Santa Clara allows just one shot on goal
THE SANTA CLARA
September 29, 2016
Santa Clara wrapped up their extremely difficult nonconference schedule with a win against University of California, Irvine last Thursday.
The Broncos earned a 1-0 shutout at home behind a second-half goal from senior forward Jenna Roering, her third of the season. After a disappointing start to the season, the Broncos now sit at 3-4-3.
“We are really pleased with getting a W tonight, it’s been awhile since we’ve gotten a win,” said Head Coach Jerry Smith. “We’ve played well, we just haven’t been able to win tight games.”
The Broncos faced one of the toughest nonconference schedules in the entire country, as UC Irvine was the only team they faced that did not make last season’s national tournament. Although they failed to reach the tournament, UC Irvine has had a fantastic start to their season.
“It’s hard to be 8-2 in Division I no matter who you play,” said Coach Smith. “They are a good team and a good offensive team, so we feel really good about getting a clean sheet.”
Led by junior forward Kiana Palacios, who has tallied the third most points in the country, the Anteaters entered Stevens Stadium with a high powered, explosive offense. But the Broncos were up for the challenge.
“Palacios is a really dynamic player. They threatened us on the back line a lot,” said junior outside back Kellie Peay. “We were really happy to get the shutout.”
Peay was tasked with covering Palacios for most of the night, and limited her to just one shot. As a team, UC Irvine managed just one shot on goal.
The Broncos broke through in the 68th minute, when freshman midfielder DB Pridham got the ball to senior forward Jenna Roering for the shot.
“I got a perfect cross from DB and then I did the easy work, putting it in the far corner,” Roering said.
Freshman goalkeeper Courtney Ogren earned her first career clean sheet in the win. This was a big game for Ogren, who’s competing with sophomore Melissa Lowder for the starting spot. Lowder started seven games this season; Ogren started three.
“Courtney played mistake-free tonight” said Coach Brown. “It’s nice to know you have two goaltenders who can step in during a tight game and play well for us.”
Santa Clara will travel to Brigham Young University, the third ranked team in the nation, on Thursday, Sept. 29 at 6 p.m. to start conference play. The Broncos won’t be intimidated facing one of the nation’s best after tying Brigham Young 0-0 last season.
Santa Clara is hoping that the win over UC Irvine will propel them to their first road victory of the season.
“Our record so far hasn’t reflected how talented our team is, so it’s nice to get a win under our belt,” Roering said. “We are going to try to keep the wins coming to show how good we really are.”
Players and coaches alike echoed the message that a big home win was the best medicine after a rocky start to the season.
“I think we finally have our momentum back, that’s going to be key heading into conference play,” Peay said. “It was a struggle but it made us stronger.”
Contact Bo Kendall at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.