Bronco Soccer Springs to Victory
Team beats San Jose State in spring season matchup
Published: Thursday, April 26, 2012
Updated: Thursday, April 26, 2012 12:04
After advancing to the playoffs this past fall, the Santa Clara women’s soccer team has picked up right where it left off, defeating San Jose State 6-0 in the third match of spring season.
It was all Broncos right from the start, with midfielder Katie Speidel scoring an early goal from the right side of the box. Nearing the end of play in the first half, freshman Sofia Huerta played a great ball up the right side to freshman Alyssa Kleiner, whose cross into Julie Johnston created a great chance with a shot on goal. In the ensuing possession, Huerta found space near the top of the box, and rattled in a laser off the crossbar.
The Broncos’ offense was strongly supported by the back line of defensive players, which held strong during the few times they were tested. Santa Clara left the field up 2-0 at half.
The story of the second half was not much different. The Broncos controlled possession skillfully, and bombarded the Spartans with offensive ferocity. Following a missed header by Johnson, Huerta managed to get a shot off that bounced off the left goal post before deflecting into the net. Up 3-0, Santa Clara kept pouring it on. A clinical finish from Johnston into the back left corner and another score from Huerta further extended the lead.
The Broncos’ defense continued to stifle San Jose State’s counterattacks. In the waning moments of the game, Santa Clara put the exclamation point on the victory with a penalty kick finished into the top left corner by freshman defender Kat McAuliffe.
Head Coach Jerry Smith was pleased with the team’s performance.
“I think we played well tonight,” said Smith. “We saw the things we were looking for, off the ball movement, speed of play, and I thought our speed of play was very good tonight. You know, anytime you can score multiple goals and get shutouts that’s a good day... I think we’re right on track for where we want to be.”
The Broncos are 3-0 this spring, taking down California, 4-2, and the semi-professional Sacramento Storm, 3-0, prior to Sunday’s win against San Jose State. The spring season has provided Santa Clara with a great chance to prepare with for the winter, and Smith has been taking advantage of the extra practice.
“The things we try to do in the spring are experiment with new formations,” explained Smith. “The formation we played tonight is different from the one we normally play, so it’s nice to know we have another formation we can go to.
“Also, we move players in different positions, and we saw a few different players play (other positions),” continued Smith. “In terms of our spring goals, we had too many ties in the fall, and in all of the games we tied, we either scored zero or one goals, so one of our objectives was to make sure that we scored two or more goals per game... That piece of it seems to be going very well for us.”
Santa Clara will be tested this weekend when they face defending national champion Stanford. The Cardinal shut out the Broncos at Buck Shaw Stadium during their only meeting last fall.
Contact Matt Leff at firstname.lastname@example.org.