September 17, 2006

Snell Strikes Again In No. 3 Santa Clara's 1-0 Overtime Win

Sept. 17, 2006

Final Stats

STANFORD, Calif. - Persistence paid off for the No. 3 Santa Clara women's soccer team Sunday afternoon as Meagan Snell's fifth goal in the last six matches, and third game-winner of the season, 2:38 into overtime clinched SCU's 1-0 victory over the No. 9 Tennessee Lady Volunteers at Stanford's Maloney Field.

The Broncos (6-2-0) return home to Buck Shaw Stadium to begin a five-match homestand this weekend, as they host a pair of home matches starting with Friday night's 8 p.m. contest against UCLA. The weekend closes out with a 1 p.m. match against CS Fullerton.

"We definitely came out more ready to play today against Tennessee than we did Friday against Boston, so I hope that we only have to learn that lesson only once this season about coming out ready to play," said head coach Jerry Smith. "I'm very pleased with the performance today and I thought several players played well for us."

Hillary Schwarzbach registered the assist on Snell's game-winner, while defensively, Meagan McCray made five saves to record her fourth shutout of the season. Her Lady Vol counterpart, Jaimel Johnson, made five saves of her own in a strong effort before surrendering the winner in overtime.

"Our team is very good on dead-ball situations, Amanda [Poach] can hit her free kicks just about anywhere she wants to, and Hillary [Schwarzbach] has been a killer on corners, scoring off one and hitting the post on another before today, and Meagan Snell is being what all good forwards should be, and that is opportunistic," Smith said of the winning goal.

Sunday's match saw the Broncos control much of the action, starting the contest by outshooting the Lady Vols (4-2-1) 10-4 in the first half (and 18-8 for the match), but only one of those chances was on frame. In the second 45 minutes, the Broncos continued to press the action, as Amanda Poach and Chioma Igwe both had fine opportunities to break the scoreless deadlock.

Poach managed to sneak a shot in from a tough angle, but Tennessee keeper Jaimel Johnson made a fine kick save which resulted in another SCU corner kick. Although unable to get a shot off of the corner, the loose ball came out to Igwe just outside the top middle of the box, but again, Johnson was equal to the task as she stopped Igwe's bullet and the Lady Vol defense cleared a dangerous rebound.

Santa Clara then dodged a couple of bullets of their own making. A clearing attempt that deflected off another Bronco gave Tennessee's Kylee Rossi a clear look but her shot went just wide right. Minutes later, McCray's throw from the box hit an unsuspecting Marian Dalmy in the head and bounced right to Rossi, who again just missed on an unabated run at goal.

Neither team threatened for the rest of regulation, but in the first overtime, Santa Clara finally broke through as Snell scored her fifth goal of the season to lift the Broncos to the victory. The winning sequence started with a Poach corner kick that found the head of Schwarzbach, whose header was blocked by Johnson but Snell pounced on the rebound, burying it to end the contest.