SANTA CLARA, Calif. - After taking down 2011 NCAA Tournament opponent Cal 4-2 last match to open spring play, Santa Clara's women's soccer team will play its second spring game vs. the Sacramento Storm, a semi-professional team of the Women's Soccer Premier League, on Sat., April 14 at 3 p.m. at Buck Shaw Stadium. All spring games are free and open to the public.
"The Storm are the only non-college team that we will be playing this spring," said Santa Clara head coach Jerry Smith. "They are a very experienced team and are more tactically aware than we are but we are fitter right now. They have some very good players like Sissi, formerly of the Brazil National Team, which will present us with a good challenge. Our goal is to become smarter this week and make better decisions against a semi-professional team. This week will be a fun test for our team."
The Broncos will be without Julie Johnston, their leading scorer from 2011 and a First-Team All-American, who is taking part in a U20 National Team Camp in Los Angeles. Without Johnston, other players will have a chance to step in and prove themselves on the field and show the team can still score goals without one of its top attacking players.
One of the goals Smith has set during the spring season is to score two or more goals in each game. Last year Santa Clara only lost two games but tied seven times. In each of the seven ties the Broncos scored zero or one goal.
"It was nice to score four goals against an NCAA Tournament quality team like Cal," continued Smith. "We are experimenting with different systems this spring and we were still able to score four times. We are working on building out of the back with several short passes from our defenders and goalkeeper and even though we gave up a goal with this new system we are going to keep emphasizing it. It was a very good start to the spring to score a goal early on and we hope to continue to improve."
The Broncos will play three more exhibition matches this spring after taking on the Storm. Sun., April 22 San Jose State will visit Buck Shaw at 7 p.m. Defending national champion Stanford will come to the Mission Campus Fri., April 27 at 7 p.m. The spring season will wrap-up with a 4 p.m. game vs. Fresno State on Sun., April. 29 at Buck Shaw.