San Francisco snaps three game winning streak
THE SANTA CLARA
October 8, 2015
Despite controlling most of the game, the Broncos were upset by University of San Francisco, losing 1-0 last Sunday at Buck Shaw Stadium.
Santa Clara entered the game on a roll, winning three in a row and six of their past seven games, including a thrilling 1-0 victory over Stanford. All signs pointed to Santa Clara taking care of business on Sunday, as the Broncos were 30-0-1 all time against the Dons.
“I think that probably works against you at some point,” said Head Coach Jerry Smith. “In 32 games you’re bound to lose one.”
And even though history suggested the Broncos would cruise past the Dons, USF has had a very strong season. They entered the game 6-2-3 and had only conceded six goals all year.
“You have to give credit where credit is due,” said Coach Smith. “I thought their goalkeeper was outstanding, and I thought their team fought harder for the game than we did.”
USF got on the board in the 21st minute, when they were awarded a penalty kick. The Dons had sent in a cross off a corner, and Santa Clara was called for a foul for obstructing a header.
There didn’t appear to be much contact on the play, but apparently the ref saw enough to make the call.
“I didn’t really see what happened on (the penalty),” said Coach Smith. “Nor did I bother getting an explanation. It’s something you can’t do anything about.”
Samantha Jehnings took the penalty kick for the Dons, and blasted the ball into the top right corner of the net, it was essentially impossible for keeper Andi Tostanoski to save.
The score remained 1-0 heading into the half.
Santa Clara came out of the break firing, outshooting the Dons 9-2 in the second half.
“I thought the team had a little bit of a wake up call in the first half,” Coach Smith said. “And in the second half they played great, and they know they can do that.”
Yet despite the increased effort, Santa Clara still couldn’t find the back of the net.
“Disappointing result for us today for sure, but it’s something we can learn from,” Coach Smith said. “You can’t show up and give a flat performance and expect to win, especially in a tough conference like the WCC.”
The Broncos were without a couple key players, including midfielder Jordan Jesolva and forward Mariana Galvan, but they know that’s no excuse for their performance on Sunday.
“We still had enough fire power out there to play better than we did today,” Coach Smith said.
Outside of the questionable penalty call, Santa Clara controlled most of the game.
“Sometimes in our sport particularly, you can do so many things right and not end up winning the game,” Coach Smith said. “We won the game in every single statistical category today — corner kicks, shots, shots on goal.”
Midfielder Dani Weatherholt led the team with three shots, and Kellie Peay and Jenna Roering each had two shots of their own.
While this loss will sting, the Broncos have plenty of time to establish themselves as the top team of the WCC. This was just the first of nine conference games for Santa Clara.
“I’m going to guarantee you there’s nobody that goes through the league undefeated, so one loss could win the league,” Coach Smith said. “Our goal is to make the NCAA tournament, and we’re in a great spot to do that, but we have to not make this mistake again going forward.”
Santa Clara, who entered this game ranked 19th in the nation, will certainly see their ranking drop. But one loss doesn’t change the Broncos mindset at all.
“We definitely don’t want to get into panic mode,” Coach Smith said. “It’s one loss in the league.”
And it’s better for the Broncos to get their wake up call now, when there are ample opportunities to bounce back. You want to be playing your best soccer at the end of the season.
“No matter what, every team has to learn all of the lessons, and one of the lessons that we learned today is that if you start out flat, it can come back to bite you in the butt,” Coach Smith said. “Hopefully we don’t have to relearn it again this year.”
The Broncos will look to bounce back this Friday as they host Loyola Marymount University at Stevens Stadium.
Contact Andrew Slap at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.