With the loss, Saint Mary's drops to 10-6-1, 6-4 West Coast Conference, while Santa Clara remains in first-place and improves to 9-4-5, 6-0-4 WCC.
The Gaels ended up out-shooting the Broncos by an 11-6 margin, but two first-half Bronco goals proved to be too much for SMC to overcome.
"Santa Clara scored two early goals and we had to play catch-up the entire game," said head coach Adam Cooper. "We worked hard and created chances, but in the end, dug ourselves too big of a hole."
SCU's Phillip Muscarella scored in the 17th minute for the first goal of the game. Santa Clara then got a second goal in the 34th minute by Erik Hurtado. A foul set up the header by Hurtado who sent it to the back of the net and SCU led 2-0.
The Gaels would pick up the pace in the second-half, attempting nine shots, compared to just two by the Broncos. Agustin Cazarez had one of five, second-half corner kicks for the Gaels and set up a score by Justin Grider in the 89th minute to pull SMC within 2-1. SMC ran out of time and the Broncos remained undefeated and in first-place in conference.
For Saint Mary's, Dylan Leslie took a game-high five shots, including three shots on goal. Cazarez added two shots for the Gaels.
Doug Herrick allowed two goals and recorded three saves in his 90 minutes of action.
For Santa Clara, Hurtado finished the day with a goal and an assist. Goalkeeper Kevin Klasila allowed one goal and notched three saves.
SMC outshot SCU 11-6 and took 11 corner kicks compared to just two by SCU.
Saint Mary's is back in action on Friday, November 12 when it travels to Loyola Marymount. The kick-off time has been changed to a 2:30 p.m. on the LMU campus.