SAN FRANCISCO – Santa Clara men's soccer dropped its opening match of West Coast Conference play, falling at San Francisco, 2-0. The Broncos had some chances early in the first half but were unable to convert whereas the Dons capitalized on their set pieces.
"We changed a little bit of how we approached the game," head coach Cameron Rast said. "I thought we did a good job of that in first half, we created some good moments. When we had the moments to be able to go forward and be sharp, we weren't."
The Dons (5-5, 1-0 WCC) struck first, scoring on a well-orchestrated set piece. They played the corner kick short to Manny Padilla, who crossed the ball to the far post and found the head of David Garrett for the goal at the 33:25 mark.
USF extended its lead at the 75:31 mark, when Garrett scored off another corner kick on a ball from Aaron Lombardi.
"We did a good job for most of the game," Rast said. "But there were two set pieces where guys just lost their marks. We haven't had that this year. But, credit to them (USF), they were good, they were good on set pieces tonight and that was the difference in the game."
For the Broncos (5-5, 0-1 WCC) junior Carlos Delgadillo had a shot hit the crossbar early in the first half and junior Satoshi "Yoshi" Chaffin fired a low shot that was inches wide of the far post. Sophomore Andres Jimenez had a good chance off a volley shot but his try was wide of the goal. The Broncos won 10 corner kicks and took 11 shots, four of which were on target.
"We had some ideas for how to go forward but in the end, we still aren't completely committed to it and we still aren't in sync as a group," Rast said. "Individually, we do some decent things but as a group we're not linking up for goals and that limits our chances."
It was a very physical match with five yellow cards assessed, three to Santa Clara and two to San Francisco. The foul count was nearly even, with SCU whistled for 11 and USF 10.
Next up for the Broncos is Gonzaga on Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. PT at Stevens Stadium.