Santa Clara Unable To Hold Early Lead, Fall To No. 1 Stanford

Photos from the match! (Credit Denis Concordel)

STANFORD, Calif.
- On a warm summer night in front of the home crowd of the defending national champions, No.17 Santa Clara women's soccer team kicked-off the 2012 season with a 6-1 loss vs. No. 1 Stanford. Despite taking an early 1-0 lead and holding it into the start of the second half, Stanford scored six unanswered goals in the second half, including five in the first 20 minutes, to put the game away.

Olivia Klei scored the lone Bronco goal on an assist from Sarah Jackson and freshman goalkeeper Andi Tostanoski collected three saves.

The Broncos will return to the field on Thu., Aug. 23 at 4 p.m. when they travel to their­­ 2011 NCAA Tournament foe Cal before opening the home portion of the schedule vs. UC Riverside on Sun., Aug. 26 at 1 p.m.

"In the first half I thought we played them tough and our team scored a nice counterattack goal," said Santa Clara head coach Jerry Smith. "In the second half they came out with tremendous confidence, aggressiveness and determination. They beat us in every category in that second half but there were certainly good lessons for our team. We'll learn from this and move forward. When you choose to play a team like Stanford out of the gate, you want to know where you stand and we found that out tonight."

Klei scored the first goal of the season in the 13th minute on a beautiful ball from Jackson across the field. Klei knocked the ball from the left side of the box into the back of the net, past the Stanford goalie.

Stanford nearly tied the game seconds later but a diving stop from freshman goalie Andi Tostanoski preserved the early 1-0 lead.

In 33rd minute Stanford centered the ball for a one-on-one with the goalkeeper but the pass was just past the outreached leg of the forward and the ball went past the end line for a goal kick.

Despite being outshot 5-2 in the first half Santa Clara took a 1-0 lead into halftime.

The second half was all Stanford as it scored six unanswered goals starting on a corner kick by Courtney Verloo in the 47th minute to Mariah Nogueira. The Cardinal cashed in on three corner kicks (Nogueria, 47th minute, Garciamendez 61st minute, Griffen,64th minute) and scored three other goals (Quon, 53rd minute, Payne 58th minute, Griffen, 68th minute).