SANTA CLARA, Calif. – On its final weekend of non-conference play, No. 20 Santa Clara women's soccer beat Kansas 3-2. The victory puts the Broncos record at 5-3-1 while the Jayhawks are now 5-5-1.
Santa Clara wraps-up non-conference play on Sun., Sept. 29 with a 1 p.m. match vs. Cal Poly.
"Of the few areas that we really focused on in practice this week I saw good improvement," said Santa Clara head coach Jerry Smith. "Our shots on goal percentage was clearly higher today. Sofia had a really good chance to put the fourth goal in and really put the game away. The good part of that miss is that we were able to work on showing grace under pressure in a close game. That was another thing that we worked on a lot this week. We weren't great in that area but we took a step forward and I think our team will have a little more confidence in that situation the next time around."
Santa Clara outshot Kansas 16-10 and 9-6 in shots on goal. Sofia Huerta led the offense with two goals and one assist on five shots. Julie Johnston had a goal and Julie Vass added an assist. Andi Tostanoski picked up four saves. Liana Salazar and Caroline Kastor scored for Kansas while Courtney Dickerson added an assist. Kaitlyn Stroud had six assists for the Jayhawks.
Huerta put one in the back of the net to give Santa Clara an early 1-0 lead in the fifth minute. Vass passed the ball to Huerta who took a few dribbles before she squared up from outside the top of the box and put it past the goalkeeper in the bottom right of the goal.
Kansas answered almost immediately with a goal in the sixth minute. Dickerson passed a ball to Kastor who slipped behind the defense and put her shot into the net to even the score at 1-1.
The Broncos retook the lead in the 30th minute off of a corner kick. Huerta took the corner and sent a perfect ball to the head of Johnston who put it into the empty net in front of her to make the score 2-1.
Santa Clara outshot Kansas 10-5 and 6-3 in shots on goal in the first half. Johnston and Jordan Jesolva each had three shots while Tostanoski picked up two saves.
Huerta was dribbling the ball and got past a defender inside the top right of the box when she was taken down in the 54th minute. She added her second goal of the night on the ensuing penalty kick.
Kansas pulled within one goal in the 74th minute off of a free kick. Dickerson took the kick from just outside the top of the box and put the shot in the upper right corner of the net.
The Jayhawks applied pressure in the final 16 minutes but the Broncos were able to hold them off for the 3-2 win.
Game Notes: Attendance was 850 … Santa Clara was issued two yellow cards … Huerta hit the crossbar in the 57th minute. A goal would have completed the hat trick … There were six clock stoppages for injuries … Four of the last five goals scored against the Broncos have been off free kicks.