Oct. 4, 2002
LOS ANGELES - Junior forward Kristi Candau scored the golden goal in the second minute of overtime as the Santa Clara University women's soccer team upset third-ranked UCLA tonight at Drake Stadium in Los Angeles. She added an assist earlier in the 2-1 victory as the Broncos improve to 7-2-1 on the season.
Santa Clara, who is undefeated in its last six contests, remains unbeaten in its three overtime matches this season and avoided another loss to a Pac-10 opponent with tonight's victory. The Broncos' two losses on the year came against Stanford and California.
It was a night of firsts for the Bruins, as both teams played the first-ever night game under new lights at Drake Stadium. Although Santa Clara improved to 4-0 in the all-time series against UCLA, it was the first time the Bruins have scored a goal against the Broncos. UCLA's record moved to 7-2, with the crowd of 1,365 fans the seventh highest attendance for the women's team at Drake.
With a 1-1 tie at the end of regulation, it took the Broncos only 1:29 in overtime to end the contest. Sophomore defender Lana Bowen dribbled down the left line, beating a couple of defenders before popping through a ball to Candau, who poked it past UCLA netminder Sarah Lombardo.
"It's always great to end a game on a goal," Santa Clara head coach Jerry Smith said. "Our team showed a lot of character tonight."
The two halves were very different games for the Broncos, as UCLA took control in the first period. The Bruins outshot Santa Clara 5-0 in first half-action. Bruin forward Iris Mora handed SCU the most challenges, scoring on her first shot in the 23rd minute on a long ball played by Stacy Lindstrom. Bronco goalkeeper Erin Pearson ran out to meet the ball, but Mora got there first and headed the ball into an empty net.
Mora posted another threat just three minutes later, but Pearson easily handled the save. In the 28th minute, Mora received a third opportunity, but shot that attempt high. UCLA kept Pearson on alert, as Bruin Whitney Jones launched her second attempt of the game in the 31st minute on a free kick, but the Bronco netminder held the Bruins.
Santa Clara forward Megan Kakadelas posed a threat late in the half, outrunning two defenders on the right side, but could not get a shot off.
With a 1-0 deficit at halftime, Smith told his team tonight's contest marked a crossroad for their season.
"It was a turning point and we needed to step up to play and face the challenge or be a mediocre team the rest of the season," he said to the squad during intermission.
The Broncos did step it up and neutralized UCLA's shot advantage by firing six straight shots in the second period. Freshman midfield Micaela Esquivel took the first attempt for the Broncos in the 60th minute to start the offense. Two minutes later, she sent a strong cross to Candau, whose header hit the left post. One minute after that, Esquivel's pass to Veronica Zepeda resulted in another shot, but saves by Lombardo kept SCU off the board.
Four minutes later, in the 67th minute, Candau found senior midfielder Devvyn Hawkins in front of the goal 25 yards away. Her shot was strong enough that Lombardo mishandled the grab, allowing the equalizer score.
The Broncos almost took the lead in the 74th with a great pass from Candau to Kakadelas, but her shot on the near side was just wide right of the goal.
UCLA got its first shot in the period came in the 80th minute, but a save by Bronco reserve goalie Alyssa Sobolik kept the game tied. The Bruins had another chance in the final minute of regulation with a corner kick, but could not convert.
Senior midfielder Aly Wagner, who missed last weekend's contests while competing with the U.S. National Team, flew from New York and met the Broncos in Los Angeles and started tonight. A pulled hamstring early in the game limited her action for the rest of the contest.
Santa Clara remains in Los Angeles and will play another Pac-10 opponent in USC on Sunday. The match against the 18th-ranked Women of Troy is slated to begin at 1 p.m. and will be a return home of sorts for Kakadelas, who was the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year last season while playing for USC.