SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara men's soccer will make one final long-distance trip in the regular season, facing the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) on Tuesday at 5 p.m. PT.
The Broncos and Blazers met once before in 1999 in the NCAA Tournament round of 16. SCU was victorious in overtime, 3-2.
"It's a long trek for a single game but it's an important one for us," head coach Cameron Rast said. "I think it's a great culmination of us being on the road, seeing how far we've come against an opponent that'll be of good quality and is having a good season. It's a good test and that's what we want before conference play."
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Santa Clara (5-3) has the best goals against average in the West Coast Conference, allowing just 0.61 goals per game. Along with being tops in the league, that is a top-15 mark in the nation. An experienced back line in front of sophomore goalkeeper Dakota Havlick has allowed just five goals after eight games and posted four shutouts.
"We have a lot of guys that are working through some challenges to be on the field but that just gives great opportunities to others to see where they can help," Rast said. "I think we'll look forward to what they offer."
Scoring has not come easy for the Broncos, totaling seven goals in eight games. Junior Carlos Delgadillo is tied for the leading scorer on the team with two goals, both of which were game-winners. Delgadillo has scored seven game-winners in his career and 16 goals overall. Junior Satoshi "Yoshi" Chaffin has pitched in five points (assists worth one, goals worth two) on the year, scoring and assisting on game-winning goals for the Broncos. Senior Edson Cardona and junior Jonathan Jarrett have also opened their scoring accounts this year.
UAB (4-3-3) enters the match against SCU after falling in overtime to Florida Atlantic on Saturday, 1-0. The Blazers have played seven of their 10 matches at home, posting a 4-2-1 record.
"UAB is a good team, particularly at home," Rast said. "Mike Getman does a great job with them."
Massimo Ferrin is the most aggressive in the attack for the Blazers. He leads the team in goals with three on the year and has taken 30 shots, 12 of which have been on target. Rami Dajani has also netted two goals for the Blazers. Seven other members of the squad have each contributed one goal. Only four of the team's 12 goals have been assisted.
Goalkeeper Joe Kuzminsky has played all but 14 minutes for the Blazers this season, allowing six goals, recording 44 saves and four shutouts.
UAB posted a 5-11 record in 2015.