Posted: Jul 15, 2019
UPDATED ON AUG. 14, 2019: The exhibition match against Oakland Roots SC on Aug. 21 is now an off-site closed door scrimmage. The first open exhibition match will be against UC Davis on Aug. 21 at 7:30 p.m. at Stevens Stadium.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara men's soccer released its 2019 schedule featuring nine home matches and face five schools that qualified for the 2018 NCAA tournament. Head coach Cam Rast made the announcement.
"When we do our scheduling, we are looking to marry the two things that are important - playing games we can win and facing good opponents in doing that," said Rast. "I think we've done a solid job lining up the groups that we feel will have good seasons which is important when the RPI is calculated."
Nine of its 17 regular season matches will be played in Buck Shaw Field at Stevens Stadium, the most home matches on the docket since hosting 11 in 2015.
"We wanted to make sure we put ourselves in having a good season and part of that is to balance our schedule with home and away games. It's been a couple of years since we had more home games than away. As a matter of fact, that was in 2015 which was the last time we were in the NCAA tournament," Rast said.
The Broncos opens its regular season with five straight home matches starting with the season opener against Holy Cross (Aug. 30) followed by matches against Missouri State (Sept. 2), San José State (Sept. 6), Grand Canyon (Sept. 8), a 2018 NCAA tournament qualifier, and finishing the homestand against San Diego State (Sept. 14).
Santa Clara then hits the road for five consecutive matches starting with a tournament in Las Vegas against Utah Valley (Sept. 19) and UNLV (Sept. 22).
A week later, they trek to play its second 2018 NCAA tournament team, Lipscomb (Sept. 27) in Nashville, Tennessee before heading to the Hoosier state to face Evansville (Sept. 29).
SCU closes out the nonconference slate at CSUN on Oct. 5.
"Hopefully the early part of the season goes well so we can get on a roll and then we can get settled into the routine of being on the road," said Rast.
The seven-match West Coast Conference schedule kicks off against three NCAA tournament teams on consecutive weekends. The Broncos opens conference play against the defending WCC champions, Saint Mary's at home on Oct. 12 followed by another home match against Pacific on Oct. 19 and an Oct. 26 road contest at Portland.
"The conference schedule is not something we dictate as far as how it's put together," said Rast. "The good part is those three teams should be good quality teams once again. Saint Mary's returns almost everybody from an undefeated season, as does Portland from an undefeated pre-conference season. Pacific has been one team that's been most consistent the last three seasons. So for us, we're going to need to be ready right from the get go and it helps that two of those matches will be at home."
Cross-town rival San Francisco visits Stevens Stadium for a midweek match on Oct 30.
In November, the Broncos visit LMU (Nov. 2) and Gonzaga (Nov. 9) before concluding its regular season at home against San Diego (Nov. 16).
Santa Clara plays three exhibition matches beginning with a doubleheader at home against the Oakland Roots SC and UC Davis (Aug. 21) followed by a road game at Sacramento State (Aug. 25) prior to the regular season opener.