Oct. 13, 2005
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The victories are beginning to blend together into one continuously dominant effort as the fifth-ranked Santa Clara women's soccer team extended its shutout streak to four matches by defeating Saint Mary's 2-0 Thursday night at Buck Shaw Stadium.
Although without co-captain Micaela Esquivel on the back line due to injury, the Broncos forged on defensively with Catherine Sigler stepping up in Esquivel's spot and getting the job done on both ends of the field. Sigler assisted on Jordan Angeli's tenth goal of the year to open things up in the 33rd minute and also combined with Danielle Potts, Lauren Zealear and Marian Dalmy to render the Gael attack virtually non-existent.
"One of the most consistent parts of our team has been our backline, in particular the play of Lauren and Dani," head coach Jerry Smith said after the victory. "A number of different people played well tonight, but certainly Lauren and Dani continue to lock down that center-back role for us. Our team spends so much time sending our outside backs forward that they have a lot of pressure on them to make big plays and they continue to do that."
Santa Clara (12-2-1, 2-0-0 WCC) outshot the Gaels (7-5-1, 1-1-0 WCC) 15-2 over the course of the match, with only one of those shots coming on frame which goalkeeper Julie Ryder easily gobbled up. That ended up being Ryder's only save of the night as she was never seriously challenged and earned her second straight shutout and sixth of the season.
On the attacking side of the field Angeli again got the Broncos on the board, positioning herself just right for Sigler's free kick into the box after a Gael foul. Angeli managed to get a glancing blow on the ball which ended up being enough to redirect it past Saint Mary's keeper Alicia Artuso.
Later on, in the 69th minute Tina Estrada got possession of a loose ball and penetrated the Saint Mary's box nearly untouched and drilled home her fifth goal of the season to the left post. Minutes later Meagan Snell uncorked a blast that bounced off the crossbar, just missing a third goal for Santa Clara.
"At halftime today we had only four shots, so we addressed that we need to be more aggressive, get our shots off and be dangerous and Tina gave us an excellent example of how to do that in the game today," Smith added about Estrada's effort. "I thought we were a little more aggressive in the attacking third, we certainly got off a number of shots in the second half and had some very dangerous opportunities so I'm very pleased in that aspect."
Santa Clara will seek to extend not only their four-match winning streak but also their shutout streak of 426:01 as they return to action Sunday afternoon, hosting the San Francisco Dons in a noon tilt. Tickets are available by calling (408) 554-4660.