SANTA CLARA, Calif. – For the second consecutive season Santa Clara women’s soccer beat Long Beach State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Stevens Stadium. The Broncos beat the 49ers 3-0 Saturday afternoon to advance to the second round.
It was the sixth win in six tries for Santa Clara (10-6-4) over Long Beach State( 10-7-4), with four of those victories coming in the NCAA Tournament. The Broncos have taken out the 49ers in the first round in three of the last four seasons.
“We’re obviously thrilled with the result and I’m very proud of the team today,” Santa Clara head coach Jerry Smith said. “I want to congratulate Long Beach State on making it to the NCAA Tournament. Our coaches felt like we were out-coached the whole game and that’s a credit to their coaches who we feel are some of the best in the country. Fortunately, we found a way to win, which is no small feat against a team like that.”
The Broncos jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute. After a ball bounced off a defender in the box, Jordan Jesolva was able to gather and fire her shot just inside the left post and past the diving keeper for the goal.
The second goal of the match was a beauty from Maddie Gonzalez in the 65th minute. She got the ball just inside the top of the 18-yard box and fired a hire shot that hit the crossbar and bounced down for the goal.
Gonzalez added her second of the game in the 83rd. Hailai Arghandiwal sent a pass to Gonzalez who used a spin move to get free of her defender in the box and chipped her shot over the goalkeeper who was coming off her line.
“I said last week that I think we’re peaking at the right time,” Smith said. “We’re playing well and have a confidence about us, especially on offense. All three goals today were fantastic. Both of our starting forwards scored and they both had great stat lines. I’m really pleased with their performances.”
The Broncos now face a familiar foe in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
“We’ll celebrate this today and get ready for our second round matchup with Stanford,” Smith said. “We’ve played each other so much in our history. We had a tight win over them last year and they beat us this year in a tight game. I’m sure they’re a better team at the end of the season and I know we’re a better team now. I expect another close game, which is what we’ve been in all season. We know how to handle ourselves in tight games.”
Santa Clara and No. 2 Stanford in Palo Alto Friday at 7 p.m.
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