Oct. 22, 2006
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The ripples of momentum created by Thursday night's big win over Portland grew into killer waves by the time Sunday afternoon rolled around, as the No. 4 Santa Clara women's soccer team overwhelmed the Gonzaga Bulldogs 6-2 at Buck Shaw Stadium. Coupled with Pepperdine's loss in San Francisco on Sunday, SCU's win leapfrogs the Broncos to the top of the WCC standings with two conference matches remaining.
SCU (13-3-1, 3-1-1 WCC), Pepperdine, and Portland now share the conference lead with 10 points apiece heading into the final two WCC matches. The Broncos finish WCC play off with San Francisco next Sunday at Buck Shaw Stadium before closing out the season Saturday, Nov. 4 at Saint Mary's. Pepperdine and Portland square off next Sunday in Portland, then the Waves conclude WCC play on Nov. 4 at home against Gonzaga, while the Pilots finish things the same day on the road at Loyola Marymount.
The Broncos conclude their final homestand of the regular season with Senior Day next Sunday at 1 p.m. at Buck Shaw Stadium, hosting the San Francisco Dons in the final regular-season home match for the 10 SCU seniors.
Jordan Angeli and Brittany Klein each netted a pair of goals in Sunday's win, with Angeli also adding an assist. Kiki Bosio scored her third goal of the season to open things up, while Marian Dalmy added two assists.
"Especially coming after a big win like the Portland game, its easy to have a little bit of a letdown in your next game, but at the same time, when you score three goals against a very good team like Portland it gives you some goal-scoring confidence, so I thought we had that going into today's game and just kind of rode that momentum through the first half," said head coach Jerry Smith. "I'm very happy for Jordan today, too, she got two goals today and sometimes what you need more than anything else is your first one, and sure enough she then got her second immediately after. I'm happy that she is getting on track and I expect that it will really help her goal scoring confidence."
Goalkeeper Julie Ryder made a pair of saves and also earned an assist on Bosio's match-opening goal, crushing a long ball that outdistanced the Gonzaga back line and found Bosio in stride. The freshman from Mission Viejo had no problem beating Bulldog keeper Jessie Thalman on the breakaway for her third goal of the season.
"I saw that the ball was bouncing and hoped that it would go over [the Gonzaga defenders], so I just ran onto it and stayed as composed as I could and finished the goal," Bosio said about the goal.
"We used to do that on my team back in high school, but this is the first one I've gotten in college, and I'm just happy that Kiki got on the end of it. It's a pretty cool and rare thing," Ryder said of her assist on the goal. "Jerry has us punt the ball between the center circle and the sideline, so I just hit it and the wind carried it."
The Broncos had a chance early, as Angeli's shot from a Bosio cross got past Thalman but was cleared off the line by Gonzaga's Christi D'Agostino. The Bulldogs then countered just a minute later, but Ryder was equal to the task, making a nice lunging save to her left to corral a shot from Jamie Blanche.
Yet once Bosio put SCU ahead at the 10:45 mark with her goal from Ryder's long ball, the Broncos quickly engulfed the Gonzaga back line, as Angeli netted her first goal of the year only 22 seconds later by burying a breakaway opportunity after receiving a through ball from Chioma Igwe.
Angeli's assault continued nine minutes later as she positioned herself perfectly on the near side of the box, where she executed a textbook header off of a Dalmy cross for what eventually would be the game-winner. Klein finished off the scoring in the first half with her fourth goal of the year, cashing in with a diving header from seven yards out off Amanda Poach's cross into the box.
Gonzaga got on the board in the 52nd minute, as a Cristin Leverson volley was deflected in off of a Santa Clara defender, cutting the Bronco lead to 4-1. But Klein answered four minutes later, re-establishing the four-goal advantage by heading in a rebound after Thalman could not contain Angeli's initial opportunity.
Nanda McCormick netted the second Bulldog goal at the 73:55 mark as her volley into the box went off of Ryder's punchout attempt as Ryder was jostled in traffic. Lexi Orand closed out the scoring on the day as she converted a breakaway goal off of Bonnie Bowman's assist in the 83rd minute.
"To have two good wins against Portland and Gonzaga after a tough last weekend was what we needed," Smith said. "Hopefully that gives us confidence going into our last match on Senior Day against USF. I think we put ourselves in a good position to win the conference championship, which was our goal going into conference play."