Santa Clara, Calif. --- Trailing 1-0 early in the second half, senior Yvette Cuellar gave the San José State (0-1) women's soccer team its first thrilling moment of the 2017 season when she tucked an equalizer underneath the Santa Clara (1-0) keeper and into the back of the net.
Cuellar's first-career goal knotted the score, 1-1, where it would remain until the 88th minute when the No. 24-ranked Broncos put in the game winning tally for a 2-1 victory in the regular season opener for both teams at Stevens Stadium.
The Spartan players on the field and on the sideline erupted at the sight of Cuellar's shot hitting the net. It was more than just an equalizer.
"It meant the world to all of us but especially to Yvette," said head coach Lauren Hanson. "She tore her ACL and was out for half of last season. She had a really long recovery and had to work her tail off to get back. She's a senior now and one of our leaders. For her to score a goal like that, it was just fantastic."
The goal in the 51st minute was assisted by fellow senior Yaritza Arista who got around her defender for a touch to Cuellar at the close right wing.
A disciplined San José State backline fended off multiple Santa Clara attacks throughout the remainder of the second period. Then in the 88th minute with overtime looming, Broncos forward Julie Doyle shed her defender just inside the box and blasted a shot with the right foot into the upper right corner for the game-winner.
"I'm really proud of our team," Hanson said. "We competed with a top-ranked team. We came out and showed that we can play right with them and make them have to elevate their game."
San José State appeared to have a promising breakaway in the 86th minute. A freshman connection from Gabriella Hurtado to Bella Bowers in space on the right wing created a solid look at the net, but only after the offside whistle had blown.
The Broncos peppered Spartan keeper Ana Calero throughout the majority of the first half. Calero finished the first period with seven saves, but the one that got by was off the foot of Maddy Gonzalez in the 25th minute.
Calero finished the match with a career-high 10 saves. The Spartans were outshot 18-7 for the match.
San José State will play UC Santa Barbara on Sunday, August 20, at 2:30 p.m. (PT) in the first match at the new Spartan Soccer Complex.
Soccer Game Summary (Final)
San Jose State vs #24 SCU (Aug 18, 2017 at Santa Clara, Calif.)
San Jose State (0-1) vs. SCU (1-0)
Date: Aug 18, 2017 Attendance: 1133
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
San Jose State...... 0 1 - 1
SCU................. 1 1 - 2
- 24:35 SCU GONZALEZ, Maddy (1) (SANCHEZ, Maria) - through ball
- 50:48 SJ Cuellar, Yvette (1) (Arista, Yaritza) - near post and past keeper
- 87:18 SCU DOYLE, Julie (1) (unassisted) - from just inside the box
Shots: San Jose State 7, SCU 18
Saves: San Jose State 10 (Calero, Ana 10), SCU 3 (LOWDER, Melissa 3)