SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The No. 10 Santa Clara women's soccer team suffered a disappointing loss to Loyola Marymount this afternoon, falling, 2-0, on two second-half goals by the Lions. The Broncos move to 12-5-2 with the loss and 4-2-0 in WCC play with one regular-season game left in the season.
The two teams played to a scoreless tie in the first half, with Santa Clara outshooting LMU, 5-2. Neither team had a real solid look on goal and each goalie had to make just one save. The Broncos had three corner kick chances to the Lions' one.
LMU scored the game's first goal at 50:54 when Tawni Martino beat her defender on the left side and hit a laser of a shot to the far-post netting.
About 12 minutes later, a Lion attacker broke free near the top of the box and pushed the ball past charging junior goalie Bianca Henninger. Henninger followed through with her sliding challenge, taking the attacker out in the 18-yard box, resulting in a penalty kick. Henninger also received a red card on the play.
Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Alexis Rubattino replaced Henninger without warming up to face Brittney Sanford's penalty kick. Rubattino, in her second collegiate appearance, followed Sanford's shot to the correct side and got a good hand on the ball, but couldn't keep it out of the goal.
Despite controlling about 70% of the possession in the second half, the Broncos found themselves in a two-goal hole with just under half an hour to play. Santa Clara rifled off 12 shots in the half, but couldn't beat LMU goalie Brittany Jagger. Jagger finished with five saves and picked up her ninth shutout of the year.
The Broncos outshot the Lions 17-6 in the match and had a total of seven corner kicks to LMU's two. Henninger finished with three saves and, because of the ejection, will have to sit out Santa Clara's last match of the season at Pepperdine next Saturday.
"I think LMU came out here today with more determination to win game than we did," said head coach Jerry Smith. "It's unfortunate for us that we didn't play well for a lot of different reasons; one being that were still trying to position ourselves for a good seeding in the NCAA tournament and another that it was senior day for our five seniors. We have to give credit to LMU though, they came out here and worked hard and had great energy. It's tough to win conference road games and they came here and did that today."