SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara men's soccer lost in heartbreaking fashion once again, this time to Portland on Sunday night. In a rainy match, the Pilots beat the Broncos, 1-0, with the lone goal coming in the 83rd minute. Santa Clara had eight shots on target but couldn't break through.
"It's hard when you've given as much as you have," head coach Cameron Rast said. "The guys executed the game plan and did exactly what we wanted. They (Portland) are a good team and they are going to make our conference better and that's awesome. Congratulations to them for finding a way, that's just what we need to do."
The Pilots (9-3-1, 3-0 WCC) took the lead at the 83:58 mark off a corner kick. Eddie Sanchez took the corner and found Geoffrey Dunn curling around to the back post and he headed it in.
The two teams tied in shots (13) but Portland only had four shots on target to Santa Clara's (5-7, 0-3 WCC) eight. The Pilots won six corner kicks to the Broncos' five. It was also a very physical match, with the official whistling Santa Clara for 22 fouls and Portland 14.
"There were good stretches of the game where it was ours," Rast said. "I think that's because we played hard and tough and we took the game to them."
The best chance of the game for the Broncos came in the 64th minute when freshman Miles Robinson gathered the ball in the 18-yard box and the Portland goalkeeper was away from the goal. He fired a shot low but a Pilot defender cleared the ball off the line to save the goal. It is the fourth-straight game the Broncos have been held scoreless.
"I said it on Friday night and unfortunately, I have to repeat it," Rast said. "It's a cruel game. It's cruel that we can get turns in the box, get good looks and we can't finish it off. They cleared one off the line that could've been the difference in the game."
Santa Clara will compete next on Saturday, Oct. 22, at Pacific at 7 p.m. PT.
"It's now about our character and about who we are and about our program and how we represent ourselves," Rast said. "That's what I asked them (our team), to continue to push and believe and challenge themselves to continue to get better. I still think we can salvage some good pieces of the season it's just really tough right now."