MORAGA, Calif. – Santa Clara men's soccer fell to Saint Mary's, 1-0, on Sunday afternoon. After a 30-minute delay due to rain, the game in Moraga, California, was played on a very wet field at Saint Mary's Stadium.
"We worked a lot on attacking and defending set pieces this week because we know that's where a lot of games are won and lost," head coach Cameron Rast said. "Today it's what decided the match and that's been true of the last six matches for us. The guys battled on a tough day against a good opponent. I'm proud of them for the battle they put in."
The Gaels (7-7-3, 3-2 WCC) struck first, scoring off a set piece at the 67:53 mark. Rafael Sanchez took the set piece off a foul from the right side of the field and his ball to the far post found the head of Jake Rudel for the goal.
"I feel bad for the guys only in the sense that they play hard and create some moments that can define games and it hasn't gone our way," Rast said. "Otherwise, I think it's on us to try and change our fortune."
Santa Clara's (5-8-1, 0-4-1 WCC) first shot on target came from the head of junior Carlos Delgadillo at the 13:54 mark of the game. The Broncos had three quick opportunities in succession in the 85th minute. Senior Ryan Masch had two shots that were both saved. On the rebound of the second shot, Delgadillo's attempt was also saved. Holland then had a header on the ensuing corner kick but he was denieed as well. The Broncos took nine shots all game, five of which came in the last 10 minutes of action. The Gaels fired 15 shots but only two were on target.
"I think this can only challenge us to continue to fight to the end of the season to see if we can turn the corner and solve some problems," Rast said. "It would help us going forward and prove to us that we're capable of figuring out our challenges."