September 5, 2009

Santa Clara Too Much for Cleveland State

Sept. 5, 2009

Final Stats  |  Action Photos

IRVINE, Calif, - Eric Masch scored twice in the second half to help a short-handed Santa Clara University side establish a two-goal lead and eventually hold off Cleveland State University 3-2 Saturday in Irvine.

Santa Clara (1-1-0) bounced back from a double-overtime setback to No. 15 UC Irvine to win for the first time in 2009.

Cleveland State (1-1-0) had tied the game at one early in the second half and had a one-man advantage throughout the final 18 minutes. SCU forward Jeffrey Strong was issued a red card on what appeared to be an inadvertent hand to the face, striking a Viking player when turning to play a loose ball at midfield.

"We got better as the game went on," said Santa Clara Head Coach Cameron Rast. "We responded in the right way to a number of different things, becoming more aggressive and dictating the play after their first goal and then protecting late."

Chris Sauter put SCU on the board in the 34th minute, using a well-placed free kick by Brandon Zimmerman to get inside his man and score the game's first goal. It was the third assist of the young season for Zimmerman, who had two assists against UCI Tuesday.

"The first half was a little bit sluggish on both sides," said Rast. "Both teams started to settle down towards halftime but neither team was generating many chances."

A quick Vikings' goal in the opening stages of the second half gave Cleveland State a chance at the upset until Masch struck with two goals in a five-minute span. Erik Hurtado assisted in the go-ahead score, digging the ball out of the corner, slipping past two defenders and connecting with Masch on a low cross.

Junior Ricky Character set-up Masch in the 64th minute. Character redirected a loose ball in the box to Masch who did the rest, gathering and blasting a shot past a diving Viking keeper.

Cleveland State - coming off a lopsided victory over St. Bonaventure Tuesday - punched-in a goal during the final moments but would get no closer.

The Broncos will play once more at the UC Irvine College Classic, facing Long Island University Monday, September 7 at 2 p.m.