September 19, 2013

Santa Clara and Cal Battle to Tightly Contested Draw

Check out photos from the match! (Credit Denis Concordel)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – In the first game of a tough weekend against Pac-12 foes, No. 22 Santa Clara women's soccer tied No. 12 Cal 1-1. The tie puts the Broncos at 4-2-1 while the Bears move to 5-0-2.

Santa Clara returns to the field Sun., Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. vs. No. 2 Stanford. The game will be broadcast live on ESPNU and will be called by Melissa Lee and Julie Foudy.

"This is the type of game you love to be in," said Santa Clara head coach Jerry Smith. "I think both teams enjoyed it and so did the fans. We feel unsatisfied that we weren't able to come away with a win. Cal is a very good team that created some chances and they could have won the game, but we had more chances to score the second goal. The experience you gain in a game like this that goes overtime and could be decided any minute teaches the team the focus you want them to have. I was really pleased that we created a lot of scoring chances today but credit their goalkeeper who had some very good saves. Some days you hit the outside of the post and some days you hit the inside of the post. Today we just kept hitting the outside of the post."

Santa Clara outshot Cal 27-14 and 12-7 in shots on goal. Sarah Jackson scored the lone Santa Clara goal unassisted while Andi Tostanoski picked up six saves. Sofia Huerta and Julie Johnston each had seven shots with four and two on goal, respectively. Jordan Jesolva added six shots and one on goal while Morgan Marlborough had three shots, all on goal.

Huerta fired a shot from 15 yards outside the box in the 16th minute and only a diving save from Emily Kruger kept the game scoring. Off the ensuing corner kick, Jesolva got a rebound in the box and blasted a shot that went just wide.

Cal scored first in the 25th minute off the foot of Rachel Mercik from Ifeoma Onumonu. Onumonu sent a ball to Rachel Mercik who was one-on-one with the goalkeeper and put her shot past Tostanoski to give the Bears the 1-0 lead.

Huerta had another great scoring chance in the 31st minute when a ball bounced to her and she blasted a rocket from just inside the top right of the box. Her shot beat Krueger but hit the crossbar to keep the Broncos down a goal.

Off of a corner kick in the 41st minute Tostanoski made a spectacular save to keep the game at 1-0. A cross from the end line went straight to Kelly Fitzgerald who headed a shot right in front of the goal.

Santa Clara outshot Cal 12-3 and 4-3 in shots on goal in the first half but Cal still led 1-0 at the break. The Broncos controlled the first 35 minutes of the game but Cal took control for seven minutes near the end of the second half where the Bears pressured the Santa Clara defense.

In the 58th minute Cal hit the crossbar fro the second time. Onumonu took control of a kick from Tostanoski and fired shot from outside the box that was just high.

The Broncos tied it up in the 75th minute off the first goal of the year from Jackson. Brittany Ambrose took a shot that only a great, diving save from Krueger stopped. The rebound bounced to Jackson who was able to knock the ball into the back of the net to make the score 1-1.

Krueger made another fantastic save in the 83rd minute to keep the score tied. Marlborough shot a ball to the right side of the goal but Krueger made a diving, fingertip save. On the ensuing corner kick, Santa Clara hit the post for the second time in the match. Cal turned around and went down the field and fired a shot that Tostanoski had to dive to stop.

In the 87th minute Jesolva hit the post on a shot from outside the box. It was the third Bronco shot to hit the post and the fifth in the game. The Broncos kept the pressure on Cal and Marlborough headed a cross from Huerta over the goal. After an intense final 10 minutes the game went to overtime.

Both teams had chances in overtime but neither could convert and the game went into a second overtime.

Jesolva had a terrific chance in the 102nd minute from just inside the box. Jesolva took a touch and shot with her left foot but another phenomenal save by Krueger kept the game going.

Cal controlled the first part of the second overtime and Santa Clara had a chance in the 10th minute but the game ended in a draw.

Game Notes: Attendance was 893 … Cal's first shot didn't come until the 25th minute … Sandra Ley was issued a yellow card in the 93rd minute … It was the second double overtime game of the season for Santa Clara.