Sept. 13, 2009
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SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara women's soccer team pulled off its second victory this season over a top-10 team, defeating No. 7 Purdue 3-1 today in front of a crowd of 1,085 at Buck Shaw Stadium. With the win, the Broncos captured the Santa Clara Classic, edging No. 3 Stanford by a goal differential of 4-3.
Freshman Allie Vernon, in her first career start, earned her first point in a Santa Clara uniform when she assisted on junior Anessa Patton's goal just 2:48 into the game. Patton took a through ball from Vernon that parted the defense and hit a nifty floated ball over the outstretched arms of goalkeeper Jenny Bradfisch for her second tally of the season.
The Broncos did not hold the lead for long though, as Purdue equalized in the 15th minute. The Santa Clara defense became scrambled after a miscue, which resulted in a foul just outside the penalty arc. The Boilermakers took advantage of the dead ball, and after two dummy runs Sylvia Forbes finally smacked the ball, sending it past the wall and into the upper-corner of the goal.
The Broncos answered right back in the 18th minute with a goal from freshman Amanda Webster, her second of the season. Webster took a cross from fellow rookie Olivia Klei, who had streaked down the left side and knocked a low driven ball towards the six-yard box, and buried it into the the lower left corner of the net.
Five minutes later, the Broncos almost made it 3-1, but Bradfisch made a spectacular acrobatic save on Patton's shot to push the ball up and wide to prevent the two goal lead.
At the end of 45 minutes, Santa Clara held the one-goal advantage and had outshot Purdue 7-2.
Play was very much even for most of the second half, as tired legs from the weekend began to set in. The Broncos needed to push for one more goal if they wanted to earn the tournament championship, and that's exactly what they got in the 82nd minute.
Senior Lexi Orand had her back to the goal in the corner of the penalty area, and spun to shake off two defenders. As both Bradfisch and another defender committed to Orand, the Orange, Calif. native slid the ball on the ground across to Vernon, who ran on to the ball and struck it into the empty net for the final goal of the game.
"I think [this weekend] really builds our confidence," said head coach Jerry Smith. "Those were solid wins over two top-10 teams, and also NCAA Tournament teams, and it's always good to win own tournament. We had a number of contributors and a solid team effort over two games."
"Our freshmen have also been making a number of impactful contributions whether it be goals, assists or significant plays," said Smith. "Olivia [Klei], Amanda [Webster], and Lauren [Matheson] have been playing well in every game, and this was Allie's [Vernon] first weekend and she was very good in both games."
Santa Clara improves to 5-2-0 with the win, and inked five players on the all-tournament team. Senior Jordan Angeli was named Most Valuable Player and sophomore goalkeeper Bianca Henninger, who did not need to make a save in today's game to perserve the win, was named Most Valuable Goalkeeper. Senior Kiki Bosio, freshman Lauren Matheson, and Vernon also were honored. Stanford finished second int he tournament, while Purdue took third and Notre Dame was fourth.
"I am really happy for Jordan," said Smith. "She's stuck it out and is in her sixth year and she's made a big difference on our team since her return. I thought Bianca was also very deserving of her award, although she didn't have much work today, but she made some key saves for us in the Notre Dame game."
The Broncos will remain in the Bay Area for next week's games, traveling to Stanford to take on Wisconsin and Colorado and the Stanford/Nike Classic.