Santa Clara stuns Loyola Marymount in overtime victory
THE SANTA CLARA
October 27, 2016
Santa Clara women’s soccer kept their hopes of winning the West Coast Conference alive after a dramatic overtime win at Loyola Marymount University on Sunday. The 2-1 upset came against the second place team in the conference two days after losing at #19 Pepperdine University, the top team in the conference.
Santa Clara currently sits in fourth place in the WCC and need to win out to have any hope at the conference crown. With the win over LMU, Santa Clara improved their record to 6-6-4 overall and 3-2-1 in conference.
The Broncos fell behind in the second half at LMU, conceding a goal in the 59th minute. They were not behind for long though, as just 13 minutes later Jordan Jesolva found the back of the net. It was Jesolva’s sixth goal of the season, good for most on the team.
The game remained even at 1-1 through 90 minutes. Seven minutes into the overtime period, center back Gudrun Arnardottir used her head on a set piece to give the Broncos the win in sudden victory
“It really shows the character and resiliency of our girls,” said Head Coach Jerry Smith. “This was as close to a must win game as you can have at this point in the season and I thought they responded well.”
Santa Clara’s offense has stalled for most of the season, averaging just over a goal per game. But they came to play on Sunday.
The win kept Santa Clara undefeated in overtime over the past two seasons, with a record of 8-0-6.
The Broncos were challenged early and often. Goalkeeper Melissa Lowder faced five shots on goal and allowed one, but made some outstanding saves, including a diving stop in the 52nd minute.
“Melissa was challenged right away and made a stop in the first few minutes,” said Coach Smith. “The goalkeepers made it difficult for both offenses today so I’m really proud that we were able to score that second goal.”
The Broncos did have their struggles this weekend, as they suffered a difficult loss at the hands of Pepperdine Friday night. But to face the two top teams in the conference on the road in one weekend is daunting. Netting one win should be considered a success.
“This win also helps us with positioning in our conference. It was a great comeback at the end of a really tough weekend,” said Coach Smith. “I thought we played hard in both matches and I was really happy to see that.”
The Broncos also faced Brigham Young University, the third place team in the WCC, on the road this season and tied the Cougars 0-0. The team is currently in third place in the WCC.
The three most difficult conference games being played on the road illustrates just how difficult the scheduling was for this young team.
Next up for the Broncos are two huge but winnable home games as Santa Clara fights to keep its postseason hopes alive. Friday night they bout with Gonzaga University (6-7-2, 2-4-0) at 7 p.m. and on Senior Day they face University of Portland (8-5-3, 2-3-1) on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Contact Bo Kendall at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.