Nov. 5, 2005
MALIBU, Calif. - Despite locking down 17th-ranked Pepperdine's leading goal-scorers and statistically dominating Saturday's match in Malibu, the fifth-ranked Broncos found themselves on the wrong end of a 1-0 decision as a Waves penalty kick in the 81st minute decided the match.
With the loss, the Broncos end the regular season 14-4-2, with a mark of 4-2-1 in WCC play, good for second-place. The Waves (13-3-3, 3-2-2 WCC) finish conference play in fourth-place as both teams now await their draws in the NCAA Tournament which begins Friday, Nov. 11.
"Our team actually played well, we created chances but just couldn't get that one goal," head coach Jerry Smith said. "The lesson learned for our team was that you have to put a team like that away early. We didn't put our chances away like we did against LMU, we let them hang around. Overall, the performance of our team was good apart from finishing, but obviously not the result we were looking for."
Pepperdine used a "bunker-and-counter" strategy to attempt to limit the Bronco offense Saturday, dropping eight position players back in support of the keeper and leaving only two forwards up front for potential attacks. As the Broncos brought numbers forward and pressed for the potential game-winner in the late stages of the match, the Waves gained a rare counter-attack opportunity.
An attempted clearing pass led to a Pepperdine opportunity in the Broncos box and in the ensuing battle for possession Santa Clara was whistled for a foul, leading to the Waves' Jenna Fodor cahsing in on the penalty kick.
Santa Clara's attack blistered the Wave back line with 21 shots in the match but goalkeeper Anna Picarelli was equal to the task, turning away all 12 Bronco shots on goal, eight of them in the second half.
Bronco keeper Julie Ryder and the Santa Clara back line put forth another strong performance Saturday, allowing the Waves only two shots on goal in the run of play. Ryder made a pair of saves on those shots, but could not come up with the stop on Fodor's penalty kick.
"As a coach you want the team to go through a multitude of scenarios throughout the season," Smith noted on what the Broncos can take from this match. "It certainly will be able to remind the team that we want to avoid this mistake or that mistake. Good teams, good coaches and good programs learn from their shortcomings, and I think we'll learn from that and if there's one good thing we've been able to learn from here at Santa Clara, it is not to repeat the same mistakes."
The NCAA Women's Soccer Selection Show will be broadcast live on ESPNNews between 2-2:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7. Bronco fans will be able to watch the Selection Show live on-campus at The Bronco. First-round matches will begin Friday with second-round matches to be played Sunday the 13th.