Sept. 3, 2006
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Despite leading by a goal at the break, the No. 1 Santa Clara University women's soccer team could not keep the Notre Dame attack at bay for the final 45 minutes, giving up three unanswered goals in falling 3-1 to the Irish at Alumni Field.
The Broncos will look to rebound from this setback Friday evening as they travel to the UCLA campus next weekend to battle No. 15 Connecticut before taking on No. 4 Texas A&M Sunday at 11:30 a.m. Sunday's match against the Aggies will be televised on ESPNU.
Notre Dame, ranked No. 1 in the Soccer Times poll, outshot Santa Clara 21-14 for the match, but it was the Broncos who got on the board first Sunday. Freshman Kiki Bosio started a sequence late in the 12th minute which saw her send a pass ahead to Brittany Klein, which the midfielder threaded ahead to Meagan Snell in the box. Snell then beat Irish keeper Lauren Karas to the lower right corner for her second goal of the season. Bosio's assist was her third of the year.
But Notre Dame came out attacking in the second half, pressuring the SCU back line until finally, in the 64th minute, an Amanda Cinalli pass found Jill Krivacek all alone on the left side of the box and the Irish midfielder rifled a shot from 14 yards out that skimmed off of SCU keeper Meagan McCray's fingertips and into the back of the net for the equalizer.
With momentum firmly on their side, the Irish continued the assault, as Cinalli, the eventual tournament MVP, netted the game-winner little more than five minutes later at the 68:43 mark with a header before slamming the door on things by burying a shot past McCray and into the upper-right corner of the net to complete an solo drive to the goalmouth.
"I think we tended to get conservative in our play in the second half, and that let Notre Dame get on top of the match," said Santa Clara head coach Jerry Smith. "Our team showed some road-weary legs in the second half, which can happen in situations like this. Most of all, we lost to probably the best team in the country on their home field."
Smith continued: "But these are the types of challenges you want early in the season, so that we can now go out there and work on our weaknesses and improve as the season progresses."
Karas made nine saves in the match for Notre Dame, including five in the second half. McCray made seven saves for the Broncos.
In a post-match awards ceremony, the Broncos had three players named to the All-Tournament team as Bosio, Snell, and midfielder Chioma Igwe were honored for their play over the weekend.