Santa Clara opened with wins over Top 25 teams -- both from the Pac-12 -- for the first time since 1993 when it defeated No. 8 USC, 3-2, and No. 15 California, 1-0. Both games were decided on golden
The Broncos had to come back twice to beat USC on Kellie Peay
's golden goal off a corner kick.
"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." Jordan Jesolva
's goal in the 87th minute off a pass from Jenna Roering
had pulled Santa Clara even at 2-2. Maddie
set up Janae Gonzalez
for the first Bronco goal in the 37th minute. Alex Anthony
scored twice for USC.
Roering broke the deadlock against Cal when she scored
the gamewinner in the 107th minute. She took a pass from from Jesolva just inside midfield and gained control of the ball at the top of the box, taking a touch before finishing just inside the left
"The challenge in a weekend like this, similar to the NCAA Tournament, is that you play two great teams," Smith said. "We invested a tremendous amount of energy on Friday night so
it's not easy to do that again two days later. We didn't do a good job with that in the first half. At halftime, we talked about working harder and investing more energy. Once we did that, the game
was at least even, if we weren't the better team."
-- In another WCC-Pac-12 clash, Pepperdine got two goals from freshman Nicole Leggio
and a superb effort from senior Rylee
to beat visiting Arizona, 3-1.