COLLEGE CUP: Stanford, Santa Clara set for second-round battle in the 2016 NCAA Women's Tournament

Womens College Cup - Santa Clara - Stanford - 2016

The road to the 2016 NCAA® Women’s College Cup® at Avaya Stadium continues this weekend with a second-round battle between two Bay Area juggernauts. 

On Friday night, top ranked Stanford Cardinal will host the Santa Clara Broncos at 7 p.m. PT in the second round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament. The last time the two schools faced off was earlier this season when the Cardinal defeated the Broncos 2-1 at Stanford on Sept. 16.

Stanford (18-1-1) is coming off a dominate 4-0 win against Houston Baptist in the first round of the tournament, bagging three goals in the opening 25 minutes. Midfielder Michelle Xiao, forward Sam Tran, forward Kyra Carusa and defender Logan Karam tallied a goal a piece for the Cardinal, all of whom are underclassmen. 

The Cardinal will be happy to welcome Pac-12 Player of the Year Andi Sullivan back into the fold for Friday’s match after starring for the U.S. Women’s National Team in last week’s friendly fixtures.

Sullivan, who tallied 11 goals and seven assists in 2016, started and played 61 minutes in the United States’ 8-1 win against Romania at Avaya Stadium before starting and playing 90 minutes in a 5-0 win at the StubHub Center. 

Santa Clara (10-6-4) enter Friday’s match following an impressive 3-0 win against Big West Champions Long Beach State in the first round of the tournament. The Broncos are currently riding a five-game win streak and have scored more than one goal in six of their last eight matches. 

In Santa Clara's first-round victory, midfielder Jordan Jesolva opened the scoring for the Broncos in the 12th minute, followed by a second-half brace from forward Maddie Gonzalez. According to Santa Clara Broncos Athletics, Jesolva, who was named First Team All-WCC, leads the team with nine goals and four assists in 2016. 

"We've played each other so much in our history,” Broncos head coach Jerry Smith told Santa Clara Athletics after their first-round win. "We had a tight win over them last year and they beat us this year in a tight game. I'm sure they're a better team at the end of the season and I know we're a better team now. I expect another close game, which is what we've been in all season. We know how to handle ourselves in tight games."

The winner of Friday’s match will either play the Pepperdine Waves or the North Carolina State Wolfpack Sunday, Nov. 20 at 1 p.m. PT. The location of the match is still undecided.