“That’s a crushing loss, she’s out for the year,” acknowledged Santa Clara Bruins Head Coach Brad Comstock on the injury to star centerback Jordan Lesnick. “Today was her first day back from a previous injury, she has a pulled hip flexor.”
Without Lesnick, the Bruins struggled defensively as the sophomore defender went down in the middle of the first half. Santa Clara keeper Lindsey Crocker bailed the Bruins out with a sequence of multiple saves in short succession, keeping the score knotted at nil-nil through the first 40 minutes.
“She’s had a good year,” chimed coach Comstock on Crocker. “I didn’t get a good look at the second goal, but overall, Lindsey has had a really good year. Our issue has always been can we score?”
“I was so scared in that sequence,” joked center back Analicia Bonelli on the string of saves Crocker came up with in the first half. “As soon as she saved those, I was like ‘oh thank god.’ It was such a relief.”
Without Lesnick beside her, Bonelli had to lead a rather inexperienced group of defenders.
“Very hard to replace someone like that,” remarked Bonelli on losing her center-back partner. “Whenever I get beat, she’s always there to help me.”
As far as possession goes, the Bruins held their own with the Mustangs. The finishing touch simply continued to elude Santa Clara. Early in the second half midfielder Leah Acevedo launched a perfectly-placed, 30-plus-yard through ball just over the defender’s head where forward Alisa Bontrager could run onto it. Instead of shooting from 20-25 yards out and testing the Mustang’s inexperienced keeper, Bontrager tried to dribble closer to the goal. Eventually the Homestead defense caught up and denied the opportunity.
“We don’t have a true nine,” admitted coach Comstock on his roster not having a true striker. “I’m trying to put different girls there. But I don’t have anyone with that true shooter’s mentality. Alisa does a good job at it, she’s probably our best in that role.”
With the loss, the Bruins’ overall record falls to 5-5-6, but their league record is now down to 1-4-3. They have four league games remaining to try and push towards a spot in the CCS playoffs. Their next game against Fremont this Friday, Feb. 1 is basically a must-win. Santa Clara still has to face division power houses Palo Alto and Mountain View once more.