Santa Clara Men’s Soccer Headed to NCAA’s
Soccer News: Santa Clara won its fourth straight, none more important than the team’s 3-0 victory over San Diego Saturday night, which gave the Broncos a share of the WCC Men’s Soccer Championship and the league’s automatic qualifier into the NCAA Tournament.
Sophomore forward Carlos Delgadillo was sensational, scoring the game’s first two goals, assisting in the third and using his speed to create a man-advantage midway through the first half when he was dragged down in desperation by a chasing USD defender in the open field.
“There is no words, honestly,” said Delgadillo, who returned from injury to lead the Broncos to the winning streak closing out the season – all must-win games. “It’s a relief. After the first three (WCC) games, we had our heads down and we thought we were out.”
Santa Clara (10-7-1; 5-1-1 WCC) was able to lift its level of play in every game spanning the past month, overcoming a 1-1-1 start to their conference campaign to advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2010.
Adding to the night’s drama, SCU had to win, while also needing LMU to upset a resurgent USF side in the city. By halftime, the Broncos led USD 2-0 and LMU was comfortably out in front of USF by the same margin.
“We have been playing unbelievable,” said senior goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh. “After our first game against USF in conference, we got knocked down a little bit. I think the character of these guys came through. We have pushed ourselves to be better and we are playing excellent soccer right now. It feels like we have 28 leaders out here.”
San Diego (10-5-3; 5-1-1) was firmly in control of their postseason destiny after winning its first five WCC matches. The Toreros – the reigning WCC Champs – will still share the league’s regular season title but squandered its chance at the NCAA’s by finishing the year with a tie against USF at home last week, then falling to SCU Saturday night.
“The feeling right now is a mixture of being so excited for the guys, and so proud of what they did this year,” said Cameron Rast, who has now won five WCC Championships as SCU’s head coach. “We believed in each other and contiunued to believe in what we do here at Santa Clara is the right thing. Right now I am just on top of the world and that is where we should be.”