Nov. 27, 2004
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Senior midfielder Leslie Osborne scored her sixth game-winner of the season to lift 16th-seed Santa Clara University past Illinois 2-0 in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Women's Soccer Championship. The Broncos (18-4-2) advance to their 10th College Cup.
The 23rd NCAA Championship continues next weekend at SAS Soccer Park in Cary, N.C., in an event hosted by North Carolina State University and the Capital Area Soccer League. Santa Clara will face fourth seed Notre Dame on Friday, Dec. 3 at 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time. Seventh seed Princeton and 14th seed UCLA will meet in the other semifinal at 11 a.m. Both semifinal contests will broadcast live on ESPN2.
In the 15th minute, Osborne was taken down in the Broncos' attacking third, setting up a free kick that junior defender Micaela Esquivel took from the left side. Her serve brought Illini keeper Leisha Alcia out, but Osborne beat Alcia to the ball and headed it in for her ninth goal of the season.
The Broncos pushed the lead to 2-0 in the first minute of the second half. On the attack, Tiffany Roberts passed to Tina Estrada, whose shot deflected by an Illinois defender. Senior Bree Horvath collected the rebound and posted her fifth goal of the season with the ensuing side volley shot.
On the afternoon, the Broncos out-shot their visitors 10-4. Sophomore goalkeeper Julie Ryder notched her 12th shut out of the season, marking the third best single-season performance in Bronco recordbooks. Her career total now stands at 21, fourth on the program's all-time list.
Bronco sophomore midfielder Lauren Zealear suffered a left knee injury in the 85th minute.
Santa Clara has now won 11th straight and closed the home season at Buck Shaw with a 10-1-1 mark. The Broncos faced Notre Dame earlier this season, a 5-2 loss in South Bend after the Broncos lost two center backs in a three-match span. The Irish advanced to the College Cup with a 3-1 win over Portland on Friday night.