Sept. 23, 2006
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Facing the last team to defeat them at home and with 3,471 pumped-up and emotional fans on hand, the No. 5 Santa Clara women's soccer team came out firing from all cylinders and ran roughshod over the No. 3 UCLA Bruins, 3-0, Friday night at Buck Shaw Stadium. Meagan Snell continued her scoring tear with a pair of goals in the match, while Kiki Bosio netted her first collegiate goal.
The Broncos (7-2-0) will now go on to face CS Fullerton Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Bruins fall to 6-2-0 with the loss.
"I thought that our team really came out to play, and we were able to get ahead early and force UCLA onto their heels a little bit," said head coach Jerry Smith. "An early goal combined with a large, supportive crowd gave us the momentum, and we carried that momentum to a second and then a third goal and an eventual win."
"Coming into the game, our team prepared so much for UCLA, and that really motivated and inspired us to come out here and win this game," Snell said afterwards. "A lot of these goals occur because the team has built them together, and there are others that have been easy to finish, and I know that if I didn't finish them, I'd be running a lot of fitness."
In addition to the scoring of Snell and Bosio, Hillary Schwarzbach, Jordan Angeli, and Chioma Igwe all registered an assist, while defensively, the foursome of Marian Dalmy, Lauren Zealear, Dani Potts, and Hillary Schwarzbach teamed up to keep the powerful Bruin attack in check to give goalkeeper Meagan McCray her fifth shutout of the season. The shutout was also the first dealt to the Bruins this season.
"Defensively we were outstanding, it was a good team defensive effort, but the back four of Marian, Lauren, Dani and Hillary along with Meagan [McCray] played really well tonight," said head coach Jerry Smith.
Santa Clara wasted little time getting on the board Friday night, weathering an initial UCLA rush for the first few minutes before counterattacking and earning a corner kick at about the 12-minute mark. Amanda Poach's corner was accurately placed into the box, where Schwarzbach got a head on it, but saw her effort bounce off the crossbar. Yet the rebound stayed alive and went right to Snell, who buried it into the net past UCLA keeper Val Henderson to draw first blood at the 12:16 mark.
With the vast majority of the crowd of nearly 3,500, the fifth-largest regular-season women's soccer crowd in Santa Clara history, firmly and raucously behind them, the Broncos continued to apply pressure, eventually reaping the rewards 14 minutes later. Jordan Angeli worked her way into the box and threaded a cross between a pair of UCLA defenders which found Bosio on the near side of the goal, and despite Henderson forcing her into a shot from a difficult angle, Bosio's line was true and just like that, SCU was up 2-0 as the large pack of Ruff Riders in attendance went crazy.
With a two-goal lead, the most dangerous one to have in soccer, in their possession, the Broncos opened the second half of play looking to stay on the attack in search of that back-breaking score. They got it in the 49th minute as a free kick found its way into the box, and was then headed by Igwe towards the net where an onrushing Snell got her foot on the ball, sending it rolling past Henderson and across the goal line for the clincher and her seventh goal in the last seven matches.
"Meagan obviously has a lot of confidence in front of the net right now, and is making plays and making things happen," Smith said of Snell's stellar offensive play. "Her being able to put the ball into the net takes a lot of pressure off our team."
McCray, backed up by a solid back line, made two saves on the night, including a critical stop on Danesha Adams' free kick from just outside the top of the box. Adams' effort got through the SCU wall, but McCray got in front of it and blocked it, and the UCLA follow-up went wide, and the Bruins came away empty after their only true threat of the night.