Oct. 5, 2001
STANFORD, Calif. - This week Santa Clara junior midfielder Aly Wagner was named the West Coast Conference's player of the month. Tonight, at seventh-ranked Stanford, all that concerned the San Jose native was being the player of the moment.
Wagner powered a free kick with just 7:43 left in the first overtime period to propel the Broncos to a 2-1 win in front of a Maloney Field record crowd of 2,103. Santa Clara's victory ended Stanford's 13-match win streak at Maloney Field and marked the third-straight win over the Cardinal in as many seasons.
With the win, fifth-ranked Santa Clara improved to 8-1 on the season. The Cardinal dropped its first contest of the year, falling to a 7-1 mark.
"Aly could not have hit the shot any better," said Bronco head coach Jerry Smith of Wagner's game-winner. "She took a free kick just a minute earlier and tried to bend it in with some finesse and it didn't go in. Right before she took the shot, I told her just to drive it and she did.
"She practices shots like that quite a bit on her own after practice. Her practice certainly paid off tonight."
The two teams played an even first half with each squad taking four shots apiece. The Cardinal scored first in the match on a header by Natalie Spilger into the near corner off a corner kick at the 33:38 mark of the match. The Broncos evened the score at 1-1 on a powerful Jessica Ballweg shot from 40-yards out that went over the goalie's head and into the back of the net at the 40:41 mark.
Following intermission, the Broncos outshot Stanford by a 10-0 mark the rest of the game, including a 7-0 advantage in the second half of regulation. Santa Clara was able to maintain possession of the ball on the offensive end of the field for nearly the entire overtime period. Wagner attempted a free kick at the 10:01 mark that went just over the cross bar before she connected on the game winner just 3:00 later.
"The difference in the second half was largely due to a couple of adjustments we made to our approach," said Smith. "Instead of playing three forwards, we moved to one forward and two wings and we spread our width a bit. We also moved Aly up a bit and the other two midfielders back which gave her a bit more freedom.
"Our players really hung in there and they played with huge passion and determination. In the second half we did a much better job with the 50/50 balls and that was a big difference in the game."
The Santa Clara women return to Buck Shaw Stadium to face Fresno State on Tuesday, October 9 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase online by clicking here or by calling the Athletic Ticket Office at 408/554-4066.