SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Preparing for its final non-conference game of the season, No. 25 Santa Clara women's soccer will host Fresno State on Thur., Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. in the only game of the week for the Broncos. Last weekend Santa Clara took down CSU Northridge 1-0 in overtime and Washington State 3-0. With the two wins the Broncos' record is 6-2-3 and 5-0-1 at home. In the first RPI of the season, Santa Clara comes in at No. 14.
"I'm not sure we're hitting our stride but I'll say we're about to hit our stride," said Bronco head coach Jerry Smith, in his 26th season at Santa Clara. "I feel very good about our two-win weekend and scoring four goals in two games while not allowing any. We're looking forward to our final non-conference game and see if we can hit our stride. After Thursday night's game I'll be in a position to know if we're where we want to be at the end of non-conference play. I haven't seen it yet but I feel like we're on the verge and hopefully we'll get there on Thursday and have some good momentum going into the first conference game of the season."
Santa Clara is on a seven-game unbeaten streak with its last loss coming at Notre Dame on Aug. 31 by a final of 2-1. The last time Santa Clara went unbeaten in the month of September was 1999 when the Broncos went 23-1-0 with the only loss a 1-0 defeat to Notre Dame in the College Cup. In the last seven games the Broncos are 4-0-3 with ties vs. No. 23 Georgetown and No. 15 San Diego State and wins over CSU Northridge and Washington State. Santa Clara has scored 12 goals over that span while allowing just four.
"Our last loss was in August so it feels good to not have a loss for all of September," said Smith. "We've had two or three more ties than we would like and those happened because of a lack of goal scoring. Coming off a game where we scored three goals feels good."
Sofia Huerta leads the Broncos with three goals while Sarah Jackson is tops on the team with three assists. Despite missing the first seven games of the year while winning the U-20 World Cup in Japan as the U.S. captain and Bronze Ball winner, Julie Johnston, the WCC player of the Week for September 24, is tied for second on the team with two goals and two assists as well as six points. In seven games without Johnston the Broncos scored nine goals but in the four games since her return the Broncos have matched that total while only allowing three goals. Lauren Matheson has also scored two goals and freshman Dani Weatherholt has two goals and two assists. In goal, freshman Andi Tostanoski has made 42 saves and collected four shutouts while starting all 11 games.
Fresno State is off to 2-6-3 start to 2012. The Bulldogs have lost 2-0 vs. No. 4 UCLA, 5-0 vs. No. 20 Portland and 2-0 at No. 7 Oklahoma State. The team, however, is riding a two-game winning streak as they took down CSU Bakersfield 3-0 on Sept. 21 and Cal Poly 2-1 on Sept. 23. Opponents are outscoring Fresno State 22-11 while outshooting the team 204-162.
Callie Hancock is a one woman show on offense for Fresno State, scoring six of the team's 11 goals. No other player on the Bulldogs' roster has scored more than once. Shonice Myers leads the team with three assists while Megan Mossman and Sam Brechmann are tied for second with two each. Katie Devault has picked up 67 saves and one shutout while making all 11 starts in goal.