SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Two quick goals led No. 6 Santa Clara women's soccer to a 2-1 overtime victory against San Diego Thursday night on the road to keep the Broncos in a tie atop the West Coast Conference standings.
Santa Clara (15-2-1, 6-1 WCC) jumped out to a lead less than a minute into the match but couldn't add on and the Toreros (7-8-1, 3-4 WCC) found the equalizer with less than 90 seconds to go in regulation.
"Give San Diego a lot of credit," Santa Clara head coach Jerry Smith said. "Their coaches changed formation on us and it caught us off guard. They scored a really good goal to tie it up late."
Right off the kick to being extra time, the Broncos took a couple touches before a high ball by Kelcie Hedge got behind the San Diego defense that Skylar Smith ran down and knocked over the head of Torero keeper Amber Michel for the game-winner.
The Toreros had evened the score in the 89th minute on the 13th of the year from Milan Moses. Despite taking on three defenders near the top of the box, Moses was able to work around them all and take a shot from 18-yards out that went over a leaping Melissa Lowder.
"Giving up the game-tying goal after playing so hard for 89 minutes was a crushing blow," Smith said. "It was deflating but the kids couldn't have responded any better."
The win gives Santa Clara a 20-match unbeaten streak in overtime, dating back to the 2014 season.
"I'm really proud of the team for winning in overtime," Smith said. "To play 20 consecutive overtime matches without a loss, in a sudden death format where it's so easy to take a goal, is remarkable. I'm happy we were able to keep that streak intact tonight."
The first of the night came just 27 seconds into the match, the fourth-fastest goal in program history. After a defensive misplay, Maria Sanchez got the ball and dribbled to the left side of the box before hitting a low pass that DB Pridham topped into the net for a 1-0 Santa Clara lead.
Both teams created chances throughout but the keepers came up big with Michel making seven saves and Lowder having five.
"We scored an early goal and created a lot of really good opportunities in the first half," Smith said. "I was disappointed we didn't get a second goal out of the chances we created."
Now Santa Clara heads to BYU Saturday for a 4 p.m. Pacific kickoff. The teams are tied atop the WCC standings, both with a loss to Pepperdine. The winner has the inside track at the conference championship heading into the final weekend of the season.
"I'm thrilled to essentially be playing for a WCC title on Saturday," Smith said. "When you don't have a conference tournament, rarely do you get to play in a game that has the league title on the line. It's as exciting as it gets and will prepare us for the winner-take-all games in the NCAA Tournament."
- Santa Clara is now 19-8 all-time against San Diego.
- The last overtime loss came Aug. 24, 2014 vs. Cal 2-1.
- Fifteen wins ties last year's total and is the most since 2013 when the Broncos won 16.
- Santa Clara put nine of its 14 shots on goal.
- Kelsey Turnbow did not play in the match. It was the first game in her collegiate career that she missed.