SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Displaying both its depth and tenacity, No. 21 Santa Clara women's soccer took down No. 11 USC 3-2 at Stevens Stadium on Friday night in overtime in the season-opener.
Two times the Trojans (0-1) were able to take a lead only to see the Broncos (1-0) score the equalizer. The second game-tying goal came with time winding down and the game-winner came less than 10 minutes later.
The golden goal came after a Bronco corner kick was knocked out of the box in the 97th minute. Jazmin Jackmon one-timed a bouncing ball over the defense and Kellie Peay knocked it out of the air and into the net to give Santa Clara the exciting victory.
"We've been solid on set pieces in training all year and we're really excited about what we'll be able to do on them this season," Santa Clara head coach Jerry Smith said. "They can make a big difference in how far you go in the tournament and that was the difference in the game tonight."
Peay was the third different Bronco to score with three others picking up assists. Six Broncos saw their first action with the team, two of which were in the starting 11.
"It was a great first game and we played really well against a good USC team that's going to win a lot of games and compete for a Pac-12 title," Smith said. "I'm very proud of the players for coming back a couple of times. We knew coming into the season that we had great depth and that helped us out today for sure with three different people scoring. We have a lot of good players on the bench at any one time but that's a nice problem to have. We need to continue to get better but it was a good start."
Peay's goal was only possible because of some nice work fromJenna Roering and Jordan Jesolva in the 87th minute after the Trojans had gone ahead 2-1 in the 62nd minute. After a shot got blocked, Roering ran down the loose ball and from the end line hit a short pass to Jesolva who one-timed her shot into the top of the net to make it 2-all.
The first 20 minutes saw USC control the game and keep the Broncos on their heels.
"We didn't coach the team very well in those first 20 minutes," Smith said. "We didn't prepare for how USC was going to play. They played a different formation than they did all last year and caught the coaches off guard. After we got ourselves sorted out, the players took over."
A beautiful move from Maddie Gonzalez in the 37th minute led to the first Bronco goal of the season and turned the tides in their favor. She juked a defender and sent a beautiful cross to Janae Gonzalez who one-timed a shot past the goalkeeper.
This was the first time Santa Clara has beaten a ranked team to start the season since a 1-0 win on Aug. 25, 2006 vs. No. 23 Wake Forest. It is also the highest-ranked team the Broncos have beaten in a season-opener since taking down No. 7 UConn 4-1 on Sept. 4, 1993.