Men's Soccer Blanks SMU, Delgadillo Scores Game-Winner

Carlos Delgadillo
Carlos Delgadillo

DALLAS – Santa Clara men's soccer recorded its second-straight shutout in a 1-0 victory over Southern Methodist University in Dallas on Friday night. Junior Carlos Delgadillo scored the game-winning goal for the Broncos in the 71st minute.

For the fifth time in six games, the match was scoreless at halftime, but SMU (2-5) out-shot Santa Clara (4-2), 11-1 and dominated possession. The Broncos came out of the locker room looking like a different team in the second half. They were on the front foot, possessing the ball more and creating numerous chances.

"Our first half was just lackluster," head coach Cameron Rast said. "I thought SMU put great pressure on us and we tried to do things that we aren't quite ready for yet. They forced turnovers and pressed us and were in front of the goal a lot. That's what we changed at halftime; we simplified our game a bit and got on the same page."

The breakthrough finally came for the Broncos in the 71st minute when senior James Huffer's throw-in bounced to Delgadillo who was battling for position near the six-yard box. Delgadillo created enough space to pivot and fire a shot off the volley into side netting on the far side of the goal. The goal was second of the season for Delgadillo, both of which have been game-winners. He has now netted seven game-winning goals for his career and 16 goals overall.

"I thought by that point in the game we had done some good things and I felt that it could go our way," Rast said. "Carlos uses his body about as well as anybody I've seen in the college game. He got himself inside the defender and was able to strike the ball cleanly with his left foot. It was just a classy, typical center forward goal. It was really good."

In the second half, junior Satoshi "Yoshi" Chaffin was wreaking havoc on the right wing with his speed and ball skills, beating defenders in one-on-one situations on numerous occasions. He crossed a ball to the far post for sophomore Keanu Mendoza whose volley attempt hit the crossbar in the 49th minute. In the 62nd minute, Chaffin's shot from the right wing went just wide of the far post. He then created another chance when his shot on a breakaway went right at the SMU goalkeeper. Delgadillo had an opportunity on the rebound shot but his attempt went wide of the target. 

"I think Yoshi is very vital," Rast said. "Every team needs somebody that can make the defense turn around run back on defense and he does that for us. Very few guys in the country can stay in front of Yoshi when he has the ball with space on the wing."

The Broncos have recorded two-straight shutouts and three overall on the year, only allowing three goals in six games. Sophomore goalkeeper Dakota Havlick entered the game with 11 saves on the season but made eight alone on Friday night. Six of those saves came in the first half when the Broncos were under a lot of pressure but he did well to keep it deadlocked at zero. Although it doesn't show up in the box score, Havlick also helped his defense by coming off his line to intercept the Mustangs' through balls into the 18-yard box throughout the game.

"In all fairness, we should have been down at halftime but give credit to Dakota," Rast said. "He did a great job back there all night."

Seniors Benjamin Kucera (37:19) and Ryan Masch (57:15) were both given yellow cards while Garrett McLaughlin of SMU was assessed a yellow card at the 85:04 mark.

Next up for Santa Clara is a matchup at Tulsa on Monday, Sept. 19 at 5 p.m. PT.

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