LAS VEGAS – Santa Clara men's soccer began play at UNLV's Johann Memorial Classic on Friday night with a 1-0 loss to UC Riverside on Peter Johann Memorial Soccer Field. The Broncos out-shot the Highlanders but gave up the deciding goal in the 85th minute.
Each of Santa Clara's (1-2) three games in 2016 has been scoreless at the half. After SCU only recorded one shot in the first half and UC Riverside (2-0) didn't take any, the action picked up in the second half with both teams taking multiple shots in the first 15 minutes of play. The Highlanders broke the deadlock at the 85:37 mark, though, when Antonio Lokossou scored his first goal of the season off an assist by Romario Lomeli. Lokossou found space on the left wing and was able to get into a good position to shoot and sneak it by sophomore goalkeeper Dakota Havlick.
Moments before conceding the goal to UC Riverside, the Broncos turned up the pressure on the Highlanders and created their best chances of the match, firing three shots and winning two corner kicks between the 82nd and 84th minute.
"We created two or three very good looks there," head coach Cameron Rast said. "(Ryan) Masch had one try from about 10 yards and Carlos (Delgadillo) had a shot and tried to go near post. Our best chance, though, came from a breakaway with Satoshi Chaffin but their keeper did a great job, he made himself big and was able to deflect the shot just enough to make it go wide of the goal."
The Broncos have out-shot their opponents in each of their three games but have only scored one goal on the year. Rast expressed that it's not only been an issue for his team but for many teams in the NCAA.
"Early in the season I think what we're seeing across the board, not only from our group but from other teams as well, is that we aren't finding our offensive rhythm and it's costing us," Rast said. "We're creating chances but just aren't able to finish them."
It was a physical match throughout the 90 minutes with the Broncos committing eight fouls to the Highlanders 14. Senior forward Matt Steurer was presented with a yellow card at the 40:55 mark and senior forward Edson Cardona was assessed one as well at 74:23 mark. UC Riverside had three student-athletes get carded, Emilio Huerta at 11:04, James Alewine III at 54:00 and Ricardo Ruiz at the 74:23 mark.
Santa Clara will return to action in the Johann Memorial Classic on Sunday at 9 p.m. PT against Cal State Fullerton.