Women’s soccer outlasts conference opponents
THE SANTA CLARA
October 17, 2013
The Santa Clara women’s soccer team started off West Coast Conference play on the right foot.
The Broncos bested the University of San Diego on Thursday and defeated Brigham Young University on Saturday.
Santa Clara now sits at 2-0 in the WCC standings and is ranked No. 14 in the nation.
“Its always good to get off to a good start,” said Head Coach Jerry Smith after Saturday’s game.
Santa Clara opened its WCC schedule against San Diego. The Broncos’ 1-0 win was their first in conference.
Senior midfielder Julie Johnston, named WCC Player of the Week, scored the game’s only goal off an assist from teammate Sofia Huerta in the 31st minute.
Forward Morgan Marlborough had a game-high eight shots, with three of them on goal. Goalkeeper Andi Tostanoski added six saves in goal.
San Diego almost tied the game in the second half when a shot off a corner kick soared into the Broncos’ net. However, an offside call negated the goal to preserve the Broncos’ 1-0 lead.
Santa Clara had a few more opportunities to score again in the latter portion of the game. Marlborough hit the cross bar in the 76th minute, and in the 85th minute one of Huerta’s shots ended up going wide.
The Broncos eventually ended up earning the shutout victory, 1-0.
Santa Clara capitalized on more scoring opportunities in Saturday’s game against BYU.
“We kept the ball and took a lot of shots on goal,” said junior forward Katie Speidel. “We’re doing better and better. I was really proud, we’re all really proud of our team.”
Santa Clara took down the Cougars by a score of 2-1. The Broncos outshot the Cougars 18-6 and 8-3 on shots on goal. Juniors Speidel and Huerta scored the two Bronco goals and Marlborough and Johnston each added an assist.
“(Speidel) and I are both juniors and our freshmen and sophomore years we tied BYU so this is our first time beating them,” said Huerta. “We both scored. It’s a relief to finally get a victory over BYU.”
The Cougars were the first to score in the 11th minute, but Santa Clara came back to tie the game in the 40th minute when Huerta scored off an assist from Johnston.
Huerta racked up five shots, including three shots on goal, and one score on the day.
Santa Clara scored the eventual game-winning goal in the 83rd minute. Speidel took the ball just outside the BYU box, sent it to Marlborough, who sent it right back to her. Speidel fired a shot that found the back of the net, making the score 2-1 in favor of the Broncos. Santa Clara ran out the clock to keep their lead and win the game.
Smith was very pleased with the weekend’s outcome. He noted that defeating San Diego and BYU, two teams that frequently find themselves in the NCAA tournament, was an accomplishment.
“That doesn’t mean we’re going to win other games, but to be facing two of the toughest teams in our conference out of the gate and be 2-0 after those games, that’s certainly a really good feeling,” Smith said.
Huerta added that the strong start to conference plays puts the Broncos in a favorable position going forward.
“Winning the first couple games gives us motivation and confidence knowing we can go the whole conference and win and finally get a championship for Santa Clara,” said Huerta.
The Broncos have seven more WCC games until the first round of the NCAA tournament begins in mid-November. Amongst their opponents are Pepperdine University, Loyola Marymount University and the University of Portland. Portland is currently sitting at No. 1 in the WCC with a record of 3-0.
“I think we can only go up from here,” said Speidel. “We’ll keep working hard and only good things can come if we keep playing like this.”
Santa Clara will play two road games against Saint Mary’s College on Oct. 18 and the University of the Pacific on Oct. 20.
Contact Sydney Sanchez at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.