SAN FRANCISCO – Opening West Coast Conference play, No. 4 Santa Clara women's soccer topped San Francisco 3-2 in a battle in the City Sunday afternoon.
The Bronco (10-1-1, 1-0 WCC) offense was sharp, attempting 23 shots and putting 11 on goal but the Dons (7-5, 0-1 WCC) keeper Olivia Camera had a spectacular game in net, making eight saves, including several diving stops in the first half.
Kelcie Hedge led Santa Clara with a pair of goals and Maddy Gonzalez added her team-leading seventh of the year. The first tally of the day for San Francisco was an own goal by the Broncos.
Hedge got the scoring going in the 17th minute when she got a deflection off a Dons defender and finished inside the near post from a tough angle. She would add her second in the 56th minute to put Santa Clara up 2-1 off a free kick from just outside the top of the box.
An own goal in the 31st minute evened the score at 1-1. Michiah Madison was fighting with defenders in the box when Alex Loera went down to try and clear the ball but it hit her foot wrong and went into the net.
Kelsey Turnbow and Gonzalez hooked up to make it 3-1 in the 64th minute. Turnbow dribbled from the top of the box to the left, using some fancy footwork to get around defenders, before sending a cross to the head of a diving Gonzalez.
The Dons weren't done and cut the deficit to 3-2 in the 67th minute. A back pass by the Santa Clara defense wasn't hit hard enough and Melissa Lowder came off her line to try to clear the ball but Karley Weeks got to it first and got around Lowder before finishing in the empty net.
- Santa Clara is now 33-1-1 all-time against San Francisco.
- The Broncos had eight corners on the day while allowing none and held San Francisco to just four shots.
- Lowder had three saves for Santa Clara.
- The Broncos are off to their best start since beginning 2001, when they won the national title, 11-1 and are unbeaten in their last seven matches (6-0-1).
The Broncos remain on the road and play at LMU Friday at 7 p.m.
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