SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara men's soccer lost a tough match to Gonzaga on Friday night, 1-0, in their West Coast Conference home opener. The Bulldogs scored on a set piece near the end of the first half and the Broncos were unable to equalize in the second period.
"Gonzaga is a hard-working team," head coach Cameron Rast said. "They covered up a lot of things, particularly late in the second half. We just couldn't find that moment again. It's the story of our season. It's unfortunate but it's what we have to contend with."
Gonzaga (7-4-1, 1-1 WCC) struck first, taking the lead at the 40:18 mark. Off a corner kick, Nick Ulowetz got a head on the ball that forced sophomore goalkeeper Dakota Havlick to make a quick save. Off the rebound, Chris Michaelson tapped in the shot for the goal. Gonzaga outshot Santa Clara (5-6, 0-2 WCC)13-3 in the first half with eight of those shots on target.
The Broncos were unable to find the back of the net for the third-straight game. In the second period, SCU outshot Gonzaga 8-1, with four of those shots drawing saves but they were unable to breakthrough.
"In so many ways, it's about us and what we need to be able to do, I don't think it's so much about the opponent," Rast said. "But, give Gonzaga all the credit on a night like to tonight. They did a great job and they earned the moment that they got and they made it stand."
Junior Carlos Delgadillo took three shots on the night, all of which were on target. The Gonzaga goalkeeper came way off his line to save Delgadillo's second shot. Sophomore Andres Jimenez then gathered the rebound and fired a shot with only Gonzaga defenders blocking the goal but his attempt went wide of the target. Senior Edson Cardona took three shots on the night but Gonzaga defenders blocked two and the other was wide.
"I think we've got to be clinical and we're not right now," Rast said. "It's difficult to deal with. The game can be cruel and it was cruel to us tonight. Gonzaga should be pleased with their performance and we're going back to the drawing boards."
Santa Clara returns to action at Stevens Stadium on Sunday at 7 p.m. PT against Portland.