Nov. 13, 2005
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The No. 5 Santa Clara Broncos (16-4-2) were clicking on all sides of the ball as they defeated the Saint Louis Billikens (16-5-0) 4-0 Sunday afternoon at Buck Shaw Stadium. With the win, the Broncos advance to the NCAA Tournament third round in which they will meet the Boston College Eagles.
Tina Estrada was an offensive catalyst for the second-straight match for Santa Clara, assisting on both goals while Brittany Klein scored her first career postseason goal and added a pair of assists as well. Meagan Snell kicked off the scoring in the 39th minute with her fifth goal of the season.
"I think one of the keys in the game was the early second half goal that was scored," said head coach Jerry Smith. "We had to work really hard for our goal, mostly because Saint Louis was very organized. But, I think Tina dribbling in the second half and sliding the ball to Brittney Klein for that early second half goal really took the pressure off of us and took some energy away from the Saint Louis team."
Santa Clara attacked the Saint Louis zone aggressively from the start, nearly cashing in in the 24th and 32nd minutes as shots from Elyse Shelger and Tina Estrada each beat Billikens goalkeeper Abby Goellner but hit the post.
The post would not be a problem in the 39th minute, as an Estrada pass found Brittany Klein inside the box to Goellner's left. Klein's touch pass made its way through a pair of Saint Louis defenders to Snell, who blasted it top-shelf to put the Broncos on top 1-0.
Things stayed that way through halftime, but early on in the second half Santa Clara put the Billikens into a deeper hole. Estrada worked her way into the left side of the penalty area and exhibited some fancy footwork in dribbling through a Saint Louis defender before rolling a centering feed towards net where Klein polished off the goal. The goal gave the Broncos a two-goal cushion and was the first career postseason score for Klein.
Meanwhile the vaunted Santa Clara defense was up to its usual tricks, holding the Billikens at bay and preventing any counterattacks. The Broncos allowed only ... shots on goal in the match, and Julie Ryder made a pair of saves, including a leaping deflection in the 53rd minute, to maintain her tenth shutout of the season.
"I think we essentially won the game by working at possession and working hard at keeping the ball," defender Micaela Esquivel noted after the match. "They were attacking but our forwards were working back and helping the defense so we had a lot of pressure off of [the back line]."
The Broncos added insurance goals later in the second half as Jordan Angeli netted her eleventh of the season in the 69th minute and Tiffany Roberts scored her first career postseason goal in the 77th to complete the scoring. With today's four goals, the Broncos have now scored nine goals in the first two rounds, the highest total since the 2002 tournament when Santa Clara netted ten goals in the first two matches.
No. 5 Santa Clara will return to action next weekend against the Boston College Eagles at a time, date and venue to be announced by the NCAA Monday. The Eagles earned their way into the third round with a 2-1 first-round win over Dartmouth followed by a 1-0 defeat of Boston University in the second round.