October 4, 2009

No. 11 Santa Clara, No. 14 California Play To 1-1 Draw

Oct. 4, 2009

Box Score

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The No. 11 Santa Clara women's soccer team played No. 14 California to a 1-1 draw this afternoon in front of 754 fans at Buck Shaw Stadium. Junior Maxine Goynes scored the tying goal midway through the second half and sophomore Bianca Henninger saved a penalty kick in overtime to prevent the loss as the Broncos went on to their first tie of the year.

In the first half, the Golden Bears' speedy Alex Morgan had the first threatening chance of the game, nearly capitalizing on a counterattack that came off of senior Kiki Bosio's flip throw, but senior Katherine Reynolds caught up to her and stifled the attack.

In the 20th minute, junior Anessa Patton nearly got one in the net, heading redshirt senior Dani Potts' service just wide of the goal.

Cal got the first corner kick of the game in the 23rd minute, and Katrin Omarsdottir connected but was unable to score.

Henninger made her first difficult save on Lauren Battung's attempt in the 31st minute, smothering the 50-50 play. The resulting rebound came back to Battung, but Henninger recovered to defend the post and Battung's shot went wide.

The first period ended scoreless with the Golden Bears having a 5-2 edge in shots and each team earning one corner kick apiece.

The stalemate was broken just two minutes into the second half, when Alex Morgan received a pass from Battung at the top of the box. Morgan spun her defender with the ball and fired for the lower corner of the net. Henninger was able to get a hand on the shot, but couldn't push it wide resulting in a 1-0 lead for Cal.

"Alex Morgan caused us a lot of problems today," said head coach Jerry Smith.  "We couldn't figure out how to contain her even though we went in to the game with a stratgey for it, and finally when we changed the way we were playing for a third time, which was to change our formation, I think it settled us down.  The first half was pretty scrambled, I think, because we don't change our formation very often, and that's a credit to her, she's just that good. She showed her quality and scored that first goal against Katherine Reynolds, who is one of our best markers."

In the 72nd minute, the Broncos were awarded a corner kick, which freshman Lauren Matheson served to the top of the box. Redshirt senior Jordan Angeli headed the ball towards the net, but it didn't have enough juice to beat the keeper. Instead, it bounced to Goynes who had posted up on Cal goalie Rosie Aguilera. Goynes, with her back to the goal, took a touch to the side, spun and drove the ball into the net to even things up.

"I was very happy with Max," said Smith.  "She was dangerous, and with Amanda Webster unavailable she needed to play well.  I told her this was an important game for her and she met the challenge.  She scored a goal and caused other problems for them, and she was one of the many bright spots for our team today."

Neither team was able to get another goal in regulation and the game went into overtime for the Broncos for the third time this season.

Just two minutes into the first overtime, Bosio nearly ended the game as her shot beat Aguilera, but the Golden Bears were saved by the crossbar. Cal's Emily Shibata had the only other chance in the period, but Henninger was there to keep it out of the net.

In the second overtime, sophomore Margueritte Aozasa brought down one of the Golden Bears in the penalty box and Cal was awarded a penalty kick. When it looked as if Morgan would end the game on the penalty kick attempt, Henninger made a diving save to her left and tipped the ball up and over the crossbar.

"Margueritte [Aozasa] clearly pulled her down and it was a legitimate penalty," said Smith.  "Bianca [Henninger] made a great save on the PK, which is always a difficult situation for a goalkeeper, and especially against a quality finisher like Alex Morgan, and especially in an overtime situation."

The Golden Bears had a couple of corner kicks towards the end of the match, and Aguilera made one save on Bosio's shot in the waning minutes of the game, which ultimately ended in a draw.

"We really battled today, and Cal is always physical so we knew going in we were going to have to be tough," said Smith.  "I think we played well in a majority of the second half, but I'm really proud of the way we battled because it hasn't been one of our strengths this season.  I would have been really disappointed with a loss today because I don't feel like the way we played warranted a loss. I thought a tie or a win was a fair result.  We don't usually play for ties, but it's a good sign that our girls fought back for the tie."

Santa Clara, now 8-4-1 will begin WCC play next weekend, taking on San Diego on the road on Sunday, Oct. 11.