SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Getting set for a five game road trip over four weeks, Santa Clara women's soccer will travel to Northridge to play CSUN on Fri., Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. and to Long Beach State on Sun., Sept. 28 for a 1 p.m. game. Last week Santa Clara fell to No. 4 Stanford on the road before bouncing back with a 3-1 win vs. UC Davis. The Broncos are now 5-4-0 on the season.
"It's important for us to have a weekend like this before we open conference play," said Santa Clara head coach Jerry Smith. "Our opening conference weekend is also on the road back down in L.A. so this will be a dry run for us. This is the first time the team will get on an airplane and stay in a hotel. While the players are fairly used to doing that, it will be the first time this group has done it. We have a good leadership team that will help guide the team on this first road trip."
Santa Clara has scored 12 goals on the year and allowed 12 goals. The Broncos are outshooting opponents 97-91 but trailing 50-41 in shots on goal.
"Our emphasis this week has been the quality of our attacking third play," said Smith. "The first thing was to find a shape that worked for us. Then we wanted to hold possession out of that shape and score goals. We did that but not to the degree that would satisfy us. I feel good about the progress we've made but it will take a couple of weeks for everything to come together."
Sofia Huerta leads the Broncos with seven goals and 15 points. She has also attempted a team-high 35 shots and 19 on goal. Kat McAuliffe and Brittany Ambrose each have scored once while McAuliffe leads the team with four assists and is second with eight points. Anjel Brown has found the back of the net once and four Broncos have one assist each. Andi Tostanoski has allowed 12 goals for a 1.34 GAA and has collected 36 saves for a .750 save percentage.
Santa Clara is 1-0-0 all-time vs. CSU Northridge with the only meeting coming in 2012. The Broncos won the game 1-0 at Buck Shaw.
The Matadors are 3-5-1 in 2014 but 3-1-0 at home. Last week they fell 2-0 at home to Arizona State before bouncing back with a 4-0 win over Weber State at home. They have topped two WCC teams this year, with a 1-0 victory over Gonzaga and a 2-0 win over San Diego.
"The coaches at Northridge have done a great job," said Smith. "They're a very hard working and tough team. We will have to play 90 minutes. Their success is built more on defensive pressure and energy than on any one player. That makes it a little more difficult to game plan for."
CSUN has been outscored on the season 11-8 but outshot opponents 116-103 and hold a 46-37 edge in shots on goal.
Leandra Walker leads CSUN with two goals and four points. Tabatha Dickson and Hannah Wissler are tied for second on the team with three points, each tallying a goal and an assist. Three other Matadors have found the back of the net and three have added an assist. Cynthia Tafoya has allowed 11 goals for a 1.34 GAA and made 25 saves for a .694 save percentage. She has picked up three shutouts on the season.
Santa Clara is 3-0-0 all-time vs. Long Beach State with the first meeting coming in 2010. Last year the Broncos topped the 49ers 4-0 at home. The two teams have never played in Long Beach.
The 49ers are 4-3-3 on the season and 3-0-2 at home. Last week they fell 1-0 at Central Florida and came away with a 3-1 win at Florida International. Earlier in the year they tied San Diego 0-0 at lost 2-0 at BYU.
"In our Long Beach State game we'll be at a bit of a disadvantage because we play Friday and they don't so they will be well rested," said Smith. "In addition to the quality of coaches and players Long Beach State has, the rest puts us at a disadvantage."
Long Beach State has outscored opponents 11-9 in 2014 and outshot teams 124-95 with a 57-45 edge in shots on goal.
Ashley Gonzales leads the team with four goals and 10 points. Mimi Rangel is tops on the team with five assists and has added two goals for nine points. Vania Robles has scored two goals while Jessica Vincent has added three assists. Ashton McKeown has allowed nine goals for a 0.84 GAA and made 34 saves for a .791 save percentage. She has collected three shutouts on the year.