EVANSTON, Ill. - Santa Clara men's soccer won its second game of the season, downing Northwestern 1-0 Monday with a late penalty goal from the left foot of senior Edson Cardona. The Broncos moved to 1-1 on the year with the win at Martin Stadium while Northwestern fell to 1-1.
From the opening kickoff, Santa Clara started strong, winning a corner kick and getting a shot on goal from Cardona all in the first 90 seconds of the match. The Broncos controlled the game to start, not allowing a Northwestern shot until the 18:12 mark. Junior forward Carlos Delgadillo fired a shot at the 21:55 mark that required a good effort by Northwestern goalkeeper Francisco Tomasino to make the save. Juniors Valdemar Andersen and Satoshi "Yoshi" Chaffin were involved in the attack as well but their shots were not on target.
After the first 45 minutes, the Broncos took five shots, two of which were on target, while also winning one corner kick. SCU was whistled for eight fouls and called offside once. The Wildcats took three shots and one was on target and they committed three fouls.
"We challenged the team after Friday's game and they responded well to it," head coach Cameron Rast said. "I knew they would. It's a good group. When they stay focused on things that win soccer games then we're good enough to beat teams on the road that are as good as Northwestern. There were some things we did really well on Friday, we weren't on our heels, we just made one costly mistake and didn't do enough things right. Tonight, we challenged them to be more aggressive and win more balls and make sure we put Northwestern under more pressure."
The second half began much the same way. Santa Clara drew a foul just 28 seconds into play and were in position for a shot off the set piece but senior Ryan Masch's shot was blocked by the NU defense. SCU then won a corner kick just a minute later and Masch's ball found the head of Delgadillo but his attempt was saved. On the rebound attempt, freshman Miles Robinson's shot went wide of the target.
"Our first and second challenges were important for us tonight," Rast said. "I think that is what changed the game in the end, we kept them under pressure and at the end they finally conceded the goal. It's not coming easy for us right now and we had to will that to happen but it was a really good response from Friday."
The breakthrough finally came in the 83rd minute when Northwestern was called for a foul inside the 18-yard box on what was going to be a shot attempt for Delgadillo and SCU was awarded a penalty kick. Cardona stepped up and buried it for the Broncos first goal of the 2016 season and the 11th of his career.
"They sat really deep and compact in front of the penalty box so it was really important for us to keep possession and get some balls into the box," Rast said. "But, you can't always serve balls into the box, sometimes you have to find little crevices and gaps in the defense. We did that and got the ball to Carlos' (Delgadillo) feet and he did a good job making the turn, getting around the edge drawing the foul right as he was about to shoot. I don't think we got a break, I think we earned it. We had their defense pinned in and kept going at them."
Northwestern's last two chances came when it won two corner kicks in succession in the 87th minute. It got a shot off of the second attempt but it was wide of the goal.
SCU finished with 10 shots (four on target) and three corner kicks. The Broncos were called offside once and committed 17 fouls including yellow cards for senior Matt Steuer (63rd minute) and Cardona (72nd minute). Northwestern tallied seven shots (two on target) and won four corner kicks. The Wildcats were whistled for six fouls and Mattias Tomasino was given a yellow card in the 79th minute.
Next up for the Broncos is a trip to Las Vegas to compete in UNLV's Johann Memorial Classic. The first match of the weekend will be against UC Riverside on Friday, Sept. 2 at 9 p.m. PT.