SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Starting a four-game homestand, No. 22 Santa Clara women’s soccer tied Marquette 1-1 Thursday night at Stevens Stadium. The Broncos took a lead early in the second half but saw the Golden Eagles come back and even the score a few minutes later.
The game was extremely tight throughout, with both teams collecting 10 shots. Santa Clara put five shots on goal while Marquette had six.
“It was a very even game today,” Santa Clara head coach Jerry Smith said. “Marquette is a very organized and hardworking team. They didn’t give us many easy looks at the goal today. They did a good job of getting their players forward to create chances and then getting them back to prevent chances. I really appreciated how hard they played. They made it very difficult for us.”
After a scoreless first half, Santa Clara (2-2-1) finally broke through in the 55th minute on a penalty kick. Julia Vass made a nice run into the box and was taken down to set up the chance. Jordan Jesolva took the shot and hit it low and to the right to beat the goalkeeper who dove the other way.
Marquette (2-2-1) answered in the 64th minute on a beautiful set piece. A free kick was taken from a few yards outside the box and sent across the field to Molly Pfeiffer. She headed the ball to Morgan Proffitt and she was able to find the back of the net off a header to make it 1-all.
“We had a nice build up to our goal when Vass got taken down in the penalty box and Jordan stepped up to convert,” Smith said. “They also scored off a free kick. Both goals were the result of fouls and both teams converted. I’m a little disappointed we didn’t create more chances and make their goalkeeper work a little bit more today. But credit to Marquette for having such a disciplined effort against us today. “
Melissa Lowder started the game in net but Courtney Ogren got her first career minutes when she started the second half. Lowder finished with one save and Ogren collected four.
“Courtney did well,” Smith said. “We planned the substitution before the game. You’d like to have two or three people battling for each position on the field and you can’t call it a battle if one player is getting all the minutes. We wanted to bring Courtney off the bench so she could see the opponent play a little bit. I’m looking forward to a good battle between her and Melissa and that’s a healthy thing.”
Ashley Handwork nearly ended the game in the 97th minute when she got behind the defense and only had the keeper to beat but her shot went just wide of the left post.
The Broncos nearly scored a game-winner as well. In the 106th minute a Santa Clara corner found the head of Gudrun Arnardottir whose shot went just wide of the frame.
Santa Clara is now undefeated in its last 10 overtime games. The Broncos have won seven of the matches and come away with three ties. They haven’t lost in overtime since Aug. 24, 2014.
Santa Clara returns to action on Sunday at noon vs. Wisconsin at Stevens Stadium.