SANTA CLARA, Calif. - In its penultimate non-conference game of 2012, Santa Clara women's soccer beat Washington State, whose previous game was a 0-0 tie at No. 2 UCLA, 3-0 behind a big second half. Santa Clara moves to 6-2-3 and Washington State is now 6-2-1.
Junior captain Julie Johnston scored her second goal of the weekend and of the season from Sarah Jackson who had returned to the lineup after missing the previous three games due to injury. Katie Speidel and Paige Robertson also scored a goal each. Freshman goalkeeper Andi Tostanoski had four saves on the day.
The Broncos will wrap-up non-conference play on Thu., Sept. 27 vs. Fresno State at 7 p.m. at Buck Shaw.
"Our team was good in front of goal today," said Santa Clara head coach Jerry Smith. "Our scoring percentage was very high today and its amazing what will happen if you get your shots on goal. In the last couple of games we've had more shots than today but we weren't getting our shots on goal so our focus this last week was to get our shots on goal. In other words, we were working on getting the ball in a little closer and having the quality of shots being better. All in all it was a very good performance against a tough team and I'm not sure I could have been much happier with how the game went today, particularly the second half."
In the 11th minute Washington State had two chances to get on the board first. A long shot from outside the box looked to be a routine play for Tostanoski but her footing gave way and she could only deflect the ball away. The Broncos were able to kick it out of bounds for a corner kick. On the ensuing corner, the Cougars just missed a header and the ball went past the end line for a goal kick.
Jackson fired a rocket from outside the top-left of the box in the 29th minute that hit the crossbar to keep the game scoreless.
Three minutes into the second half, Brandi Vega of Washington State used her tremendous speed that had been on display all day to run down a long pass and get a one-on-one with the goalkeeper for the Cougars best scoring chance of the day. Vega shot low and aimed at the far-right post but her shot clanged off the post and the Broncos kicked it out for a corner kick.
In the 55th minute Santa Clara finally broke through off of a corner kick. Jackson sent the ball into the goal box where Johnston was waiting to put a head on the ball. She bounced her shot in front of the goal and into the back of the net to give Santa Clara a 1-0 lead.
"We haven't scored many goals off of dead balls this year," said Smith. "It's been something we've really been trying to work on a little bit more. One of the problems has been that we haven't served the ball very well. Sarah Jackson put in a beautiful serve on the corner kick and Julie Johnston is so dangerous and put it away."
In the 75th minute Speidel added on to the Bronco lead, something the team has struggled to do thus far in 2012. Speidel got the ball just inside the box on the right side of the field and dribbled around a defender and into the middle of the box before shooting across the goal and past the keeper to make the score 2-0.
Santa Clara scored again in the 89th minute off the foot of Robertson. Weatherholt sent a ball to Jackson streaking down the right sideline who centered the ball to Robertson. Robertson gathered the ball and blasted a shot that went through the legs of Cougar goalkeeper Gurveen Clair for the third and final Bronco goal of the day.