September 25, 2009

Santa Clara Battles No. 25 Brown to 1-1 Draw

Sept. 25, 2009

Final Stats

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Eric Masch's first-half goal couldn't separate Santa Clara University from its East Coast rival and 25th-ranked Brown University Friday night. The sophomore from nearby San Jose and Bellarmine College Prep had put the homestanding Broncos up in the first half.

Brown rallied with an equalizer by Nick Elenz-Martin in the closing moments of the second half. After 110 minutes of defensive-minded soccer, the two perennial NCAA Tournament teams tied 1-1.

"We were very tough in the box tonight," said Santa Clara Head Coach Cameron Rast about his team's defense Friday night. "Both teams didn't give an inch, fighting for every chance. There wasn't very many clean looks to try and end that match."

Santa Clara (2-4-1) was trying to avenge a 2-1 loss at Brown in 2007; a year the Broncos ran the table in conference play and advanced into the second round of the NCAA's.

Midway through the opening period Masch headed-in a patty-cake rebound when Connor Mitchell's shot was knocked into the ground by Brown keeper Paul Grandstrand. The goal was the third of the year for Masch and gave SCU a lead it would hold until late.

"It's unfortunate that we couldn't extend the lead to two," said Rast. "There were a couple moments in the second half we could have been special, but we weren't. We are getting better. That part of it is good. The disappointment comes in the late goal we took because we could have closed it out."

Elenz-Martin's tying goal came with just 13 minutes remaining - and 25 yards from the net. Brown (4-0-2) avoided a loss that could have knocked them out of the national polls.

A home date with the University of Portland next Friday, October 2, marks the beginning of West Coast Conference play for Santa Clara. The Broncos will face San Jose State Sunday night at Spartan Stadium in its final non-conference match.