Pacific Women's Soccer Falls to No. 8/9 Santa Clara, 2-1
The Tigers stood toe-to-toe with No. 8/No. 9 Santa Clara, but couldn't catch the Broncos, as the Pacific women's soccer team fell 2-1 in the opening match of the Nike Invitational Friday at Stanford's Laird Q. Cagan Stadium. Kim Hargrave tied the match in the second half, but the Broncos netted the game winner in the 77th minute.
Pacific falls to 2-3-1 on the season, while Santa Clara, ranked No. 9 in the NSCAA coaches poll and No. 8 by Soccer Times, improves to 4-1-1. For the match, Santa Clara held a 14-11 edge in shots, and a 5-3 margin in shots on goal, not including two shots by the Tigers off the frame.
"They're No. 9 in the country and we were right there with them," head coach Keith Coleman said. "I felt like we were as good. We're believing it more and more each game, and playing better. A post here, a post there, again. If Maricela's shot off the post goes in, we're up 2-1 and they're playing catch up. We have a good team. It's a matter of them believing in themselves. To get the goal and tie the game up and then have some opportunities - we're doing the right thing, and we're getting closer each week."
Tied 1-1 in the 77th minute, Santa Clara's Julie Johnston placed a shot on net from Pacific keeper Jill Medigovich's right, which was blocked by a Pacific defender. But the ball dribbled over to Lauren Matheson, who spun and one-timed the ball into the far left as Medigovich was changing direction for the game-winning goal.
The Broncos got on the board first, as Johnston headed in a cross from Matheson on a corner kick in the 52nd minute, finishing to the top right for her first goal of the season.
But Pacific rallied back to knot the match at 1-1 in the 58th minute. Junior midfielder Angelica Figueroa found forward/defender Laura Hogan on the wing, and she gained the edge giving her space for a cross into the box, where Hargrave finished in to the upper right corner for her first goal of the season.
The Tigers nearly took a 2-1 lead in the 65th minute, as sophomore midfielder Maricela Padilla shed a defender, turned and rang a shot off the far post.
The first half was scoreless, yet not without chances as Medigovich easily plucked Santa Clara's first shot, by Johnston, out of the air in the 11th minute. Then at the other end, Wavomba blasted a shot high from 25 yards out. Off a restart in the 16th minute, Johnston was turned away by Medigovich again.
In the 26th minute, Padilla slotted a pass to Hogan, who came in one-on-one with Henninger, who dove to her right to make the stop. Another Pacific chance game when a Renae McFadden broke in on goal, but the Bronco's Margueritte Aozasa came back and broke up the play with slide tackle.
Pacific nearly put up a goal in the 39th minute following a yellow card to Santa Clara just outside the box, Kylee Ah Choy bent a shot over the keeper's head, but it ringed off the cross bar.
In the 41st minute following a giveaway by the keeper, McFadden collected the ball from 25 yards away, but rushed a shot wide of the post as the Henninger scrambled over to close off the net.
Pacific out-shot Santa Clara 7-4 in the first stanza, with seven different players making an attempt.
The Tigers continue the Nike Invitational on Sunday against host and No. 2-ranked Stanford at 2 p.m.