SANTA CLARA, Calif. – After opening the season with a win and a loss, No. 15 Santa Clara women's soccer will host Florida International at 7 p.m. on Fri., Aug. 29 in the Broncos lone game of the week. Last week Santa Clara topped UC Irvine 2-0 in the season-opener but fell to Cal 2-1 in overtime. The Broncos are 1-1-0 on the young season. This will be the first time Santa Clara and Florida International have met.
"It was a pretty typical opening weekend," said Santa Clara head coach Jerry Smith. "There are more areas to work on than things that went really well but it's good to be tested early on. We'll work on some things this week and get better for this upcoming weekend."
Santa Clara was outshot on the opening weekend 27-20 and 13-12 in shots on goal. The Broncos, however, had a shots on goal percentage of .600 and a shot percentage of .150.
"Our focus this week has been on ourselves and being able to keep the ball better," said Smith. "We also want to create more dangerous chances in the games. We scored three goals in two games, which isn't bad, but we simply didn't create enough dangerous opportunities."
Sofia Huerta leads Santa Clara with two goals and four points. Kat McAuliffe scored the other Bronco goal while Jenna Roering and Dani Weatherholt each have one assist. Andi Tostanoski picked up 11 saves on the weekend for a .846 save percentage. She also stopped a penalty kick in the early going of the Cal game.
With so many new faces on the Broncos roster, Smith was able to get five players their first action as a Bronco.
"It's always good to get new people on the field and give them a chance to get their first game in," said Smith. "We're going to continue to look at a bigger group of players right now which is typical for early in the season. As we get closer to the end of the season things will quiet down in terms of the number of players we use. I thought all five players stepped in and contributed. Some of those players not only got their first game but gave us some really good energy that allowed us to take a 1-0 lead into halftime vs. Cal. I'm very pleased that so many new players came in and contributed."
Florida International went 1-1 on the opening weekend of the season with a 2-0 loss vs. Arizona at home and a 3-0 win at University of North Florida. The Panthers outshot their opponents 28-15 and 10-7 in shots on goal. They dominated the first half but outshooting their opponents 18-6.
Ashleigh Shim led the offense for Florida International with two goals and four points. Johanna Volz added the other Panther goal. Scarlet Montoya and Chelsea Leiva each had one assist. Nevena Stojakovic played all 180 minutes in net and picked up three saves for a .600 save percentage.
"We've never played Florida International before but we know the coach very well because he coached at Fresno State," said Smith. "His teams are very organized and tough to break down defensively so it will be a similar approach to the UC Irvine game. We're going to have to have some creative attacking play to create goal-scoring chances. It will be another good test for us."