Women's Soccer Falls in WCC Opener

Oct. 10, 2004

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University women's soccer team opened the 2004 West Coast Conference season with a 2-1 loss to San Diego this afternoon at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Broncos, the defending league champions, are now 7-4-2 overall, 0-1-0 in WCC play. The Toreros ended a seven-match losing streak to Santa Clara with their first win in the series since 1996 and improve to 7-6-0, 1-0-0.

Santa Clara out-shot its opponent by a 12-5 margin overall, 7-2 regarding shots on goal. Sophomore Tina Estrada, of nearby Fremont, led the team with five attempts, including one that found the back of the net to tie the game in the 63rd minute. The play started when senior Bree Horvath beat a player on the right side of the field and crossed the ball over the goal mouth. It bounced once before freshman Jordan Angeli sent the ball back into box, where Estrada's header found the low right corner.

The Broncos' celebration was brief, as San Diego's Amy Epsten scored the game-winner one minute later. Marie-Claude Henry took the Torero corner kick from the far side, and Kaitlyn Pruett was able to pass the ball with her head to her teammate for Epsten's ninth goal of the season.

San Diego had a 1-0 lead at the half when Michelle Rowe scored in the 25th minute.

The Broncos pushed the attack in an attempt to send the game into overtime. Santa Clara's last chances came in the final minute. Senior Megan Kakadelas was fouled outside the box on the left side. Her serve was cleared, but the home team was granted a corner kick. Junior Megan Esquivel took the shot and found senior Lana Bowen in the box. Bowen's header hit off the cross bar.

"You have to give credit where credit is due," head coach Jerry Smith said after the contest. "San Diego came into this match with a good game plan and they executed it very well. Their defensive organization was outstanding, as was their defensive effort. The tactic they used is common in soccer; they sat back and applied defensive pressure, then took advantage of counterattack opportunities.

"This was a disappointing performance from our team today," he continued. "We were not as composed or aggressive in our attack than I would have liked. Certainly, this is not the start to conference play that we had hoped for. It does, however, give us something to build on as we move forward."

Santa Clara will take to the road next week, but stay close to home with continuing conference action across the Bay Area. Santa Clara will travel to Moraga on Friday to face Saint Mary's in a 3 p.m. contest at Garaventa Field, and follow with a 1 p.m. match against San Francisco on Sunday at Negoesco Stadium.