Oct. 30, 2005
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - On a warm Senior Day it was a junior who stole the show as Tina Estrada had a hand in all four Bronco goals Sunday afternoon. Estrada scored twice and assisted on two other goals as fifth-ranked Santa Clara (14-3-2, 4-1-1 WCC) overwhelmed the Loyola Marymount Lions (6-9-4, 1-4-1 WCC) 4-0 Sunday afternoon at Buck Shaw Stadium.
"I was very pleased with the team's performance today, I think it was our best game all year," Head coach Jerry Smith said after the match. "We had a few opportunities where a couple players could have scored another goal for us, but we hit the post a few times and [the LMU] goalkeeper made a couple of good saves. But overall I am very pleased with today's performance."
Riding an emotional high after graduating seniors Micaela Esquivel, Jessica Ballweg and Catherine Sigler were honored in a pregame ceremony, the Broncos jumped all over the Lions from the opening whistle. Less than two minutes into the game, they attacked into the LMU box only to have an offsides call negate a Tiffany Roberts header that found the net. Yet Santa Clara kept up the pressure and just over ten minutes later got that all-important first goal.
Estrada got the scoring started in the 13th minute as she buried a feed from Lauren Zealear past Lions keeper Joslyn Slovak. Fifteen minutes later, Esquivel and Estrada worked a textbook give-and-go on the right side of the box before Esquivel's cross found an unmarked Tiffany Roberts who deposited the offer for her fourth goal of the season.
Estrada capped the first-half scoring in the 30th minute as she won position on a lofted ball from Jordan Angeli and beat Slovak to the touch. Just a moment before Slovak could punch the ball away, Estrada got her head on it and sent it past for the 3-0 lead.
Meagan Snell added a 68th minute goal to round out the scoring, as the Santa Clara attack peppered the Lions with 25 shots. Marian Dalmy and Amanda Poach each just missed a goal in the second half as Dalmy's shot beat Slovak but bounced off the post, while Poach's rocket deflected off of Slovak's hands and off of the crossbar. Estrada nearly completed a hat trick but only a Slovak save prevented what would have been the first Bronco hat trick of the season.
The Bronco defense did its part and more, holding the Lions to only four shots on the day, while goalkeeper Julie Ryder posted a save and earned her eighth shutout of the season. As a whole, the Santa Clara back line earned its 11th shutout of the season, and its fifth out of six conference matches.
The no. 5 Broncos conclude conference and regular season play next Saturday as they travel to Malibu to meet the Pepperdine Waves. Kick-off is set for 1 p.m. as Santa Clara looks to continue to build its momentum for the NCAA Tournament which begins in two weeks.