Nov. 11, 2005
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The icons of the Santa Clara women's soccer program made their names by being clutch performers when it mattered most: the NCAA Tournament. In Friday night's first-round match at Buck Shaw Stadium between the No. 5 Broncos and the Fresno State Bulldogs, Tina Estrada showed that she is ready to join this elite pantheon as her two goals helped defeat the Bulldogs 5-0.
"Coming into the tournament we're such a defensive-minded team," Estrada noted. "We're solid defensively and like Jerry has said, it's our offense to worry about. So I was happy to see that we had a number of people finish our chances today."
Whereas the last time these two teams met, in a 2-0 Broncos win on Oct. 7, Santa Clara needed nearly 38 minutes to net that first goal, Friday night the Broncos (15-4-2) wasted very little time putting the Bulldogs 10-10-1) into a hole.
Only six minutes into the match, Estrada capped a Bronco attack by one-timing a Jordan Angeli cross into the upper-right corner of the goal, her career-high ninth of the season. The goal stands as the third tournament game-winner of her career.
The night wasn't over for Estrada though, as just over ten minutes later she gathered up a long pass from Elyse Shelger and sent a frozen rope past Fresno State keeper Angie Larsen for the 2-0 lead. Later in the match, only a point-blank save by Larsen in the 55th minute prevented Estrada from earning her first career hat trick.
Shelger got herself a bigger piece of the action in the 27th minute, finishing off an attack by blasting a shot that deflected off of Larsen's hands and into the back of the net. The goal was the third of the season for Shelger and her first career postseason goal.
"I'm very happy we're advancing. That's our ultimate goal, to advance to the next round," said head coach Jerry Smith. "I thought our team played pretty well today, we had a number of different people on the scoresheet and we had a shutout."
The Santa Clara back line, not to be outdone, stonewalled Fresno State anytime they tried to attack. The defense, led by four All-WCC performers in Micaela Esquivel, Marian Dalmy, Lauren Zealear and Danielle Potts, posted its 12th shutout of the season while goalkeeper Julie Ryder blanked her ninth opponent of the season and 30th of her illustrious career, joining former Bronco keepers Sue Wall ('93) and Crystal Gordon ('01) as members of the 30-shutout club.
With the victory, Santa Clara moves on to Sunday's second round to face the winner of Friday's nightcap between Stanford and Saint Louis. Sunday's match will kick off at 1 p.m.