SANTA CLARA, Calif. – A big second half lifted No. 7 Santa Clara women's soccer to a 4-1 win in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Saturday afternoon in Stevens Stadium against Milwaukee.
Maria Sanchez led the way for the Broncos (17-3-1) with two goals and two assists to take over the national lead in assists and help the Broncos to their 54th NCAA Tournament win and their most wins since 2005. It was the 11th time a Bronco has scored two goals in a post season game.
Santa Clara also got goals from Kaile Halvorsen and Natalie Kennedy as well as two assists from Kelsey Turnbow and one from Machaela George.
In net, Melissa Lowder collected four saves with the only blemish a perfect shot off the post. On the other side, Elaina Lamacchia made six saves.
After the Panthers (16-2-1) evened the score at 1-1 in the 62nd minute, the Broncos scored twice in the next two and a half minutes to put the game away.
Sanchez and Halvorsen hooked up in the 69th to put Santa Clara back on top and in the 72nd, George set up a goal for Sanchez to make it 3-1.
A misplay by the keeper in the 86th and some hard work by Natalie Kennedy made it a 4-1 game. Sanchez took a free kick that deflected to Turnbow who headed to ball towards net but the keeper couldn't grab it and Kennedy stuck with it before heading the ball in.
Santa Clara got on the board first in the 17th minute. Kelsey Turnbow sent a nice pass into the box that Maria Sanchez knocked out of the air and into the back of the net to make it 1-0.
HIGHLIGHTS | Maria Sanchez scored twice and dished out an assist, Kaile Halvorsen slotted home the match-winner and Natalie Kennedy put Saturday's @NCAASoccer Tournament opening-round match on ice as the #SCUBroncos defeated Milwaukee 4-1! #StampedeTogether pic.twitter.com/HfzbE8RUEO— Santa Clara Women's Soccer (@SCUWomensSoccer) November 11, 2018
VIDEO | #SCUBroncos head coach @SCUJerrySmith talks about the team's 4-1 win over Milwaukee in the first round of the @NCAA Tournament Saturday afternoon at home behind two goals and two assists from @Maria17_7. #StampedeTogether #NCAASoccer pic.twitter.com/C5ouJbKWNB— Santa Clara Women's Soccer (@SCUWomensSoccer) November 11, 2018
- Santa Clara is now 1-0 all-time against Milwaukee.
- The three goals was the most given up by Milwaukee this season.
- Santa Clara held the edge in shots 22-8 and 1-0 in shots on goal.
- The Broncos drew nine corner kicks while conceding two.
Santa Clara heads to UCLA to take on North Carolina State at 5 p.m. in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
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