In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, the Santa Clara Women's Soccer Team will host a PINK theme match this Friday against LMU. It is meant to spread Breast Cancer Awareness and inspire fans to become more involved in the fight against the disease. In addition to pink decor, there will be pink foam fingers handed out to the first 100 fans. Please join us for this event and assist us in spreading the word.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – After opening West Coast Conference play with a hard-fought tie last weekend, No. 18 Santa Clara women's soccer will host LMU on Fri., Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. before traveling to No. 17 Pepperdine to take on the Waves on Sun., Oct. 14 at 1 p.m. The Broncos, coming off a 0-0 tie at No. 6 BYU, are 7-2-4 overall in 2012 and 0-0-1 in conference play. It was the first trip for Santa Clara to the hostile environment of BYU since 2000 when the Broncos came away with a 2-1 overtime win in the NCAA Tournament.
"Overall I thought we played very well at BYU," said Bronco head coach Jerry Smith. "They had won all of their matches at home this year so it was nice to be able to go in there and play well. The first half particularly, we played very well and controlled the game. To play a senior-laden team that is in the top-10 at their home field and limit them like we did, was really good to see. The second half became a little bit more of an up and down game and they had more of the dangerous chances. In the first half, offensively we did what we wanted to do and in the second half we did defensively what we wanted to do. I thought it was a really good battle of two top teams and I'm very proud of our effort in a very tough environment."
This week off-the-field honors continued for the Broncos as junior captain Julie Johnston was named to the MAC Hermann Award watch list for the second consecutive year. The award is the most prestigious honor in collegiate soccer. Past Bronco winners include Mandy Clemens in 1999 and Aly Wagner in 2002.
"I think Julie is the total package and you have to be exceptional in one or more areas to be on that list," said Smith. "You're talking about the best players in the country and Julie continues to showcase herself as one of the best. In Julie's case she attacks well and impacts scoring while also defending really well and being a great leader. In her case in particular I think she's the total package."
"It is truly an honor to be named among some of the best players in college and such a special feeling having others recognize your hard work," said Johnston. "I think this means more to me now because, as an upperclassman, I feel my team expects more from me and I am willing to do anything I can in games to help us reach our ultimate goal. I couldn't be more excited to see my hard work pay off."
Last season Santa Clara took down LMU 4-0 in Los Angeles and handed Pepperdine its only loss of the season at Buck Shaw. At the time, the Waves were ranked No. 3 in the country and had a record of 13-0-4. As an added bonus, the game vs. Pepperdine was senior day and senior Bridgett Miller scored the only goal of the game with seconds left in the first half. The win vaulted the Broncos to a season-high ranking of No. 7 in the country.
"When you only have one loss on the entire year, you remember it so I'm sure Pepperdine has thought about it and talked about it and would like to exact some revenge on the team that caused it," said Smith. "We know that they will come at us with their best effort but we've come to expect tough matches wherever we go. We played a very tough non-conference schedule and already had one of the toughest conference games that we're going to have. Because of that I think our team is ready for another tough environment at Pepperdine this weekend. They are a very, very good team and will have the home field advantage. Our team will have to be together, mentally tough and really trust one another to get the result we want."
The game vs. LMU will be the first home conference game of the season for Santa Clara and Smith and his team want to create a opposing place for visiting teams to come into. The team knows that to do this, they will need the fans to come out and be an extra player for them.
"We want to try to create our own home field atmosphere," said Smith. "We're looking forward to our students coming out and supporting us and our local fans too. We also have a lot of alums coming in this Friday. It's always fun to play in front of alums, especially with our storied history. What we want to do is use that 12th man advantage you get playing at home and ride some energy from the crowd into a good, attacking soccer display for ourselves and our fans."
As a team the Broncos are outscoring opponents 21-15 and are currently riding a nine-game unbeaten streak that has seen them go 5-0-4. Santa Clara is outshooting its opponents 216-155 and 99-71 in shots on goal. The Broncos have also excelled at drawing more corner kicks as they have had 71 while allowing just 55.
Senior captain Lauren Matheson leads the team with four goals, including two in the win over Fresno State on Sept. 27. Sofia Huerta, Julie Johnston and Olivia Klei are tied for second on the team with three goals each while Sarah Jackson and Dani Weatherholt have scored two times apiece. Jackson leads the team with three assists and there is a tie for second on the team with two assists between five players. Huerta is by far the leader on the team in shots, attempting 48 while the next closest, Jackson, has taken 24. Freshman goalkeeper Andi Tostanoski continues to impress and has 54 saves and five shutouts while playing all but one half.
LMU enters the game with a 6-4-2 overall record and a 0-1-0 record in WCC play. Last weekend the Lions lost to San Diego 1-0 at home. At UCLA on Sept. 7 LMU battled to a 1-1 with the then-No. 3 Bruins. The team also played Pac-12 teams in Arizona State and Arizona in the Arizona Cats Classic on Sept. 14 and 16. The Sun Devils took down the Lions 3-0 while LMU fought to a 0-0 tie with the host Wildcats.
LMU has dominated opponents in the first half, outscoring them 10-3 but has struggled in the second half being outscored 13-6. Overall the Lions have outscored opponents 17-16 despite being outshot 151-136.
The Lions have an evenly balanced offensive attack with six players scoring multiple goals and eight having scored at least once. Tawni Martino leads the team with four goals and is also first on the team with nine points. Darien Pyka has scored three times and added two assists while Jocelyn Blankenship. Brianne Medved, Maidson Heilmann and Cori McGovern each have two goals apice. Blankenship is tops on the team with three assists. In goal Brittany Jagger has played every minute in 2012 and has collected 49 saves to go with four shutouts.
Pepperdine enters the week with a 10-3-0 overall record and a 1-0-0 mark in WCC play. Two of the Waves three losses have come at the hands of top-25 teams, at No. 25 San Diego State 1-0 on Aug. 31 and at No. 3 UCLA 4-0 on Sept. 16. The only other loss was at Arizona State 1-0 on Sept. 9. On Aug. 24 Pepperdine hosted No. 21 Auburn and came away with a 2-1 win. The team has also taken down No. 5 Boston College 1-0. Last weekend the Waves won 2-1 at San Francisco in the conference-opener.
Amanda LaCave leads the Waves with 10 goals scored and is tied for first on the team with 20 points with Anisa Guajardo who is second on the team with six goals and tied for the team-lead with eight assists. Michelle Pao has eight assists while scoring one goal. Lynn Williams and Mandy Davis have scored three and two goals, respectively, while four others have scored once apiece. In goal Roxanne Barker has allowed a stingy 0.90 GAA in over 1,000 minutes played. Barker has made 52 saves and picked up five shutouts.