SANTA CLARA, Calif. – After two weeks on the road, Santa Clara women’s soccer returned home Friday night and beat Pacific 3-0 at Stevens Stadium. The Broncos were in control from the opening kick, spending almost the entire game on the attacking side of the field.
Santa Clara (4-5-4, 1-1-1) dominated on the offensive end, outshooting Pacific (1-8-1, 1-1) 25-2 and 10-2 in shots on goal. The Broncos drew nine corner kicks to the Tigers two.
“Pacific’s game plan was to sit back and hopefully keep us off the board,” Santa Clara head coach Jerry Smith said. “Any time a team is sitting back you have to play with urgency. We experienced this when we played UC Irvine. It was a good lesson for us and I think it really showed tonight. We had a lot more confidence in what we needed to do when a team was playing us like that.”
The floodgates opened and the Broncos scored a pair of goals in 46 seconds late in the second half. In the 80th minute Machaela George sent a pass from just outside the right side of the box and put it right to the foot of Natalie Kennedy who one-timed a shot in. In the 81st Jordan Jesolva got the ball with her back to the goal and turned in the six-yard box to blast one past the keeper and make it 3-0.
“I think it was a sense of relief after we scored those two quick goals,” Smith said. “Sometimes scoring goals is a confidence thing and our confidence was a little low, in part because we’ve been playing such a demanding schedule. Once we got the second goal I felt pretty good that we would get a third and that’s exactly what we want to see from the team at this time of the year. Hopefully we can roll that momentum into the game Sunday.”
Santa Clara took a 1-0 lead in the 31st off a set piece. A free kick went through a cluster of bodies in front of the goal and Hailai Arghandiwal tipped it to Maddie Gonzalez who was able to finish near post.
“I’m proud of the girls tonight,” Smith said. “I think we played really well and it’s always nice to get a shutout. For us it was really nice to get three goals since we’ve been having some trouble scoring. We didn’t get on top of the game until some of our subs came in so it was nice to see so many people contribute to the win. This was one of those games that you feel really good about.”
The Broncos are back in action Sunday at 1 p.m. as they host Saint Mary’s.