SANTA CLARA, Calif. - No. 21 Santa ClaraUniversity (4-1-4) beatWashingtonState (6-3-1) by a score of 1-0 at Buck Shaw Stadium on Friday night. The game's only goal came in the 78th minute when Julie Johnston scored unassisted.
"We finally broke though and got a win. We've played a lot of tight games, overtime games and we have a lot of ties but we play to win and I saw a play to win mentality from our team today. I'm very, very happy with the win," saidSanta Clarahead coach Jerry Smith. "I think it will be a little bit of a confidence booster going into a game with a very good top-20 team likeCal. We go in with a little more confidence that we can win a tight game like we did today."
Julie Johnston took a ball form Lauren Matheson in the 21st minute and dribbled to the top of the box and fired a shot butWashingtonStategoalkeeper Gurveen Clair stopped the rocket. The ensuing corner kick led to a chance for Ellie Rice but her shot sailed high.
Johnstondribbled through the defense and crossed the ball to Olivia Klei in the 32nd minute but Klei was unable to get a solid shot off and the Cougar goalie picked up the ball to end the scoring chance.
Allie Vernon was the next Bronco to have a chance to break the scoreless tie but Clair fromWashingtonStatecontinued her strong game and made yet another save.
Santa Clarahad six shots on goal in the first half but was unable to find the back of the net and the first half ended 0-0.
At the start of the second half, in the 47th minute, Margueritte Aozasa had the Broncos first chance coming out of halftime but Clair again came up with the stop.
Off of a stopped cross by Bianca Henninger the Broncos raced down the field and Huerta crossed the ball the to Sarah Jackson whose header went just over the crossbar.
Huerta again crossed a ball in the 66th minute and Cate Parchinksi laid out for a header but the shot went just wide right. The two hooked up again in the 70th minute but Parchiski's shot again missed, this time just high.
Katie Speidel showed some impressive dribbling skills as she sliced her way through the defense and into the box before she crossed a ball to Jenny LaPonte who attempted to center the ball but no one was on the receiving end andWashingtonStateregained control.
Santa Clarafinally broke through whenJohnstontackled a Cougar player at the top of the box and took the ball in and fired it past the keeper to put the Broncos up 1-0 in the 78th minute. The game would end 1-0 inSanta Clara's favor.
"It's awesome, a win's phenomenal," saidJohnston. "We kept getting shots on but we couldn't get them in. It's good now that we're in the middle of the season we know our mistakes. We know how to finish."
The Bronco women return to the field on Sun., Sept. 25 at 12 noon against No. 17 Cal as part of a doubleheader with men's soccer at Buck Shaw.