Cardinal Falls to No. 3 Santa Clara
Sept. 30, 2006
Santa Clara, Calif. - In front of a crowd of 3,291 fans at Buck Shaw Stadium, the Stanford women's soccer team held No. 3 Santa Clara to just two shots, but fell to the Broncos, 2-0. The No. 18 Cardinal was shutout for the first time this year, and finishes the non-conference season with a 7-4-0 record. The Broncos won their fourth-straight and improve to 9-2-0.
Two evenly matched teams battled in the first half, with neither squad taking a shot for nearly 12 minutes of play. The Cardinal had the first chance of the night just seven minutes in, however, when junior Lizzy George crossed the ball to freshman Kelley O'Hara in front of the net. Bronco goalkeeper Meagan McCray dove in front and gathered up the ball before O'Hara could get a foot on it. Minutes later, George registered the first shot of the match, dribbling to the top of the box and sending a blast wide to the right.
In the 29th minute, Stanford had another opportunity, earning a penalty kick from just outside the box. Senior Shari Summers took the shot, which was blocked by the Santa Clara defense. Sophomore Alison Falk took a second shot, but the ball went wide.
In the 35th minute, the Broncos took their first and only shot of the half and made it count. Freshman Kiki Bosio found sophomore Amanda Poach on the right side and Poach sent a shot from 25 yards out to the back of the net to give the Broncos a 1-0 lead.
The Cardinal refused to let down, however. Kristin Stannard had a chance to even the score with the clock winding down, as the freshman broke through the Bronco defense to challenge McCray, but the Santa Clara goalkeeper dove on the ball before Stannard could get the shot off. Stanford went into the break down a goal, but had out-shot the Broncos 3-1.
Less than two minutes after the restart, the Broncos were on the board again. Bosio sent a ball to junior Jordan Angeli who fed it ahead to junior Meagan Snell. The Broncos' leading scorer collected the pass and capitalized on the one-on-one opportunity, giving Santa Clara a 2-0 advantage.
The Cardinal wasn't done fighting, however, as the team subsequently gained the momentum and pushed for a comeback. In the final 43 minutes of the match, Stanford pounded the Broncos with 12 shots, and dominated the possession. Sophomore Marisa Abegg began the assault in the 50th minute, with a shot that sailed wide. Summers followed with a one-on-one opportunity with McCray, but her shot was saved. In the 58th minute, O'Hara sent a blast at McCray from 20 yards out, but the Bronco goalkeeper again denied the Cardinal a chance to get on the board.
The Cardinal continued to pressure the Bronco defense and earned an indirect free kick in the 59th minute. Senior Rachel Buehler found Falk in the box, but the sophomore's well-placed header was grabbed by McCray. Just a minute later, Summers pressed through the Bronco defense and sent a hard drive toward the net that was deflected by McCray. Before the final horn, Stannard, O'Hara, Summers and Lea MacKinnon all took shots on frame, but each time McCray prevented the Cardinal from finding the back of the net. In the end, Stanford had posted 15 shots without a goal, while the Broncos capitalized on their only two opportunities. Summers and Abegg led the Cardinal with four shots apiece. McCray had eight saves for Santa Clara.
Stanford begins the Pac-10 season next weekend, heading to Los Angeles to face USC and UCLA. The match with the Trojans will kick off at 3 p.m. on Friday at McAlister Field. On Sunday, the Cardinal will face the defending conference champion Bruins at 1 p.m.