Check out photos from the game! (Credit Denis Concordel)
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Opening the home portion of its 2012 schedule, No. 25 Santa Clara women's soccer took down UC Riverside by a final of 3-0 for its second consecutive win. It was also the first time this season the Broncos scored multiple goals and was the second shutout. The win puts the Broncos at 2-1-0 while Riverside falls to 2-2-0.
Santa Clara jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on goals by Sarah Jackson and Meleana Shim. Freshman Dani Weatherholt added her first career goal with less than a minute left in the game. Freshman goalkeeper Andi Tostanoski collected three saves in the first half, her third scoreless half in a row. Lexie Rubbatino came in to play goalkeeper in the second half for her first action since 2010 and collected two saves.
After struggling to maintain possession vs. Stanford and Cal, the Broncos held the ball for the vast majority of the game and spent most of the time on Riverside's side of the field. Only the excellent work of the Highlander goalkeeper Jessica White, who made nine saves, kept the Broncos from making the game a blowout. Santa Clara outshot Riverside 24-9 and collected 11 corner kicks to the Highlanders four.
Santa Clara will return to the field at the Notre Dame Tournament in South Bend, Ind. on Fri., Aug. 31 at 4:30 p.m. vs. Notre Dame and Sun., Sept. 2 at 8:30 a.m. vs. Connecticut.
"I thought that our spacing was a little bit better today," said Santa Clara head coach Jerry Smith. "Because of our better spacing we were able to hold the ball better and they struggled to handle our wide players in the first half. This lead to a lot of good opportunities for us. One of the things the team has to do, however, is be a confident attacking team and open up into a big attacking shape with the idea that we're going to be able to keep it. I thought our timing was off in the attacking third so we will have to re-familiarize ourselves with playing in the attacking third as we go through the season."
In the fourth minute the Broncos drew first blood and made the score 1-0 on the second goal of the season by Jackson. The ball was sent from the left side of the field to the middle of the box where there was a defensive misplay by the Highlanders. The ball was knocked off of the goalie and went to Jackson who knocked it to the back of the net for her second goal of the young season.
Jackson helped lead to the second Santa Clara goal of the day in the 12th minute when she took a through ball from near midfield and ran in down in the box before being tackled for a penalty shot. Shim connected on the penalty shot, like she did three times in 2011, to make the score 2-0. It was the first goal of the season for the senior captain.
Santa Clara continued its offensive attack in the second half and finally broke through in 90th minute. Kat McAuliffe assisted the first career goal for Weatherholt who took a pass and put it in the upper-right corner of the goal to make the score 3-0, where the game would end.