Action photos from the game! (Credit Denis Concordel)
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara University (5-1-4) took down No. 17 Cal (9-2-0) by a final score of 3-0 on Sun., Sept. 25. The Broncos scored early on a header from Julie Johnston and never looked back. Johnston ended up with two goals on the day. Her two goal performance marked the second time Johnston had accomplished the feat on the season and the fourth time a Santa Clara player scored multiple goals in a game.
"I think things are starting to come together for us. It's usually about the halfway point of the season where the things start to come together, particularly with the new players," said Bronco head coach Jerry Smith. "One of the things we looked to do today was to play fearlessly in the attacking third. We caught ourselves on film looking like we were afraid to make a mistake and you can't do that in front of the goal. One of our goals in the game today was to play with no fear in the attacking third and I think it really paid off for us."
In the fourth minute Santa Clara took the lead 1-0. Sarah Jackson was fouled just outside the box in the left corner. Margueritte Aozasa took the penalty kick and centered it to the head of Johnston who put the shot in the net.
Lauren Battung fired a shot from the top of the box that was out of reach of Bronco goalkeeper Bianca Henninger but the shot hit the crossbar and Santa Clara was able to clear the ball.
Olivia Klei had the ball in the corner and sent a cross into the box that Katie Speidel one-touched past the Cal goalkeeper Emily Kruger to put the Broncos up by a score of 2-0 in the 26th minute. The goal was the first in Speidel's collegiate career.
In the 34th minute Sophia Huerta had the last scoring chance of the first half when she rocketed a ball from the top of the box after some fancy footwork to get around the Cal defender. Her shot was saved by Kruger and the Broncos were unable to get the rebound.
At the half, the score was 2-0 in favor of Santa Clara.
Less that two minutes into the second half Santa Clara got a corner kick, taken by Meleana Shim. Shim centered the ball and Johnston knocked it past the goalkeeper for her second goal of the game. In the 48th minute, the Broncos led 3-0.
Henninger came up big when Kate Bennett of Cal dribbled the ball into the box and took a shot at the upper right corner. Henninger was able to make a leaping save to keep the shutout alive. Moments later Lauren Battung took a shot a low shot that Henninger extended her arms for and deflected away.
Santa Clara will continue its home stand and wrap-up nonconference play next week with a game Thur., Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. against Nevada and a game on Sun., Oct. 2 against San Diego State at 2:30 p.m.