SAN JOSE, Calif. - When women’s soccer legend and Bay Area native Brandi Chastain stops mid-sentence during a Quakes’ home telecast to celebrate an opening goal from Chris Wondolowski, you know it’s going to be a good night.
“Sorry, I’m a fan,” Chastain laughed. “I can’t help myself!”
Sure enough, that was the case July 14, 2012 when the Earthquakes pummeled visiting Real Salt Lake 5-0 at Buck Shaw Stadium behind a hat trick from Wondolowski.
It was, in fact, number eight who opened San Jose’s account in the 18th minute after cleaning up a bouncing ball in the box. The Captain’s far post finish would prove to be the difference after the first 45 minutes.
In the 57th minute, a testy altercation in the middle of the park left Salt Lake midfielder Kyle Beckerman packing to the visiting locker room and Jason Kreis’ team down to 10 men.
The Quakes would capitalize in the 63rd minute and take a 2-0 lead off of the head of Alan Gordon. After winning a free kick at the edge of the box, San Jose midfielder Marvin Chavez whipped in a ball to the head of a leaping back Victor Bernardez. After redirecting his header to the far post, Bernardez’s attempt at goal was denied by the woodwork before Gordon charged in to clean up the deflection.
Ten minutes later, it was Wondolowski, again, who gave San Jose a 3-0 lead in the 72nd minute, this time at the near post. After Salinas separated himself from the Real Salt Lake left back, the speedy winger drove a low ball ahead of the run of Wondolowski. With little room to operate, the Danville native toe-poked the ball past Rimando with an outstretched right leg to add to his scoring total.
Then, the Quakes scored two goals in two minutes.
After San Jose midfielder Simon Dawkins made it 4-0 in the 79th minute, Wondolowski completed his third career hat trick in the 80th minute. After receiving the ball 20-yards away from the box, current Quakes midfielder Khari Stephenson picked up his head and slipped a perfectly timed ball to the top foot of Wondolowski. In midstride, number eight took one touch before blasting his shot across the face of goal and into the far side netting.
The result gave San Jose their 12th win of the season and solidified their spot atop the Western Conference and Supporters’ Shield standings.