Broncos Host No. 16 Maryland in Match-Up of 2012 NCAA Tournament Teams
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – With just one game this week, Santa Clara women's soccer opens an eight-game home stand on Fri., Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. vs. No. 16 Maryland. Last week Santa Clara picked up its first two wins of the season with a 4-0 win vs. Long Beach State and a 1-0 double overtime thriller at Fresno State. The Broncos are 2-2-0 on the young season.
"At this stage of the season we're still trying to figure out what works well for us so about 75% of our attention will be spent on our own identity," said Santa Clara head coach Jerry Smith. "Having said that, Maryland is a very good team that is undefeated and scoring a lot of goals. Most importantly we'll be trying to figure out how to create a good attacking rhythm and try get dangerous chances. The best way to defend against a powerful offense like Maryland's is to keep the ball so we'll spend a lot of time working on that this week."
Having just one game this week is something that Smith knows will benefit the team and coaches in terms of preparation.
"Only having one game this week makes our job much easier," said Smith. "Trying to prepare for two games against teams with very different styles can be tough. You try to use your week wisely and prepare for both opponents but that means you aren't preparing as well as you would like for either one. To be able to focus on just one team this week will really help us."
Julie Johnston leads the Broncos with three goals and six points. Johnston scored twice in the 4-0 win vs. Long Beach State and scored the goal in double overtime at Fresno State to give Santa Clara the 1-0 win. Morgan Marlborough is second on the team with one goal and three points. Marlborough and Julie Vass have one assist each. Andi Tostanoski has picked up 25 saves, including a season-high eight at Fresno State, and has a .833 save percentage. She has two shutouts in four games.
"Some of the changes that we made from the first weekend have worked out well for us," said Smith. "We moved Julie Johnston up front and that has helped us quite a bit. Julie has been dynamic up there and scored key goals in both games. She is the catalyst that sets things into motion and takes some pressure off Morgan Marlborough. It also allows us to have Sofia Huerta in a wide position that allows her to serve balls in which she does very well."
Maryland enters the week with a record of 4-0-0. The Terrapins picked up wins last week over Villanova, George Mason, and Navy. The trip out West will be the first road match of the season for the team. The Broncos are 2-1-0 all-time vs. Maryland with the last meeting coming in 2009. Santa Clara dropped that game 1-0 in College Park.
The Terrapins have outscored opponents 18-2 and outshot foes 97-17. Shots on goal are 46-9 in favor of Maryland while corner kicks are 34-4. Maryland has outscored teams 12-0 in the second half with Villanova the only team able to find the back of the net.
Hayley Brock leads the team with six goals and 14 points. Brock is tied for fourth on the team with two assists and has scored one game-winner. Ashley Spivey has three goals and two assists for eight points while Lauren Berman has scored twice and added three assists. Shannon Collins leads the team with five assists while 10 different players have at least one goal and nine different players have at least one assist. Rachelle Beanlands has played all but one half and has collected seven saves with a.778 save percentage and a 0.57 GAA.