Broncos Fall in Penalty Kicks to Virginia Tech in Sweet 16
BLACKSBURG, Va. – Trying to move on to the Elite 8 with a chance to host at Buck Shaw, No. 9 Santa Clara women's soccer tied No. 4 Virginia Tech 1-1 but the Hokies advanced 3-1 on penalty kicks. The tie ends the Broncos at 16-4-2 overall while the Hokies are 18-4-3.
"I'm very proud of my team today and I thought we played very well," said Santa Clara head coach Jerry Smith. "It was one of the best games we've played this year. We felt like the tactics were right and we played well. Sometimes the score doesn't indicate how well you played and today might be one of those days. Having said that, you have to give credit to Virginia Tech. I thought their goalkeeper played especially well. Mostly, however, I'm very proud of my team and the effort we gave out there. We were on our front foot all day and had some great chances to win the game."
Murielle Tiernan scored the goal for the Hokies in regulation and had the final penalty kick. Dayle Colpitts had a fantastic game in net, making eight saves and stopping three penalty kicks.
Julie Johnston had a great chance to score in 21st minute. She received a pass and had just the goalkeeper in front of her. She hit a shot on the ground that was saved to keep the score 0-0.
Virginia Tech nearly took the lead in the 31st minute off of a free kick. From well outside the box the Hokies sent a pass near the right post but it went just wide of the attacking player and out for a goal kick.
Santa Clara outshot Virginia Tech 6-2 and tied 2-2 in shots on goal in the first half. Johnston and Morgan Marlborough had the Broncos shots on goal while Jordan Jesolva and two shots and Huerta had one. Tostanoski made two saves in net.
The Hokies took a 1-0 lead in the 55th minute. Tiernan took control of the ball near the top of the box and took a left footed shot to the upper right corner of the goal and into the back of the net.
Marlborough nearly tired the score in the 62nd minute. Some nice passing got ball to Johnston who crossed it to Marlborough who just had the goalie to beat. She took one too many touches and the goalkeeper grabbed the ball.
Huerta evened the score in the 64th minute with a beautiful shot. She gathered the ball just outside the box and turned to fire a rocket into the upper left corner of the net for her team-best 16th goal of the season.
After much back and forth, the game went to overtime with the scored tied at 1-1.
Santa Clara nearly won it in the 90th minute when Huerta made a steal and passed to Marlborough who had her shot saved. The rebound went to Huerta but her shot went high and the game continued.
Marlborough took a short cross from Johnston in the 92nd minute and had empty net but her lunging deflection went high.
Huerta had a break away in the 96th minute but her shot from the right side of the box went wide left.
Despite three golden chances to score in overtime for Santa Clara, the game went into a second overtime.
Huerta had another break away but the Virginia Tech goalkeeper made a great save and the Hokies were able to clear the ball to end the threat.
No one was able to score in the second overtime so the game went to penalty kicks.
Virginia Tech's goalkeeper was spectacular during penalty kicks, making three saves and the Hokies moved on to the Elite 8 with the 3-1 edge in penalty kicks.
Game Notes: Santa Clara is 6-13-2 all-time vs. top-5 opponents in the NCAA Tournament … The Broncos are 6-5-1 vs. the ACC in the NCAA Tournament … Santa Clara is 1-0-1 all-time vs. Virginia Tech … This was the second time in three years the Broncos' season has ended on penalty kicks in the NCAA Tournament. The last time was the first round vs. Cal in 2011, also 1-1 through regulation. That game Cal advanced 4-3 on penalty kicks.