September 27, 2009

No. 9 Santa Clara Stumbles Against USC, Falls 2-0

Sept. 27, 2009

Box Score

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The ninth-ranked Santa Clara women's soccer team had its six-game winning streak snapped this afternoon, falling to Southern California 2-0 today at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Women of Troy capitalized on two counter attacks in the second half, one in the 90th minute to spoil the Broncos' day.

The score was not indicative of the game though, as Santa Clara controlled much of the tempo and flow of the game and outshot the Trojans 20-8. The Broncos had several good opportunities on net, but USC goalkeeper Kristin Olsen was there each time, making eight saves to preserve the shutout.

"I have to give credit to their goalkeeper today," said head coach Jerry Smith.  "When they [USC] won the national championship, she was the difference, and I thought she did that again today.  She was exceptional." 

Senior Kiki Bosio got things going with her first shot of the game just 49 seconds in. Santa Clara got its next chance in the 14th minute, when redshirt senior Jordan Angeli's laser free kick went just high.

Olsen made her first save of the game on freshman Amanda Webster's attempt, and sophomore goalie Bianca Henninger made her first of several saves on Carly Butcher's shot in the 32nd minute.

Late in the half, Bosio nearly found Webster with a slotted ball, but a Trojan defender got there at the same time to make the tackle, preventing the breakaway.

The half ended scoreless with the Broncos outshooting Southern California 7-2 in a mostly back-and-forth 45 minutes.

In the beginning of the second period, Chelsea Buehning put USC out front at 49:40. The Trojans had recovered the ball in the defensive half and worked it up to Buehning, who unleashed a 30-yard shot from the left side that found the upper-90 of the net.

The momentum did not turn in favor of the Women of Troy though, as just 20 seconds later Bosio had a good look on net but couldn't convert.

USC then had two corner kicks, one that Henninger punched out of danger. On the other end of the field, Santa Clara rifled off three shots in just about a minute and a half, two of which Olsen saved.

Then it went back to the other end again, with the Trojans being awarded three corner kicks. Henninger again swatted away a cross, with no goals being scored. The netminder out of Los Gatos, Calif. made an outstanding diving save in the 75th minute, guiding Karter Haug's shot on the free kick over the end line for a corner.

In the final 10 minutes of the half, the Broncos ramped up the pressure, firing eight more shots towards Olsen, all of which couldn't find the net. One of the best chances came off Bosio's cross from the right, which Olsen tipped out of harm's way when it was headed straight for a wide-open Anessa Patton.

Southern California got their second goal of the match in the 90th minute, taking advantage of Santa Clara's front-loaded offense. Alyssa Davila stole the ball off a misplayed pass and while all alone sent the ball into the upper part of the net from about 30 yards out.

In desperation, the Broncos got two final shots off in the last minute, one of which Olsen snagged to end the game.

"I think the most frustrating thing about today's match was to be able to control the game as we did and not win," said Smith.  "That stats say we outshot them 20-8 and that doesn't usually result in a loss, and definitely not a 2-0 loss."

"I am happy with way we played. A few of our shots were right at their keeper and I would like to see those go off center, but she did a great job.  Not only on shots, but she was good at cutting off crossses. It's frustrating, but in our sport the goalkeeper can make that kind of difference."

Santa Clara falls to 8-3-0 with the loss and will return to Buck Shaw Stadium this Thursday, Oct. 1 to take on Pac-10 favorite Stanford. The Cardinal is currently undefeated.