September 18, 2011

Santa Clara Falls To No. 1 Stanford 2-0

Action Photos From The Match! (Photo Credit Denis Concordel)

With student's back from their summer vacations a large crowd watched Santa Clara take on No. 1 Stanford at Buck Shaw Stadium tonight. The Cardinal were able to take down the Broncos with two goals in the first half.

Bronco head coach Jerry Smith applauded the Bronco student body for all the energy they brought to the match and welcomed them back to school. Santa Clara, on quarters, begins classes Monday. "Loved the energy, loved having the students here. It's great to have a home game with the students back. I am thrilled the atmosphere was what it was. I really want to thank all the students on behalf of the women's soccer team – it was awesome to have them out here today. We would love to have won the game for the students that were here but they gave us tremendous energy. We were playing the No. 1 team today that played in the last two national championships. They were a little better than us today and I give credit to Stanford tonight because they outplayed us," said Bronco head coach Jerry Smith.  "Hopefully we will get our students back for our home game next Friday."

In the 14th minuteRachel Quon went for a cross shot, but it became a dangerous chance on goal that bounced over the cross bar.

Moving Camille Levin from outside back to attacking center mid halfway through the first half paid off for the Cardinal as Levin did a give and go with Sydney Payne and was able to break through the Bronco defense to put the ball in the right side of the net at 15:26.

Later in the half Santa Clara goalkeeper Bianca Henninger made a save off of a loose ball in the box off of Payne's foot in the 34th minute.

After Marjani Hing-Glover took a foul, the Cardinal was rewarded a free kick. Chioma Ubogagu found Hing-Glover open in the box and she was able to place it in the net in the 39th minute.

Henniger was again able to make a save when Hing-Glover had a shot on goal in 38th minute.

"When you are playing the No. 1 team in the country sometimes it's a little bit intimidating and I think we played on our heels a bit in the first half," added Smith. "I thought in the second half we played more attacking-minded soccer and created some good chances. We got in close. I thought their goalkeeper made some really nice plays, some great saves and I also thought Bianca played really well for us tonight.

"It's the little things. It's the timing of the runs and the quality of the pass. Most importantly it's realizing that at any moment a scoring opportunity is going to be there. It's a mindset of  'I am about to score, I am about to score'. Which is a really hard thing in our sport. You only end up with two or three goals in the entire 90 minutes between the two teams and it's hard to have that mentality of 'I am about to score.' Good forwards have that mentality and we need to make sure that more of our attacking players have that mentality that they are about to score."

At the start of the second half, in the 50th minute, Ubogagu crossed to Lindsay Taylor whose shot went over the cross-bar.

The Broncos had a scoring chance when a cross by Allie Vernon in the 71st minute went to the head of Sophia Huerta but the shot was saved by Stanford goalkeeper Emily Oliver.

Santa Clara's best scoring chance, however, came in the 76th minute came when Katie Speidel fed Huerta a ball and she was had a one-vs.-one but Oliver was able to get a piece of the ball and prevent the goal to keep the score at 2-0, where it would end.

Santa Clara returns to the field on Fri., Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. against Washington State and again on Sun., Sept. 25 at 12 noon against Cal. Both games will be played at Buck Shaw Stadium and the Cal game is part of a doubleheader with men's soccer.