Friday night saw a California Clasico take place at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium at Stanford University as the Santa Clara Broncos visited their Bay Area neighbors, the Stanford Cardinal, in Round 2 of the NCAA women’s soccer tournament.
The match was of high stakes, as both teams looked to progress in the tournament and eventually play in the NCAA Women’s Soccer College Cup set to be held at Avaya Stadium Dec. 2-4.
Stanford midfielder Andi Sullivan played at the home of the Earthquakes earlier this month when she earned her third cap with the USWNT on Nov. 10. Sullivan started and played 61 minutes in the match, before being replaced by Stanford alumni Kelley O’Hara in the 8-1 victory against Romania.
Unfortunately for Sullivan, who left the match in second overtime with a left knee injury, and her fellow Cardinal, their chances of playing at Avaya Stadium and continuing on in the tournament ended Friday night.
Although the home side created several chances throughout the game and got close to scoring on multiple occasions, the Santa Clara Broncos remained strong and took advantage of the counter attack. Broncos goalkeeper Melissa Lowder made 14 strong saves to keep the visitors in the match.
After the game remained scoreless at the conclusion of regulation time, it went to golden goal overtime.
With 2:06 left on the clock for the golden goal, Jenna Holtz scored off a deflection to secure the victory for the Broncos. The Broncos are undefeated in their 10 games that have gone to overtime this season. Santa Clara will now face North Carolina State in the Sweet 16 at 1 p.m. PT on Sunday at Stanford.
Should Santa Clara make it to the NCAA Women’s Soccer College Cup, they will play at Earthquakes’ home which is visible from their University grounds.
“It is so awesome to have the College Cup back here,” said Santa Clara University head coach Jerry Smith. “Now we are playing in an unbelievable stadium. Avaya Stadium is one of the best stadiums in the country. It is great for the Bay Area and Bay Area soccer.”
Tickets for the College Cup are available on the NCAA website.