May 27, 2004
By Jenna Hudson
The Santa Clara
The votes have been counted and it's time to unveil this year's selections for the eighth annual TiSCy awards, acclaiming the best of Bronco athletics this past year.
Female Athlete of the Year: Jaime Forman-Lau - Softball
In an extremely close TiSCy race, Forman-Lau shone above the competition in another career year that was highlighted by a perfect game against San Diego in April, four PCSC Pitcher of the Week honors, and winning the award for PCSC Pitcher of the Year for the second-consecutive season. She led the conference with a 1.32 ERA, a .201 opposing batting average and 131 strikeouts. Forman-Lau was also No. 13 in the nation with 25 victories. She was named part of the 2004 All-Conference first team and a second-team Pacific All-Region selection chosen by the Nation Fastpitch Coaches Association. Runners Up: Quinn Thomas - Women's Basketball, Leslie Osborne - Women's Soccer
Male Athlete of the Year: Nic Crosta - Baseball
In what proved to be the most hotly contested TiSCy this year, the junior transfer from the University of Texas rose above his competitors to earn this year's male athlete of the year award. This adds just one more credit to the prolific list of awards he garnered as a standout on the Santa Clara baseball team this past year. In February, he was the WCC/Rawlings Player of the Month. In April, he was named National Co-Hitter of the Week by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and was also Collegiate Baseball's National Player of the Week and West Coast Conference Player of the Week. He batted .340 on the year with 11 home runs and 46 RBI. Runner Up: Doron Perkins - Men's Basketball
Team of the Year: Men's Soccer
Men's soccer was this year's unanimous choice for team of the year, and for good reason. The team managed to boost itself into the national spotlight with clutch wins, allowing them to advance to the 2003 College Cup. The team won the 2003 West Coast Conference Championship with a stellar league record, was ranked in the Top 10 for most of the year and beat Michigan in the Elite Eight at Buck Shaw Stadium last December to advance to the NCAA semifinal where they finally fell to Indiana 1-0 in double overtime. The team was led by TiSCy's choice for coach of the year, Cameron Rast, and several outstanding players including current San Jose Earthquakes Ryan Cochrane and Steve Cronin, as well as All-WCC senior forward Will Weatherly and senior forward Matt Upton.
Coach of the Year: Cameron Rast - Men's Soccer
The reigning WCC Coach of the Year was the overwhelming winner this year. In only his second season at the helm, Rast guided the Broncos to a 16-4-4 overall record (5-1-0 in conference), which earned them the 2003 WCC Championship. He led the Bronco squad to a Top-10 ranking for most of the year according to Soccer America, all the way to the NCAA Tournament. Rast has been a part of all five Santa Clara trips to the College Cup. As a player, he led the Broncos to a Co-National Championship in 1989 and then the championship match in 1991. He also was the assistant coach during trips in 1998 and 1999. Runner Up: Marcy Crouch - Softball
Rookie of the Year: Robert Perry - Baseball
Santa Clara's leadoff batter won the majority of votes for rookie of the year. Even as a freshman, Perry naturally became a leader on the team. Head Coach Mark O'Brien described the freshman star from Archbishop Mitty as being a "silent assassin" in an interview with The Santa Clara earlier this year. Perry was an outstanding addition to a young Bronco squad and consistently contributed runs to the team throughout the year. He batted .300 on the year with 67 hits, eight home runs, 27 RBI and 18 walks. Runner Up: Ashley Graham - Women's Basketball
Game of the Year: WCC Men's Basketball semifinals vs. No. 4 Gonzaga
In a game where the Broncos led by as many as 11 over rival Gonzaga, fans had good reason to get excited in the second half. The Broncos hadn't made the NCAA Tournament since 1997 and led into the final minute. They lost to Gonzaga in the title game of the WCC Tournament in both 1999 and 2001. This game turned into yet another heartbreaker for the Broncos as they fell to the Bulldogs 63-62 in the semifinals of the WCC Tournament.
"What if..." Game of the Year: Men's Basketball semifinals vs. No. 4 Gonzaga
In another unanimous vote, the game of the year was also the biggest "what if" game of the year. In the final two minutes of the game, the lead changed five times, and the Bulldogs scored three of their last four baskets following offensive rebounds. Travis Niesen had given Santa Clara the lead with 25 seconds remaining in the game before Ronny Tuiaf rebounded his own missed shot, to score the winning basket with five seconds left to lead Gonzaga to their 19th straight victory. Turiaf scored the last two baskets for Gonzaga after Blake Stepp's three-point shot gave Gonzaga its first lead of the second half with 1:41 left. Kyle Bailey eventually missed a desperation three-point shot at the buzzer, leaving Bronco fans to wonder, "what if."
Biggest Surprise: Women's lacrosse going to nationals
The latest up-and-coming Santa Clara sport surprised everyone this year when the team was invited to the nationals in Saint Louis for the first time. The team again stunned critics by placing second in the nation, eventually losing the championship game to the three-time defending national champions, Cal Poly.
Most Memorable Moment: Men's soccer beating Michigan in the Elite Eight at Buck Shaw Stadium to advance to the College Cup
Dec. 6, 2003, was this year's selection for most memorable night of the year. With the help of two goals by sophomore forward Kelechi Igwe, the No. 6 Santa Clara Broncos earned a 3-1 victory over Michigan to advance to the 2003 College Cup in Columbus, Ohio. This marked the Broncos' fifth trip to the national semifinals in program history.
Fan of the Year: A.J. Perry - Crew
If you've made it out to enough games this year, you've probably seen him. He attends every soccer, volleyball and basketball game he can. Perry, a freshman on novice crew, shows his Bronco spirit by wearing a red cape, gold wig and face paint. He even sported the Bucky the Bronco costume at a crew regatta.
Biggest "Wannabe" Santa Clara Sport: Ultimate Frisbee
I'm sure you've seen them practicing at Bellomy Fields. They aren't a recognized Santa Clara sport, but that doesn't stop the dedicated players. This year the TiSCy goes to the ultimate frisbee team. And you never know, maybe eventually they could become a recognized Santa Clara sport, in the model of several other schools with similar programs.