Santa Clara Upsets Irish
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- It sure is great when a plan comes together.
That has to be what coach Jerry Smith is thinking after Jordan Angeli scored two goals to lead the fifth-ranked Santa Clara University women's soccer team to a 2-1 victory Sept. 9 over top-ranked and defending national champion Notre Dame.
|Jordan Angeli recorded two goals for Santa Clara against Notre Dame Sept. 9. (SCU)|
The Broncos moved to 3-0-1 on the season, while Notre Dame fell to 4-1-0. The two teams return to action at Buck Shaw Stadium Sunday in the final day of action in the annual Santa Clara adidas Classic. The Fighting Irish face Gonzaga at 11 a.m., followed by the Broncos against Cal State Fullerton.
"Anytime you play the defending national champions who are clearly number one in the country and have outscored their opponents by a 27-2 margin, you are taking on a major challenge," said Smith. "Tonight, our players stepped up and were certainly up to the challenge.
"No team is every going to play a perfect game for the full 90 minutes, particularly against an opponent of the quality of Notre Dame. However, I thought there were stretches where we played very well.
"We certainly don't want to get ahead of ourselves. The season is just getting underway. We need to enjoy this one for just a little while then quickly refocus and prepare for a determined Fullerton team that defeated Gonzaga today."
Notre Dame outshot the Broncos by a 13-5 margin in the match. But, a fierce defensive effort limited the nation's top-scoring team without a true offensive goal.
A gritty defensive moment for the Broncos came in the second half when senior Micaela Esquivel was called for a foul on a sliding tackle in the Notre Dame penalty box in the 32nd minute of the game. However preseason All-America goalkeeper Julie Ryder confidently saved the shot of UND's Annie Schefter to squelch the threat.
The only goal of the game for Notre Dame came in the 38th minute when a crossing pass by senior Katie Thorlakson was redirected into the goal by Bronco defender Catherine Sigler for an own goal. Television replays showed that Thorlakson's pass would not have gone into the goal without the deflection.
Santa Clara's defense has allowed just two goals in its first four games of the season and neither has been by an opponent during the run of play. The only goal by Virginia Tech in SCU's 3-1 victory at Wake Forest was on a free kick.
Angeli, who played for Santa Clara last season as a freshman defensive midfielder, scored during the season-opener against Arizona State and against the Hokies.
During the offseason, Smith and Angeli decided to give the forward position a try.
"I can't say enough about the play of Jordan Angeli," said Smith. "It was really just an experiment to move her to the forward position. She has done a fantastic job. Finishing two quality goals against the team of the caliber that we played tonight showed what a great player she is."
-- Courtesy Santa Clara