Check out photos from the match! (Credit Denis Concordel)
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – In the opening round of the NCAA tournament, No. 17 Santa Clara women's soccer beat Long Beach State by a final of 2-1 to advance to the second round. Santa Clara is now 12-3-6 and Long Beach State finishes its season 12-8-0.
Santa Clara will return to the field for the second round on Fri., Nov. 16 at Stanford at 7 p.m. To purchase tickets, click here.
Meleana Shim and Lauren Matheson scored the Bronco goals while Julie Johnston and Sofia Huerta had the two Santa Clara assists. The Broncos attempted 10 shots with six on goal and freshman goalkeeper Andi Tostanoski made five saves.
"I think we're playing pretty well right now," said Bronco head coach Jerry Smith, coaching in his 23rd NCAA tournament. "Long Beach State is a tough team and congratulations to them for getting to the tournament again. This is a team that played in the quarterfinals last year and outplayed us in the playoffs two year ago. One of the keys in the tournament is to get the second goal, which we couldn't do last year. We scored two really good goals today. Other than their one goal I thought we were a very solid team today. We didn't overshoot the ball or give them a lot of chances and we maintained the ball pretty well. I was happy that we didn't look anxious when they were pressing us with the score 2-1. We showed good maturity today and won a tough game against a very well coached team."
Santa Clara opened up the scoring in the 18th minute. Huerta took a ball on the right side of the field and dribbled back out from the penalty box before passing to Shim a few yards outside the top of the box. Shim gained control of the ball and sent a low shot to the left side of the goal. With all the bodies in front of the goal, the 49er goalkeeper was unable to see the ball off the foot and it found the back of the net to make the score 1-0.
The Broncos extended the lead in the 37th minute to 2-0. Johnston took advantage of a slip by the defense and took the ball down into the box. With the defender closing in Johnston sent the ball to the other side of the box to Matheson who one-timed a shot past the goalkeeper.
Nadia Link had the best scoring chance for the 49ers in the 65th minute. A pass came into the box from the right side of the field and Link one-timed a low shot with good power that went straight to Tostanoski and the score remained 2-0.
Long Beach State cut the Bronco lead in half in the 70th minute. Kelsey Wilson sent a ball into the box off of a free kick. Alex Balcer got her head on the ball of got it past Tostanoski and into the left side of the goal.
Neither team had a dangerous chance again and the game ended 2-1 with Santa Clara advancing the second round.