Women's Soccer Falls On The Road To No. 19 Santa Clara
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Gonzaga University women's soccer squad, playing its third-straight road contest, battled its second-consecutive ranked opponent extremely tough but in the end fell 2-0 to No. 19 Santa Clara University Sunday morning at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.
"We have been through a tough stretch the last two weeks and despite that, I believe we played our best soccer today," explained Gonzaga head coach Amy Edwards after the match. "I am super proud of our effort; we battled, we competed and created dangerous chances."
Gonzaga fell to 6-9-1 and 0-4-1 in league, while Santa Clara is now 9-3-4 and 2-1-1 in the WCC.
The Broncos, who had not played in exactly a week, scored their first goal at the 22:38 mark and would hold that slight edge until there was four minutes remaining in the match when it dealt the pressuring Bulldogs a final blow with their insurance goal.
Santa Clara's first goal was scored by Dani Weatherholt. She headed in a cross from teammate Lauren Matheson for her third tally of the year.
The match was pretty even prior to the Broncos taking the 1-0 advantage. Sophomore Kasey Rubosky had the match's first scoring opportunity, but her shot 4:20 into the contest went over the crossbar. Classmate Cricket Harber had a shot blocked and Tori Lee had a shot that went wide.
Two minutes after Lee's shot sailed wide, Weatherholt tallied her goal.
Gonzaga had a brilliant opportunity to tie the match 13 minutes after the Broncos scored but a close-range left footed dagger by senior Emily Dolcetti was saved by SCU's keeper Andi Tostanoski.
The Bulldogs continued to pressure and fight in the second half. They were dangerous on their long-throw-ins and each of their three corner kicks.
Lee and Harber both had scoring opportunities down the stretch, but Lee's shot and Harber's header off a Jordan Travis corner kick were each saved by Tostanoski.
"It really was unfortunate we did not get a goal in the second half," stated Edwards.
Santa Clara's insurance goal came at 85:56 and was similar to its first goal of the match. This time Sofia Huerta crossed a ball in from the left flank that found the head of Julie Johnston for her team-leading fifth goal of the year.
Seventeen players saw action in the match for Gonzaga, including freshman Lexi Clark who - playing in just her second match since returning from injury - saw 39 minutes.
"We competed together today," said Edwards. "Fatigue was an issue but as a team we were mature enough to fight through it. Today's team effort was a testament to our fitness level, leadership and battling mentality."
Gonzaga returns home to the Gonzaga Soccer Field Friday to host Loyola Marymount University. Match time is set for 3 p.m.