Oct. 21, 2001
MORAGA, Calif. - Player of the Year candidate Aly Wagner netted a free kick in the 89th minute to lead the third-ranked Santa Clara University women's soccer team to a 1-0 victory over No. 7 Saint Mary's this afternoon in West Coast Conference action at Garaventa Field in Moraga.
The Bronco win ends the Gaels' undefeated season and puts them at 12-1-1 overall, 3-1 in the league. The Broncos improve to 13-1, 3-0. The victory also marked the fourth time this season Santa Clara has ended a team's undefeated campaign. Including the season-opening win against Cal Poly, the Broncos ended Stanford's 7-0 season earlier this month with a 2-1 overtime win, and UCLA's 11-0 season earlier this week with a 3-0 victory.
With just over one minute left in regulation, sophomore forward Veronica Zepeda was fouled to the ground by SMC's Jessica Poole while breaking down the field, setting up Wagner's free kick from about 20 yards out.
"I didn't want to hit it too hard because it was against the wind and that made my previous shot go over the crossbar," the junior midfielder from San Jose said. "So I just put a little bend on it and it curved around the wall."
A field-record 1,360 fans watched the battle between the top two teams in the Bay Area, as well as two of the best teams in the nation. The Broncos outshot the Gaels six to one in the first half, but also tallied 17 fouls to the Gaels' 12 in an extremely physical game. Final shot and foul totals favored the Broncos 11-7 and 25-21 respectively.
Gael Lucianne Crenshaw re-entered the contest in the second period after receiving several stitches in her face during first-half play. Saint Mary's was able to put more pressure on the Broncos defense in the second half, outshooting Santa Clara 6-5.
The Broncos continue West Coast Conference action this weekend in Southern California, traveling to Loyola Marymount on Friday and Pepperdine on Sunday. The contest against the Lions will begin at 3 p.m. in Los Angeles, while the Waves match is slated to start at 1 p.m.