Oct. 31, 2005
SAN BRUNO, Calif. - While things continue to heat up with the NCAA Tournament approaching, junior forward Tina Estrada exploded four six points Sunday afternoon with two goals and two assists. For her efforts, the Fremont native was named the West Coast Conference's Player of the Week and earned a spot on both Top Drawer Soccer's and Soccer Buzz' National Teams of the Week.
"I think that for Tina to be getting her first [WCC Player of the Week] recognition in her junior year is a little bit of a surprise and a little overdue for her," Head coach Jerry Smith said about Estrada earning the first such honor of her Broncos career. "Obviously I am very happy for her, she's worked very hard in this last half of the season and it is paying off for her."
Estrada, currently second on the squad with eight goals and 19 points, got the fifth-ranked Broncos on the board early in Sunday's 4-0 win over the Loyola Marymount Lions. Her one-timer of a Lauren Zealear feed in the 13th minute proved to be her fourth game-winner of the season.
Fifteen minutes later, she earned her first assist of the match as part of a picture-perfect give-and-go with Micaela Esquivel. Tiffany Roberts then headed in Esquivel's cross to the far side to make it a 2-0 Bronco lead.
Two minutes after that, Estrada got behind the Lions' defense, gaining position to receive a loft from Jordan Angeli. As LMU keeper Joslyn Slovek charged in, Estrada got her head on the ball a split-second before Slovek could punch it away and sent it past the goal line for her second of the match. Estrada capped her big day with an assist on Meagan Snell's third goal of the season in the 68th minute.
Currently Estrada is among the top-ten goal scorers and point leaders in the WCC. Her penchant for netting game-winners has become well-known on the Mission Campus as she has accumulated 10 game-winners in her career, including four this season, most notably the winner in double-overtime against California in Berkeley. With Estrada's new hot streak combined with the stellar play of the Bronco defense, Santa Clara is focused on building momentum for the NCAA Tournament which begins in two weeks.
"For any team and any individual player you want to be peaking come NCAA playoff time," Smith added. "Our team had our best performance of the year on Sunday and Tina had her best production of the year so it's good timing for her and our team."
The fifth-ranked Broncos return to action for their conference and regular-season finale Saturday. They travel to Malibu to take on the Pepperdine Waves in a 1 p.m. tilt at Tari Frahm Rokus Field.