a defensive midfielder also returns to the squad after claiming NSCAA Division I All-Far West Region third team honors in 2015.
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