SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Looking to bounce back after a tough night on Friday, No. 17 Santa Clara women's soccer beat San Diego 3-2 on Sunday. The win moves Santa Clara to 10-3-5 overall and 3-1-2 in conference while the loss drops San Diego to 7-11-0 overall and 3-4-0 in WCC play.
Santa Clara outshot San Diego 24-5 and had nine shots on goal to USD's five. Sofia Huerta, Julie Johnston and Meleana Shim scored the Bronco goals while Huerta had the one Santa Clara assist. Freshman goalkeeper Andi Tostanoski collected three saves on the day.
Santa Clara will have a short week and welcome Portland to the Mission campus on Thu., Nov. 1 at 8 p.m. where the Broncos will celebrate the four graduating seniors on Senior night.
"It was a really good sign that we bounced back after their second goal," said Santa Clara head coach Jerry Smith. "Today was a bounce-back game as well after we had a hiccup at San Francisco and we had a hiccup today when we passed a ball to them right in front of our goal. What we're trying to also do is put ourselves in a situation where we don't have to bounce back by putting away teams when we have chances, even early in the game. Give credit to San Diego who came out and battled us so we're happy with a win that gives us a chance to finish out conference play at the top of the WCC. We also have to find a way to not concede goals when we have a lead. That is something that has to be addressed for sure. Having said that, we were without two veterans on our backline so we knew going in it would be a challenge. All in all, we're really happy with our victory today and it sets us up nicely."
Santa Clara got out to a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute on a goal from Huerta. Huerta gained control of the ball on the right side of the goal and backed-up to her defender before putting on a move to spin around and face the goal. She fired a shot that found the back of the net for the fifth time in 2012.
In the 31st minute Santa Clara was able to score again, this time off the foot of Johnston. Dani Weatherholt fired a shot that hit the post but the rebound went directly to the foot of Johnston who knocked the ball in without any resistance. The goal put Santa Clara up 2-0 and was Johnston's team-high sixth goal of the year.
The Toreros didn't fold facing a 2-0 deficit and scored in the 35th minute to make the score 3-1. Kelley McCloskey took a free kick from just outside the top of the box and blasted the shot past Tostanoski.
As the game was winding down, in the 84th minute Erica Peeples took advantage of a Bronco defensive misplay. The ball went straight to the foot of Pepples on the right side of the goal where she slid into the ball for her shot and evened the score at 2-2.
Frustrated but not ready to give up, Santa Clara retook the lead for good in the 88th minute off the foot of Shim. Huerta sent a through ball to Shim who gathered control of the ball and beat the USD goalkeeper to give the Broncos the 3-2 win.