Nov. 23, 2001
STANFORD, Calif. - The Santa Clara University men's soccer team escaped with a hard-fought victory Friday night against California by a score of 1-0 in triple-overtime.
Friday evening's game was very similar to the one these same two teams played in early October, back-and-forth, with neither team capitalizing on their chances. None of the chances were more pivotal than Cal's breakaway with only eight seconds remaining in the second half and Austin Ripmaster had a chance at an empty net. The senior hit a hard shot that went over the post, giving Santa Clara a second chance as the match headed to overtime.
In overtime, the Broncos had a similar situation but failed to convert as well when senior Anthony Chimienti had an open net but pushed it wide, allowing the match to continue on. Santa Clara continued to dominate the overtime periods, out-shooting the Bears 12-2, forcing the cal netminder Josh Saunders to make all seven of his saves in the extra time.
Finally at the 132:57 mark of the third overtime the Broncos were able to capitalize as Chimienti gathered the ball with his right foot just outside the left-hand portion of the net, ending the game with a hard-struck kick into the lower right-hand portion of the net. The goal for Chimienti was his fifth on the year and his fourth consecutive game-winning goal.
West Coast Conference Player and Co-Defender of the Year Jeff Stewart led the Bronco defense, allowing Cal to take only two shots in the overtime periods, both of which were not on goal. Freshman Steve Cronin collected his second consecutive shutout, making four saves on the evening, including a remarkable diving save on another breakaway by Ripmaster.
"I was very proud of our guys tonight," said head coach Mitch Murray. "We seemed to get stronger as the game progressed and our defense really shut them down in the overtime periods."
The Broncos will move on to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with the victory and will face Stanford at 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon at Maloney Field.