Spartans Fall To #15 Broncos In Season Opener

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Santa Clara's Ellie Rice posted two first half goals for her team Friday, which were enough to survive a last-minute charge by the Spartans, as the No. 15 Broncos defeated San Jose State, 2-1, at Spartan Stadium in both teams' season opener.

Santa Clara (1-0-0) held the ball for most of the opening 10 minutes of the game, and finally broke through in the 11th minute when the Broncos sent the ball into the penalty area. Rice collected it from an SJSU defender who was trying to clear it. She then turned 180 degrees and fired with her left foot, sending the ball into the far side of the net for the early 1-0 lead.

The Spartans (0-1-0) had their own opportunities in the first half, including one in the seventh minute where Kelsey Lord and Amanda Heins both knocked the ball around back and forth in the penalty area trying to get a clear shot, but the Broncos were able to clear the ball safely.

Rice's second goal, which would become the game-winner, came in the 24th minute on a long, bouncing lob from Olivia Klei, who was running down the left side of the field. Santa Clara's Sarah Jackson missed a header attempt in front of the goal, but Rice was there to collect the ball and fire a shot. SJSU goalkeeper Meghan Maiwald got a piece of it, but not enough, as the ball rolled slowly into the goal for a 2-0 lead.

Lord would get another chance in the first half after Rice's second goal, going one-on-one with the ball against a Broncos player in the box, but she was defended well and could not get off a clean shot. Stephanie Bales also had a good look on a long ball off a free kick from Jessica Ingram, but the ball rolled wide.

Lord got her shot in the waning seconds of the game, however, as she was dragged down by a Santa Clara defender in the box on a breakaway. The ensuing foul call gave Lord a penalty kick with 29 seconds left on the clock and she converted for her first goal of the 2011 campaign and cut the score to 2-1.

Lord's goal erased Santa Clara goalkeeper Bianca Henninger's clean sheet for the night. Henninger finished with two saves, while her counterpart Maiwald also had two. SJSU made a team save as well in the first half.

San Jose State will head out on the road to face another top-20 opponent at 4 p.m. Friday when it takes on No. 17 UC Irvine in the first game of the UC Riverside Women's Soccer Invitational in Riverside, Calif. The Spartans will face the host Highlanders on Sunday, Aug. 28.

Score by periods       1    2   Total
Santa Clara                2    0     2
San Jose State          0    1     1

Scoring Summary
Santa Clara (1-0): Ellie Rice, 10:47
Santa Clara (1-0): Ellie Rice (Olivia Klei), 23:21
San Jose State (0-1): Kelsey Lord, 89:31

Santa Clara: 12
San Jose State: 7

Goalkeeper saves
Bianca Henninger (SCU): 2
Meghan Maiwald (SJSU): 2

Corner Kicks
Santa Clara: 7
San Jose State: 0