SANTA CLARA, Calif. - In its first game with all of its eligible players, Santa Clara women's soccer erupted for a season-high four goals in a 4-2 win over UNC Greensboro in the second game of the Santa Clara Classic. The win puts Santa Clara at 4-2-2 and drops the Spartans to 3-4-0.
In her first game back, Julie Johnston registered an assist and made her presence felt on the field by setting up several Bronco chances. Sofia Huerta scored two goals, her second and third of the season, in her third game back. Freshman Dani Weatherholt scored her second goal of 2012 and sophomore Brooke Rice scored her first collegiate goal. Senior captain Lauren Matheson added an assist.
The Broncos return to the field on Sun., Sept 16 at 1:30 p.m. vs. No. 15 San Diego State to wrap-up the tournament.
"It's so wonderful to have Julie back and it was the first game we've had Julie and Sofia out there together," said Bronco head coach Jerry Smith. "They are both such dangerous players. This was just the second time this year we've scored more than one goal so we're very, very pleased with the offense. We're disappointed about giving up two goals but credit to Greensboro who kept working and working. We created a lot of dangerous chances today, however, and I think everyone will go into games with a little more confidence now."
Santa Clara scored the first goal of the match in the 25th minute off the foot of Weatherholt. A defensive misplay led to the ball bouncing straight to Weatherholt at the top of the box. She turned and rocketed a low shot towards the goal and the defense appeared to shield the goalkeepers vision and the ball found the back of the net to make the score 1-0.
Just out of halftime Santa Clara was able to score the elusive second goal that has escaped them so many times this season. In the 48th minute Johnston passed to Huerta at the top of the box. After one bounce Huerta turned and volleyed the shot to left side of the net and past the keeper to move the lead to 2-0.
The Spartans were able to cut the lead in half in the 58th minute when Lauren Lover dribbled the ball down the field and centered it to Chesney White in the box who got a deflection and tipped it over Tostanoski who had tried to stop the pass. The goal made the score 2-1 Broncos.
The Broncos didn't take long to strike back when Rice got the ball outside the box off to the top-left. When she had control of the ball she fired a shot to the right side of the net in the air that got past the dive of goalkeeper Jamie Simmons to make the score 3-1.
Moments later Huerta scored her second goal of the game on an assist from Matheson. Matheson passed the ball from the left side of the field to Huerta just inside the box. Huerta took a few dribbles before firing a hard shot that went in the goal for the fourth Bronco goal of the game.
UNC Greensboro had a free kick minutes later that brought the score to 4-2. Cat Barnekow took a ball from far outside the penalty box and tried to send it near a streaking teammate but the outstretched foot of Shelby Brown. The attempt at a deflection shielded Santa Clara goalkeeper Andi Tostanoski from making the save.