Aug. 31, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The eighth-ranked Santa Clara women's soccer team won a hard-fought battle against San Jose State Friday night in their season opener at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Broncos narrowly escaped with a 3-2 victory over the Spartans in the first event of the 2007 Rivalry Series. Santa Clara now owns a 12-0-0 overall record against San Jose State.
"There was a lot of good energy in the stands tonight," said head coach Jerry Smith. "That aided in the energy on the field. The crowd was extremely supportive of both teams and that's what you expect in a rivalry game. It was also a tight game and, because of that, it is a great learning experience that will prepare us for next weekend's tournament. We have a young team and we played a lot of subs tonight, but the players that came in off the bench really contributed they way we expected them to."
Just under four minutes into the game, Tina Estrada, in her re-debut with the Broncos after missing last season due to a knee injury, netted the first goal for Santa Clara. Estrada wanted quickly to return to her scoring ways, leading her team with a total of five shots, with four shots on goal. After the SCU goal, San Jose State took four consecutive shots to try and knot the score, but goalkeeper Meagan McCray was fast to make the save. Senior Chioma Igwe sent a shot slightly wide of the net just under 15 minutes in and sophomore Kiki Bosio followed suit, but the ball found its way in to the arms of Spartans' goalkeeper Marissa Dayton. With just four seconds left on the clock before the half, Estrada tried once again to bring the Broncos lead to two goals, but the shot was just wide of the net. Santa Clara ended the first half with seven shots, while San Jose State recorded six.
In the second half, the Broncos more than doubled their opponent's shots, 14-6, finishing the game with 21 total. Sophomore Katherine Reynolds got a touch that she attempted to send to the back of the net, but was unfortunately stopped by Dayton. Redshirt sophomore Courtney Lewis took her lone shot on goal, which was deflected to the feet of senior captain Brittany Klein by San Jose State's Jessica Scott. Klein found the back of the net for the unassisted goal at 66 minutes. Leading 2-0, it seemed as though the Broncos were ready to repeat their 2006 6-0 victory over the Spartans, but a scuffle in the box gave San Jose State a penalty kick and their first goal of the game from Kristin Krale.
Yet, the Broncos continued their dominance of the game as sophomore Lexi Orand attempted her first goal of the season but the ball was sent back into play right to the feet of freshman Jessie Baddley, who netted her first collegiate goal, at 86 minutes. But San Jose State gained control of the ball and, three minutes later, Jackie Zabek scored the Spartans second and last goal of the game on an assist from Liz Behlen.
The Broncos return to action on Friday, Sept. 7 in their first match of the 2007 Santa Clara adidas Classic. Santa Clara will host No. 2 Notre Dame at 7:30 p.m., at Buck Shaw Stadium. Then, on Sunday, Sept. 9, the Broncos will face the Cavaliers of Virginia at 1:30 p.m.